Reflecting on the team’s projects – Week 9

Roshni, Morgan, & Katie presented a comprehensive review of the status of women in Nicaragua. Overall, the presentation did an excellent job of analyzing data and objective qualities of Nicaragua to understand how the female gender is perceived in Nicaraguan culture.

The group went over the connections between education, healthcare, economic, political, and legal standing. For example, the education section showed that more women attended school than men, but there is still less economic opportunity for women, in part due to gender roles in an agricultural economy. This shows the intersection of more than one field, acknowledging the need for the comprehensive analysis. Also, women are expelled if pregnant while in school, despite a lack of sex education. This shows that while women are encouraged to get schooling, the school system still has backwards policies on gender, which is related to women’s healthcare and their legal rights which have been infringed by the Sandanista government. In summary, the group demonstrated that while progress seems to be made, there is much more work to be done, and advancements should not mean that advocates for women ease on their work.

Eric & Titus presented on the potential benefits of a cooperative agricultural system among smaller rural farms in Nicaragua. They presented data on crops, land use, and research on current cooperatives in Nicaragua and cooperatives in comparable nations.

First, they presented on the safest crops that can be grown without a cooperative (rice and beans) for subsistence based living. However, in a cooperative, farms don’t have to rely on subsistence crops alone and don’t have to worry about growing only the one crop to feed them for the year. They will be supported by other farmers in case one or two crop yields are low, and other land can be devoted to cash crops which provides the necessary capital for community development. Of course, there is a lot of infrastructure development necessary to create such a cooperative. Eric & Titus also acknowledged that their research is somewhat limited, and so I’m excited to see what they can confirm while in Nicaragua and their conclusions on the effectiveness of a cooperative.