colleagues and friends,
primary focus has long been trained on the economic empowerment of women and
girls through the avenues of entrepreneurship, leadership development and
access to micro credit. We acknowledge
that there are many pathways of empowerment, and one of the most fundamental is
access to health care and the importance of well-being.
the eight original Millenium Development Goals set by the UN, the one on which
the least progress has been made is in the reduction of maternal mortality (UN
Women Annual Report 2012-2013).
Maternal mortality is directly linked to lack of access to care but also
to lack of health education and prevailing social norms. Social norms have been identified in the AGALI
Economic Empowerment Report 2013 as one of six key factors affecting the
economic empowerment opportunities of adolescent girls.
AGALI reports that one of the three
main strategies currently being used by organizations working to promote
adolescent girls’ economic advancement is education and training for
life-skills and social support. Global
Ambassador Yasmine Khater shares her perspective as she writes in this edition about her
journey to balance a busy life with a healthy life. These are lessons girls everywhere need to
learn too, so please pass it on!
We also know
very well the devastating impact that violence against women has on their
health and livelihood. Global Ambassador
Jane Horan cites her perspective on the enormous economic, psychological and
social costs that unfortunately are more heavily directed against women. The afore-mentioned UN Report affirms that
this toll often goes unmeasured and even unrecognized.
economic empowerment and social support is often unique to each country. As summarized in a joint UN/Exxon Mobil study, “Whether an intervention works
depends on the economic situation of the woman and the context in which she
lives. In high fertility, agrarian economies, for example, programs for women
farmers need to be complemented by interventions seeking to reduce women's work
and time burdens, including access to quality family planning and reproductive
health services. In resource rich economies and small island nations, programs
should seek to identify and develop domestic and niche export markets
that are accessible to women producers”.
You can read the entire study here.
thread throughout is simple. Gender
rights are human rights. The societies
that provide economic, social and political support to both genders in equal
measure are those that will lead economic growth. TIAW has called for gender equality to be a
standalone MDG in 2015, and we are not alone.
The World Economic Forum defines gender equality in their Global
Competitiveness Report as “that stage of human social development at which
“the rights, responsibilities and opportunities of individuals will not be
determined by the fact of being born male or female, in other words, a stage
when both men and women realize their full potential”. I was pleased to read in the UN’s Millenium Development Goals: Beyond
2015 report a
positive recognition and support for gender equality and it’s role in a
The key that
unlocks all of these doors is awareness.
It is my purpose in this and every edition of TIAW’s e-connections to
provide portals to economic growth to each of you...it is your job to walk
through (and take others with you).
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
Global Ambassador Program
TIAW has ambassadors all over the world to connect personally with you
and your organization. They will be attending women's economic
conferences in the regions indicated and can be counted on to help you
connect to TIAW and also to other organizations and events with which
they are involved.
Featured Global Ambassador
Halima Namakula is a house-hold name in Africa and
internationally for her beauty, talent and for her work in girls and women
empowerment. Halima is Ugandan/American legendry singer and a Humanitarian,
know by name, face, speech and action.
As a Musician, she has so far released five Albums, her
first hit song “E’kimbeewo” released in 1999, became the number one song in
Uganda for 13 weeks and was highly played in the UK Night clubs. Halima has
turned a “low valued” profession into a “celebrity, top paying career” in
Africa by managing, promoting and advocating policies to recognize artists as
professionals. At her recording studio No-End Entertainment, she has mentored
over 70 young musicians to sing, behave well, have positive values and
positively impact their communities. Through music and drama, Halima has worked
with several organizations to use edutainment (educating people through
entertainment) to effectively communicate to communities about HIV/AIDS, Family
Planning, Prevention of Malaria, Good Sanitation and Economic Development.
In 2003, Halima started Women At Work International, a
Non-Government Organization with the vision of “A world free” where children
and women are empowered to claim equal rights, access to health services,
education, economic and socio-cultural opportunities.
Working with Program on Accessibility to health,
Communication and Education (PACE) in 8 districts of Uganda, Halima spearheaded
the Peer Education Program which resulted into Commercial Sex Workers moving
off the street and learned basic measures of preventing HIV/AIDS, use family
planning methods, got key leadership and entrepreneurship skills that have
tremendously improved their livelihoods as dignified women.
Halima has developed various programs to mentor young girls
including Hana Girls, a holiday camp for mentoring young women, and has
supported the GO GETTERS program and the Rising Star Mentoring Program as a
role model, mentor and motivational speaker.
project to empower women is the END-FISTULA PROGRAM. Virtually unheard of in developed
countries, obstetric fistula (Latin for hole) is an affliction of the very poor, and is
predominantly caused by neglected, obstructed labour resulting into a severe
medical condition in which a hole (fistula) develops between either the
rectum and vagina or between the bladder and vagina. For the last 2 years,
Halima has organized funds to do national communication campaigns, lobby the
government to provide budgets to health facilities and organized charity walks.
These have resulted into raising awareness, reducing of fistula cases and
mobilization of funds that have enabled over 400 women to be treated
Raising Bias Awareness on Women's Healthcare
by Jane Horan
celebrating the week of Women’s Health Care, President Obama noted that‘’as
Americans we strive to be a nation of broad-based prosperity…” which includes
access to affordable health care. In his address, Obama mentioned the
challenges women continue to face: working hard, receiving less compensation
and stretching pay cheques to cover costs. Health care is one the
greatest social and economic challenges in the United States. Insurance
companies today have fewer satisfied customers, with little tangible benefits
and increasing costs.
Health Care Week raises awareness of access to health care, removing
discrimination and increasing fees for previous conditions. The administration
focuses on discrimination demonstrated in higher premiums or denying coverage
for pre-existing conditions in women. This discussion makes sense and
will benefit many.However,
there is another form of discrimination which is ubiquitous and
unconscious. Unconscious bias filters through health care institutions,
and starts with the diagnosis. The biggest challenge with unconscious bias is
the inability to see the individual patient outside of specific demographics,
and serious health issues are often overlooked. Coronary heart disease is one
example. Men and women often present different symptoms with cardiac problems.
A backache, nausea or shortness of breath maybe interpreted as flu, a
panic attack, overworking or under exercising. This bias requires a rethink, a
throwback to old fashioned medicine–taking time to reflect, listen, question
and observe the patient.
heart disease is an equal opportunity killer, claiming the same number of lives
annually. Heart failure continues to be one of the leading causes of death for
women, sometimes misdiagnosed or misunderstood by patient and doctor. Yet
it is preventable.
recent New York Times article noted that scientists have called for an end to
gender bias, and put measures in place for research institutes to use male and
female lab animals, tissues and cells. The effects of gender equal research
will certainly reap the benefits in years to come. Health care planning,
research and policies, should refocus towards the benefits of prevention and
well-being. Throughout the National Women’s Health Care Week (and into the
future) medical institution providers should adhere to the fundamental
principle of equality. Despite economic circumstances, women should have full
access to health care in order to embrace healthier choices and lifestyles.
the White House re-commits to improving health care benefits for women,
unconscious bias training should be mandatory training across hospitals,
clinics and in medical schools.
I am always busy… Is that
by Yasmine Khater
Leaving Singapore, I was
burnt out by the intensity of my life, my job and especially the fast pace that
sometimes made me feel that my busy-ness was on steroids.
The most amazing part of
living in Spain is that it was the exact opposite of Singapore’s pace… It was
significantly slower and it opened my eyes to a new way of life.
So when I moved back to
Singapore, I had the intention of ensuring that my pace of life was under my
control. But over the months, I quickly fell back in the mode that I have
become uncontrollably busy. Was I trying to glorify my busy life? Was Brene Brown
right when she said that if we’re not busy, we think our lives become less
important? Was always being busy, another way for me to reinforce that I was
The Real Problem With
Being Too Busy
When you meet someone who
asks how you are, and you tell them that you are “Great, but busy” what are you
actually saying? I know it can be a pickle; for example, I have a friend who
works from home and her elderly neighbor would knock on the door five times a
day, just to see if she’s busy, or to say hello – a sweet gesture, but
completely untimely. She has now resorted to telling the neighbor that she’s
busy, very, very busy, with the result that the knocking has decreased by about
25%. But my friend’s productivity levels have dropped as a result of increased
agitation at the constant disruptions.
What happens in your mind
when you say “I’m busy”?
- I don’t have time for you
- I am overwhelmed
- I don’t have a good work/life balance
The Law of Attraction says
that whatever we put out there is what we receive more of. Do you want to have
less time? Do you want to be overwhelmed? Do you want a great career and no
That’s what you’ll get if
you keep saying it – so say with me “I am not actually that busy!”
How I got to say that I’m
actually not that busy!
Two weeks ago, I bumped
into a friend, and of course when I asked him how he was, he said what I have
been saying “Oh I am good, but super busy”. Hearing this, I decided to do a
I decided to make myself a
new mantra and test it out for two weeks, which I posted it up on bedroom wall.
I have replaced all the “I
don’t have time”, “Everything is good, but so crazy”, and replacing that with
“I have a lot on my plate and I will keep that in mind, but as of now it’s not
a priority,” just to see if that made a difference.
I identified things that I
didn’t enjoy doing and put them aside. I don’t check my personal mail very
often now, because it’s not a priority. I also started taking myself out of
projects that, although they were exciting, I didn’t have time for. The sole
purpose of this is to ensure that I spend all my time on things that are
priorities in terms of what I enjoy and that align with my core focus and
passion – where I see my life heading.
Today, using this kind of terms, because it generally is an inaccurate assessment
of a situation and that prevents us from understanding what is actually
happening on and how to fix it.
Changing our language
reminds us that time is a choice. If we don’t like the way we design our hour
doing something we don’t like, then do something differently.
I’m still not actually
This week was more
productive than ever. Other than my coaching calls, I was able have 4 coffee
meetings with people I really wanted to connect with, and I finished my free business training on how to
get more customers.
I let the creative process
take its time – I allowed myself to go on walks, watch a couple of movies and
just daydream. The best version of me is when I am not put into a corner, but
when I have the space to express what I need to.
So what about you? Do you
want to feel as fantabulous as I do? Then why not join me and be un-busy too.
Next time someone asks you how you are doing, what do you say? “Awesome, I am
actually not that busy.”
The latest issue of Dialogue
focuses on Big Data and the promise and peril it brings for leaders in a
world where change is accelerating and competition is intensifying,
including comment and contributions from Google, American Express, Cisco
and renowned business thinker Roger Martin. The May issue is
Also in Dialogue:
Kaiser-Hickey, President of The International Alliance for Women,
discusses the correlation between empowering women and GDP growth, as
well as the importance of achieving gender equality.
21st century brings a fresh conundrum: how can employers lead four
generations in the workplace in a consumer market dominated by
generation Y? Global business leaders debate the issue.
attitudes towards entrepreneurship and finding opportunities to raise
capital are vital to launching a start-up business in growth markets,
according to Laura Gonzalez, Professor of Business at Fordham University
and Diego García, Finance Director at pharmaceuticals giant Zoetis.
telecommunications leader, Murthy Chaganti launches his series of
viewpoints for Dialogue by asking how companies can give themselves a
chance to succeed in the rural parts of the sub-continent– a vast and
untapped global market.
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