Happy Mardi Gras/100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day!

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Lately, I have been working hard to finalize a proposal for my non-profit organization I plan to start. In my organization, single mothers in East African urban slums will enter into a two year program where they receive resources such as classes and business training, employment, childcare and micro-finance loans. These opportunities create stronger, educated women who are eager to make a difference in their own communities. 

I believe to the core that investing in women and girls is key in helping to diminish global poverty and no matter what happens with my non-profit this belief will never change. 

One of my main inspirations for the project is Nicholas Kristof. If you don’t know the extreme respect I have for him, you don’t know me. Today in his blog, Kristof reminded me that today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day in a way that honored Muhammed Yunus. Yunus, a Nobel laureate,  started Grameem bank and revolutionized business loans to create an idea that gave out small loans to the impoverished. He has created a movement that has helped millions of women generate income and create lives outside of poverty. Yunus has recently been removed from his position as managing director. This ridiculous move was made by Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh’s female prime minister. She reasons it is because Yunus is older than the allowed retirement age.

In Kristof’s blog, Do Women Leaders Matter?, he approaches the idea that women empowerment goes deeper than just electing a woman leader. Sheikh Hasnia is proof that just because a woman is in power does not mean she necessarily creates positive change. Kristof states that “women’s rights isn’t a battle between men and women, it’s also not the case that the only beneficiaries will be women. When girls get educated, when women enter the formal labor force, when female talent can be realized, then all society benefits, men along with women.”

Kristof’s words in this blog describe exactly what I am working for. I am not working for women empowerment just to make sure women are equal to men, even though this is well deserved, but to benefit society as a whole. The quicker the world can see this, the quicker we can make positive change. 

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