|e-Connections: October 2013|
Dear colleagues and friends,
Did you know that October 11 is the "Day of the Girl Child”? The United Nations has declared this year’s theme as "Innovating for Girls’ Education”. Join the celebration on October 11 by sharing your ideas on Facebook.
I cannot help but recall the horrific shooting of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai as a result of her advocacy for education. During an interview today on the BBC World News, Malala commented that "terrorists are afraid of the power of education”, and she is quite right (read more about Malala here). As the UN has stated,
While it is clear that there simply is not enough work being done to maximize the effect the empowering girls can have on our world, TIAW’s Daughters program is working hard in this area. Join us on our mission next May to Cartago, Costa Rica and learn first-hand the extreme needs of our girls. Visit the Daughters page to register. You can also help mentor girls by joining our Daughters Committee. Just send an email to Daughters@tiaw.org and tell us you want to support the education of girls around the world.
The best kind of legacy any of us can leave is one that empowers the next generation. Thank you for helping TIAW and its network of women make all the difference in the world.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
What does the day of the Girl Child mean to the readers of this e-Connections article? How can you begin to make a difference in the life of a young girl, a future woman?
There is no lack of literature on the inequities toward young girls throughout our world, even within our own nations and local towns there still exists forms of discrimination toward girls.
When we reflect on our own schooling and work experience we can see that woman have certainly made empowerment gains but much more needs to be done. If we look at a social-psychological model of development for the young girl there exists three levels in which she learns and grows; her family, her school and her society. Long held non-supportive attitudes toward girls can exist at one or all of these levels.
How then can we affect change?
Do we attempt to change these attitudes or do we work directly with the girl child to help empower her to move beyond these limiting beliefs?
The answer will depend on the role that you play in your own life. You may be in a position to influence the macro levels of society if not you may help bring about change at the micro level of the girl child.
As powerful women we need to work together to insure that the potential that exists in the young girls of the 2013 world population is transformed into economically empowered women by 2025.
Self empowerment is the key to the girl child in not only believing she can but in taking action to move in a positive direction. TIAW’s program, TIAW Daughters, offers you an opportunity to work directly with girls and young women throughout the world to create empowerment in their life.
Let us as empowered women make it happen.
That’s why we should all be encouraged that the theme for this year is "Innovating for Girls’ Education”. A child’s right to education is enshrined in the 1990 Convention on the Rights of the Child and there is potent evidence that keeping girls in school, both primary and secondary, transforms both the lives of the girls but also their societies. We have learned that where schools are safe and inspiring for girls (and boys), their families will let them stay longer in school and girls are better able to plead for the right to stay in school. The longer they stay in school, the more likely that they will be able to delay the age of marriage and enter into marriage as more of an equal, better able to contribute to their family’s economic and social well-being. So, any innovation that gets more girls in school and keeps them there longer is worth our support and celebration.
TIAW World of Difference Award 2012
Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
TIAW has developed a platform to create change for young women and girls worldwide through the Daughters e-Mentoring Program.
Daughters is an innovative online mentoring program that matches young girls ages 14 to 24 with female professionals from around the world. Using the power of technology, volunteer mentors assist girls in the areas of education, career development, entrepreneurship, leadership development and empowerment.
Through the Daughters program, mentors directly impact girl's lives by providing educational and career advice, as well as access to resources including college scholarships and leadership development opportunities.
"Education is a right, but it is not a reality for too many women and girls. Education sends a message - a message of confidence and hope. It tells that child: you have a future; what you think matters." -- United Nations Secretary General's Global Initiative on Education 2012
TIAW is pleased to announce that Maxine Westaway has been named the 2013 recipient of the Mandy Goetze 21st Century Award, an honor that is bestowed each year to a member of TIAW who has made an extraordinary contribution to the development of the organization.
If there is a role to play at TIAW, chances are Maxine Westaway has been involved. For more than 15 years, she has undertaken a succession of roles, from TIAW member to board member, founding member of the TIAW Microcredit initiative, instigator and leader of trade missions, organizer and participant in TIAW International Trips to Bulgaria, Chile and Hong Kong, Microcredit Donor Trips to a variety of countries, TIAW Global Forum champion and organizer, President of the Board, Executive Director and head of Membership. Despite Maxine’s retirement last year she continues to be a very active supporter of TIAW and was recently appointed as the Director of the Microcredit Program where she continues to build on this flagship initiative.
Everything Maxine does, she does with no less than a 100% effort. She has tirelessly championed TIAW since the mid 1990s when she first became involved and in her many roles since then has been unflagging in her support and passion for the organization.
Based in Toronto, Canada, Maxine became involved in TIAW when she was promoting export business from Canada to China through a business she ran with her husband Allan – himself a stalwart TIAW Champion and recipient of the TIAW World of Difference 100 Award. Once she became a member, it wasn’t long until she began having a major impact on the organization, starting with her involvement in the organizing of the 1996 Global Forum which was held in Toronto that year.
"There truly couldn’t be anyone more central to the development of TIAW for over a decade than Maxine Westaway,” said Lisa Kaiser Hickey, President of the Board of TIAW. "She has been tireless in her efforts on behalf of the organization and we are deeply grateful for her involvement in so many different aspects of the organization.”The Mandy Goetze 21st Century Award will be presented at the TIAW World of Difference Awards dinner in Washington, DC on March 27, 2014, as part of the annual TIAW Global Forum.
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