Women Change the World


I found two articles today that highlight how women can – and do – change the world. In Africa, there was a recent meeting of women who work in development to help spur gender equality throughout the continent and embed equality into development practices.

Uganda has passed legislation stipulating that a third of the seats in parliament and local authorities should be occupied by women. Now, 29.8 percent of legislative seats are in female hands, according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

“These milestones have promoted women’s visibility and voice in decision-making processes at all levels, which is the key tenet of democratic governance,” President Yoweri Museveni remarked when opening the meeting

Meanwhile in Germany, women from the corporate world met and discussed how they can fight for better gender equality within their community.

“In one generation alone we have moved from a population of women who were far less educated and represented in the workforce than men to a 21st century reality that now has 40 to 50 percent of women working worldwide,” Natividad, who is of Philippines descent, said at the opening ceremony.

Rising women’s employment has been the main driving force of business growth over the past couple of decades, she said. Women may still not be paid on average as much as men, but that would not halt their progress, she said.

2 thoughts on “Women Change the World

  1. I have more good news about how women are working to change the world!

    Women of Global Action against Human Trafficking

    On Sunday, July 1st, approximately one hundred women gathered at Silverlake Community Church in Los Angeles for an evening conference hosted by Women of Global Action (see http://www.globalaction.nu/woga.php). The event was organized for women of faith to explore the subject of human trafficking and included a panel of experts who are working to stop sex trafficking at global and local levels.

    The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report issued by the U.S. State Department estimates that as many as 27 million people, mostly women and children, are being trafficked at any given time for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and bonded labor. In addition, according to a report from 2004, as many as 800,000 people are being trafficked across our national border each year.

    The event was hosted by Women of Global Action (WOGA) and produced by LA LOVES (www.laloves.org) with the goal of educating their constituency about this epidemic and providing tangible actions for participants to take in order to take a stand against trafficking and the commercial sex industry.

    Women of Global Action has active networks throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. Their networks in both Burma and Ethiopia are actively working to combat sex trafficking.

    Organizations taking part in the evening were:

    • Trade as One who sell products made by ex-trafficked women in order to provide an alternative income,
    • NightLight who run a business in Bangkok that provides women from the commercial sex industry an alternative life of making jewelry,
    • Tiny Stars who provide law enforcement with on-the-ground agents who collect evidence of US citizens engaging in child prostitution abroad,
    • The Salvation Army’s Safe Refuge Project which partners with churches to raise awareness on these issues and which fights the commercial sex industry,
    • After Hours who work among the pimps and prostitutes on the streets of LA,
    • LA Loves who use the arts to educate and inspire action.

    Practical steps of action taken as a result of what people learned that evening were:

    • Buying products made by people released from trafficking – Over $1,500 was bought on the night,
    • Donating to extend the work of NightLight in Bangkok where 75 women are employed and where a waiting list for employment exists – one person donated a month’s salary for a woman at NightLight,
    • Signing up for more training on how to combat the commercial sex industry and reach those in it in LA,
    • 11 new women joined the Women of Global Action: LA Chapter as a way to unite themselves with other women in their city who are concerned with justice issues impacting young women globally.

    Nathan George, founder of Trade as One commented: “The subject of exploiting the poor and vulnerable for the purposes of rape for profit is one of the most emotive subjects today, made all the more important because of the sheer scale of the industry. More people are trafficked today than in all of the 400 years of the transatlantic slave trade. 80% of them are women and children, and the majority are for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Combating a trade as large and powerful as this requires much wider general awareness not just of the issues but more specifically of tangible actions that can be taken by ordinary people to stop it. What WOGA and LA Loves put on tonight was a beautiful snapshot of exactly the sort of awareness building and practical action that is needed all around the country. We were very privileged to be a part of it and hope that many more like it take place in the coming months.”

    “The small role that Trade as One want to play is to create a route to market in America for the products made by those released from trafficking in order to allow businesses like NightLight in Bangkok to flourish. Our focus is on selling products that provide the poor with dignified jobs that keep them out of the clutches of the traffickers.”

    About Trade as One
    Trade as One is a Cupertino, California-based online retailer that offers people with strong moral beliefs, irrespective of political or religious conviction, the power to act on those beliefs by buying products that they need and in doing so, break cycles of bonded labor and dependency around the world. Trade as One sells jewelry, house wares, fashion accessories, and foodstuffs such as coffee, tea, rice, and sugar – all sourced according to the principles of fair trade. Trade as One exists to tell the stories of people freed, of lives redeemed, and to provide a market for products that sustain transformational businesses around the world. To learn more about the company, its unique mission and products, please visit http://www.tradeasone.com.

    Trade as One: Change lives with all you buy.
    Contact: Nathan George at Nathan@tradeasone.com, tel: (408) 517-0895

    Women of Global Action: Connecting and educating women to impact their world with God’s love.
    In Los Angeles, contact Cheryl Lovejoy at lovejoyrc@aol.com. In Colorado, tel: (719) 528-8728.

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