|e-Connections: July 2013|
Dear colleagues and friends,
For over thirty years, the mission of TIAW is to advance economic empowerment for women. By ‘economic empowerment’, we mean that a woman is able to succeed and advance economically as well as freely make her own economic decisions. However, women don’t start out in life as women, nor are they empowered in any way in many countries whether by cultural or political constraints. It all begins with a girl.
According to AGALI (Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy and Leadership Initiative), which has brought together over 100 leaders and organizations working to transform the lives of adolescent girls in Africa and Latin America, there are six critical factors that contribute to adolescent girls’ economic empowerment*:
TIAW’s Daughters Program focuses on the promotion of economic empowerment for girls aged 14-24. Our initial work is around financial literacy education. We are looking for partners to add employment training and life skills training.
While there simply is not enough work being done to maximize the effect the empowering girls can have on our world, there are many organizations lending extraordinary effort. A personal favorite of mine is the Nike Foundation, whose work I have followed for many years. I urge you to go to www.girleffect.org and watch the video Nike has created. It will revolutionize your thinking about the power of a girl.
Nike tells us all why we cannot wait to help our girls**
1. GIRLS ARE AGENTS OF CHANGE
2. PEOPLE ASSUME GIRLS ARE BEING REACHED
3. THE COST OF EXCLUDING GIRLS IS HIGH
In the meantime, I urge you to take a look at their excellent research directly:
We must all engage to support the economic empowerment of the girl in our communities around the world. Start by joining our Daughters Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s the kind of change that lasts forever.
Lisa Kaiser Hickey
*as published on www.agaliprogram.org
**as published on www.girleffect.org courtesy of Nike Foundation
"Education is not preparing for Life; education it is Life.” -- John Dewey
Education is life and for women the more economic empowered they are the better their life; the better the life of their children and the economy in which they live. One of the goals of The International Alliance for Women, TIAW is the economic empowerment of women throughout the world.
How is this economic empowerment achieved?
Education is key to the successful economic empowerment of women. Through both formal and informal educational programs women achieve the skills, knowledge and understandings that permit them to grow personally. This personal empowerment is the biases for economic empowerment.
Research shows that when women are educated there is a far reaching ripple effect that extends beyond the mind of that woman. Through her new found educated enhanced self she becomes a strong confident powerful woman. The ripples spread to her immediate family to positively impact her children both in health and knowledge. With this new powerful educated self she will influence her community and the economic development of her local region.
As an educator for over twenty-five years it never failed to amaze me that the young women who sat in front of me tended for the most part to set their educational achievements and economic goals lower than their males counterparts. It became for me as a teacher a focus of attention and question.
How can you help produce a ripple?
I invite you to check the TIAW website to explore the educational programs they offer and discover how you can get involved.
It is very interesting to know that disability is among the global dialogue on development under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA). They promised to hold the sixth session of the convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York between 17th to 19th July. Did you check if it was held? According to the UN-DESA News, this year’s focus is on "the ways to ensure adequate standard of living and empowerment through inclusive social protection and poverty reduction strategies: disability-inclusive development in national, regional and international processes, and community-based rehabilitation and habilitation for inclusive society.”
This sounds very captivating and promising to any individual who reads this session's goals. The question is, if all these goals can be attained if the people with disabilities do not have both formal and informal education. As Nelson Mandela once said "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Do people with disabilities have full access to this most powerful weapon? Would they also be able to change the world? I hope you would follow the discussions and add your voice for a better access and inclusive education.
On 12 July 2013, Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York. The date marked her 16th birthday and was recognized internationally as Malala Day. Over 500 youth leaders were represented that day from countries worldwide. Malala was introduced by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea. This was her first high-level appearance after the assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus on 9 October 2012.
U.N. Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, helped organize the event and launch the petition in Malala’s name demanding that all children worldwide be able to attend school by the end of 2015.
In her speech she proclaimed that "Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and ever girl that have raised their voice for their rights.”
You can watch the entire United Nations address here.
She closed her poignant speech by stating, "One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first.”
Malala along with the help of others has established a fund to focus on helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education. The Malala Fund launches in Fall of 2013. Visit www.malalafund.org for more information.
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