|e-Connections: April 2014|
Dear colleagues and friends,
What an experience we shared at TIAW’s 2014 Global Forum! I am very confident that no one who attended walked away without new connections, new knowledge, and renewed inspiration in our joint mission to economically empower women worldwide. Thank you, Chair Peg Weir, for leading the development of this event.
It will be quite difficult to call out one moment or encounter that was anything less than outstanding, but I think for so many of us the sheer joy and liberation that Halima Namakula’s enthusiastic performance inspired over our luncheon was certainly a high point. I personally enjoyed the opening luncheon for our member presidents, and it was clear that they did too. For those that attended the reception at the home New Zealand’s ambassador, “impressed” is a small word for the hospitality, the atmosphere, and those that gathered.
Our speakers were beyond remarkable. From the opening “super panel” of Lifetime Achievement Award winners to Melanne Verveer’s keynote at the dinner, all of us began to think in synchronicity about the task that still lies ahead of us...gender equality in every nation and country of the world. As we closed with the reading of the Declaration to the UN calling for gender equality as a stand-alone goal in the revised MDGs for 2015, I imagine that many of you had the sensation I did when I heard it: the hairs on my arms and neck felt like they were standing on end! We’ve posted the Declaration on our web site, so please be sure to read it anew and share it with your associations. Please thank Andrina Lever and Sam Bulte for authoring the text to perfection. Fittingly, our Honorary Patron Amanda Ellis delivered the Declaration to the UN in New York.
This year’s group of World of Difference Award-winners continued to elevate the quality and breadth of impact on behalf of women for which they were recognized. Honorary Patron Amanda Ellis and I were humbled to share hugs, kisses and congratulations with each of these winners as we presented their certificates. Photographs of the winners are up on the TIAW web site now, and I hope you will re-live the joy as you view them.
I close my message with a deep appreciation for the twelve women, many of them World of Difference Award-winners, who stepped forward to become Global Ambassadors for TIAW. We will all be honored to continue to connect with these and all of the remarkable award-winners in the coming months.
The Global Forum and World of Difference Awards were TIAW at its very best. If you or your organization are not members or have let your membership lapse, we welcome you with open arms. Join us again. Our collective power is rising and our goal is jointly held.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
This is an outstanding moment for TIAW and will clearly advance our vision to provide thought leadership for the economic empowerment of women.
It is very interesting to know how; people have different values, different meanings and different attitudes towards some specific things like the word “gender”. What does gender mean to you and how do you relate gender to equality and justice? Does equality mean justice to you? More specifically, how do we connect gender equality to empowerment of women with disabilities? I believe you will have different answers if we should compare. But are you aware, nobody can talk or treat the topic gender without talking about people with disabilities and their responsibilities as citizens? This group of people forms 10 to 15 percent of any population in the world but they are the most forgotten by the policy makers and the most neglected by the policy implementers. Yet, we claim we perfectly understood the word “gender equality”.
Do you believe in education which is the weapon that you can use to change the world? Let me tell you a short story which happened just a month ago in my community in Ghana.
For about nine months now, we at EEPD AFRICA have been campaigning for equal access to education for persons with disabilities throughout the country, and we have met teachers and headmasters and other duty bearers. You would hope that these main stakeholders in education would have detailed knowledge of the government’s policies on inclusive education, but we find them actively flouting these policies. It is disheartening to see a headmistress reject a physically disabled girl just because she cannot walk to school. Apart from education, what else can be the way of empowering this girl’s life? This link below shows you what really happened on the ground. The act is barbaric.
Among other things, we have totally forgotten where we have started this fight for gender from. What I can recollect was the World Conference in 1995 till the present UN Convention on the rights with people with disabilities –UNCRPD. Interestingly this was said, ”Non-discriminatory education, benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men. Equality of access to and attainment of educational qualifications is necessary if more women are to become agents of change. Literacy of women is an important key to improve health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society. ’ (Fourth World Conference on Women., Beijing 1995. Platform for Action, Paragraph 69.)
Think about the phrase, “gender equality and empowerment of women as a global issue and find a global solution for it.
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 April issue is available here.
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