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March 2015 Newsletter

 



A Letter From International Women's Initiative CEO


Dear IWI supporters,

It was International Women's Day on March 8th. This was a time to celebrate what has been achieved and to recognise how much more needs to be done to help the cause of women all over the world.

All women, and men, should want equality. Feminism has become a taboo, a word synonymous with man-hating and aggressive women. But all it simply means is equal rights for all. And who would want to deny the world that? No doubt there were the usual grumbling tweets and social media gags on the 8th. "Why is there an International Women's Day? When is international men's day then?" - Well there is an International Men's Day. It's November 19th. 

But back to honouring women and the need for equality. Women's rights are an essential part of universal human rights. They form a central principle of the United Nations, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. And yet, the fact remains that women and girls around the world often face gender-based discrimination that puts them at increased risk of a poor education, poverty, ill health, and violence.

On International Women's Day, we celebrate the progress made since the occasion was first marked in 1911. But it also represents an opportunity for females around the world to call for greater equality. This year's theme for International Women's Day is "Make it Happen". An important step in bringing about equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women is to secure the support and buy-in from men. Men and women need to work together to make change happen. This isn't just the right thing to do. It makes economic sense.

Evidence suggests that countries where women are equal to men have stronger growth and are more productive and prosperous. This means girls and women must have equal access to education and economic opportunities. Only when men and women participate equally can the world economically thrive.

Research from the World Bank suggests that almost half of women's productive potential globally is underutilised, compared to just a fifth of men's. Inclusive economic growth therefore, is a key ingredient, not only to unlock the potential of women and girls but nations as a whole. This means creating an environment that can enable women to access and seize opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Women invest nearly all their money they earn back into their family to educate and feed their children. That is why women and girls are at the heart of the UK Government's development work.

If women are healthy, educated, and free from violence, they will flourish. If women have a chance to work and earn as full and equal partners in society, their families will flourish. And when families flourish, communities and nations do as well.

On behalf of everybody at IWI, we wish everybody, men and women alike, a happy International Women's Day!

Best,
Aubrey Shayler 
 

IWI News

IWI Survivor's Blog Highlights

Within the past month the staff of IWI Survivor's Blog has presented several thought provoking articles and photographs. Among them are: 
  • Four (white) women received Oscar nods, as well as (two) black men. Patricia Arquette plead for equal pay while Sean Penn made a racist comment toward Alejandro Gonzalez Inarrit. While successfully perpetuating sexism, misogyny & racism, women and PoC were less likely to gain recognition for their performances. 
  • Girls in India are increasingly gathering the courage to say “No” to child marriage.  The establishment of Kishori Kalyan Samiti or Adolescent Girls’ Group in remote villages has helped to prevent early marriage and through greater girl activism, community leaders are supporting and backing the girls’ right to refuse marriage before age 18.
  • In the international treaty of Istanbul for the fight against the violence on the women, the article 38, approaches the question of the FGM. This agreement exposes the obligations of the nations concerned to act in terms of prevention to eradicate this phenomenon.
Our Survivor's Blog is an open window for exploring issues related to women's rights and development globally.  We have called it the Survivor's Blog because we find it vital for stories from survivors around the world to share their experiences in a forum alongside supporters.  All posts are monitored by Victoria Womersley, IWI's Blog Editor.  If you are interested in contributing a blog piece or have any suggestions, these can be sent directly to her at vwomersley@internationalwomensinitiative.org         

 


International News

Gender wage gap not likely to improve for another 70 years - The Independent

If trends continue, the gender wage gap will not close for another 70 years, says a document published by the International Labour Organisation. The executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka reported that not a single country has reached gender equality. For full article:  visit website

Several Chinese women activists arrested for planning peaceful demonstration for women's rights - NBC

At least 5 female activists have been detained in China after planning a peaceful demonstration for International Women's Day. The women planned to put up leaflets about sexual harassment. The charges against the women are unclear. To read more, visit website.

Cairo's women only train carriages reveal prevalence of sexual harassment - BBC

Women-only metro cars were introduced in Egypt in 2007 in order to protect women from facing sexual harassment on trains. A shocking 99% of Egyptian women report being sexually harassed, and hundreds have been raped since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. To learn more, visit website.

Hundreds of Yazidi girls forced into sex slavery in Syria - Jerusalem Post

Amnesty International believes the number of girls sold into sex slavery in Syria to be over 1,000. Claims by Yazidi women mirror claims made by Kurdish women that members of ISIS are being captured as slaves and sold in markets in Raqqa, ISIS's capital city. For more, visit website.
 

IWI Staff Spotlight


Please join us in welcoming Alyssa Chassman and Giulia Quadri to our team this month! Alyssa will be working as our new Director of Communications, and Giulia will be taking over the role of Communications Research Assistant. We are very excited to have them both on board.
 

Volunteer with IWI

We are currently recruiting for IWI staff. Our current vacancies include: Communications Research Assistant, Graphic Designer, Director of Corporate Relations, and Corporate Relations Assistant. If you are interested in any of these roles, please contact info@internationalwomensinitiative.org. 
 


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