Launching International Development Week: Q&A with Canadian Amy Nagus

What is International Development Week Action Against Hunger Amy Nagus

Amy Nagus, one of the many Canadians working for Action Against Hunger around the world, in front of our office in Jordan. Photo by Natalie Abu-Eisheh for Action Against Hunger, Jordan.

Since 1990, Canadians have spent one week each year celebrating how Canadian aid is making a difference around the world. As staunch advocates for gender equality through our nutrition work, we’re glad Canada is taking leadership this year to champion gender equality, and the health and rights of girls and women.

To launch this year’s International Development Week, we interviewed Canadian Amy Nagus, who works in our Jordan office. Here’s what she had to say:

Can you tell us what led you to work in Jordan as a Grants and Reporting Manager?
I had been working and living in Jordan for about one year before starting this position with Action Against Hunger. I like the people and the country, and had also been following Action Against Hunger’s work in the region, and so was very welcoming to this opportunity.

What advice do you have for a young Canadian who is interested in working in international development?
I recommend that those interested in international development think critically about their intentions, skills, and experiences to determine how they align with the current priorities and requirements of different sectors and regions. It is also so important to be sure that the values and mission of an organisation are aligned with your own. Ultimately, I encourage everyone to search for opportunities with organisations and programs that are community centred, sustainable, and strive for gender equity and inclusion.

What do you want Canadians at home to know about international development?
Social injustices are not bound by borders, and so solutions should not be either. International development views human inequality from a global and multifaceted perspective to reduce vulnerabilities and uphold dignity. Everyone should have the opportunity for an enhanced quality of life, regardless of where or how they are born.

What does this year’s theme, Together in Gender Equality, mean to you?
I am so happy to see that this year’s theme is about gender equality. The word “together” is what is most prominent for me. Gender equality has too often been considered as equivalent to “women and girls.” However, there is starting to be a shift in the discourse around what “gender equality” actually means, whom it affects, and who should be involved. For me, this theme recognizes that the patriarchal norms which dominate most spheres of society are inherently damaging for all genders in different ways, and we must therefore push for solutions that benefit all genders equally. This means that our solutions must be intersectional, and must involve people of all genders, ages, abilities, races, religions, sexual orientations, nationalities, and social and economic classes, among other considerations. Ultimately, these solutions should not just be equal, but equitable, inclusive, and developed by and for all members of society together.