Posts Tagged ‘women’

 

New Read: Half the Sky

Posted by caroline little on September 16th, 2009

Half the SkyThis week at GlobalGiving many of us are reading the new book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Pulitzer- Prize winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

While exposing the horrors women in the developing world face on a daily basis—gender-based violence like honor killings and genital mutilation, the sex trade, and high rates of easily preventable maternal mortality—the book also shows how changing the circumstances of just one woman can have a powerful ripple effect on her family and the community at-large. Through the work of our GlobalGiving project leaders, we’re lucky enough to see the effects of empowering disadvantaged women first hand.

Consider this update posted earlier this year from a women’s collective in Bihar, India who is looking to raise funds to help support their sewing centers that provide a community space and help women learn a valuable trade: “I was married two years ago and I am lucky because my husband is kind to me and gives me permission to go to the market and sewing centre. But some other members are not so lucky, but under pressure from all of us we get their husbands not to object to their wives coming to the centre. Here we are learning a useful skill but this is the only place we can meet as women in friendship and in mutual support. We are now stopping drunken behavior from the men, we have patrolled the village with 35 of us forcing the local drinking shop to close, now drunken beatings are a thing of the past and our village is more peaceful and we feel more secure.”

We’re so pleased that Kristof and WuDunn have brought this important issue to the forefront, and are humbled to be included in the book under “Four Steps You Can Take in the Next Ten Minutes.” Right now we’re featuring a great promotion; donate $100 to any GlobalGiving project and receive a copy of Half the Sky for free. Check out our Half the Sky page for some pre-selected projects that relate to the book.

If you’ve already had a chance to read the book, please share your thoughts! What story did you find the most compelling? Where do you think change needs to happen most urgently, and through what means?

BlogHers Rock!

Posted by Donna Callejon on April 7th, 2008

As a member of the Board of a fast-growing Women’s Fund, it’s sometimes easy to forget that everyone doesn’t look at philanthropy through a gender lens, but Fern Portney’s post over on Philantopic caught my eye as i was catching up on my blog reading this weekend. She brings together several threads that are well known among a subset of those in the philanthropic sector, but not covered well by the mainstream philanthropy press. To excerpt the punchline:

As an advisor to the initiative, I’ve observed the following phenomena, which bode well for the future of philanthropy:

  • Women donors are strategic. They understand, deeply, the wisdom of funding women and girls.
  • They care about impact and know that women’s funds — which vet their grassroots grantees for effectiveness — are an effective way to be sure their dollars truly make a difference.
  • They are relational. They want to give in community, to give together.
  • They are egalitarian and recognize that their dollars are far less effective without “grantee partners,” the women on the front lines who know how to use the funding they provide. In the world of women’s funds, you will see donors and grantees working side by side, a Disney heiress collaborating with the director of a shelter in Harlem.
  • Women are charging ahead even as the economy falters. Women Moving Millions has quickly surpassed $90 million toward its $150 million goal.

The upshot? Women are positioned to lead the way in shaping philanthropy’s future.

Today we are pleased to be powering a campaign that aims to harness the power of the women of the blogosphere to make good on the promise inherent in Fern’s post. BlogHer – the dominant women’s blogger portal – is reaching out to 8 million women who read blogs by and for women – and launching BlogHers Act. For the next month prominent women bloggers will be featuring stories on the subject of maternal health around the world, and encouraging readers (and anyone else) to support five projects via GlobalGiving. We are very psyched to be part of this effort, and to see the power of the BlogHer community in action.

Read the press release here.

V-Day, Around the World

Posted by Donna Callejon on February 14th, 2008

1999-movement.jpg

It’s Valentine’s Day. Or, for many people who are trying to end violence against women, it’s “V-Day.” 2008 marks the 10th Anniversary of V-Day, the brainchild of writer and performer, Eve Ensler. Who would have thought that a little play-ful of vignettes about women’s sexuality, called the Vagina Monologues, would turn into an international movement, with performances of the play taking place all over the world? Events are scheduled on college campuses, in churches, and in dozens of countries throughout 2008. They will attract thousands of people, make them more aware of the unconscionable violence that takes place against women and girls every day, and – we all hope – spur both men and women to become advocates for organizations working to change this dynamic.

Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda were on the Today Show today, talking about the anniversary. Aside from embarrassing Meredith Vieira by uttering a no-no word on network TV, they highlighted the work V-Day is doing in the Congo, where Today’s Ann Curry has been reporting for the last couple of days. Taking on rape and sexual violence again women in the Congo is truly God’s work, and it’s great to see mainstream media putting real faces and voices to the atrocities that continue. Go Ann!

We try to not be to “salesy” on this blog, but if you are interested in supporting some great organizations working to prevent and address this kind of gender violence, check out gender-based projects on GlobalGiving.

Happy V-day.

A Trifecta

Posted by mari on November 29th, 2007

As most of my friends and colleagues know, one of my favorite columns of my favorite online publication is The Dismal Science column on Slate. And I muse often–and out loud–about how women do (or do not) behave differently at work than men, or whether they have greater chances at happiness today than before, because I’ve come to a feminist consciousness late in life and I feel like I need to make up for lost time. And I love the science of economics, despite not having chosen it in college or in graduate school–again, making up for lost time.

So this latest article from Slate started talking about how when legislative mandates forced more women into leadership positions in village councils, the delivery of public goods increased (and the quality of such goods stayed as high as when men were in leadership positions) but residents of villages headed by women were actually less satisfied with the public goods, I thought I’d hit the trifecta. [Icing on the cake: the Slate article cited the work of Esther Duflo, whse work at the Poverty Action Lab at MIT I have really admired over the years.]

My trivial little delight at finding an article that was as relevant as any Google ad served up to me in my Gmail account using entirely analog searching techniques aside, this finding really makes me pause. Because the implications are startling. Either we have really not understood the nature of public goods (and they aren’t really good for people), or we have hardwired biases against being able to perceive objective reality (which means those biases are extremely difficult to overcome, or …

It’s something I actually often wonder about international development. There’s a small group of people in the world (and I hang out with them all the time, so my own perspective is warped) who have the privilege of knowing about, and participating in, the adventure that development can be. How we can communicate the drama and the incredible high that comes from hard-won success to people who don’t know about it–and perhaps even have a bias against learning more about it?

But I’m a liberal at heart–I do believe human nature can change. After all, if I can gain feminist consciousness and an appreciation of the dismal science late in life, why not?