Here is a very hopeful and heartening piece about the strides women are making worldwide. It is long. Look for the second half in my next post.
Women’s Movement Is World Wide! Part 1
The Internationalization of Women’s Issues
By Luisita Lopez Torregrosa
Published: January 8, 2013
NEW YORK – At the dawn of this new year, a note of cautious optimism is rising
from female leaders, activists and advocates who are anticipating major new strides
as “women issues” go global.
“Women issues are world issues,” Michelle Bachelet, the executive director of U.N.
Women and former president of Chile, said recently. “Today there is greater
awareness than ever before that women’s full participation is essential for peace,
democracy and sustainable development.”
At the same time, Alyse Nelson, chief executive of Vital Voices Global Partnership,
a nongovernmental organization that trains and empowers emerging female leaders
and social entrepreneurs around the globe, noted that “the pace and nature of
globalization have worn away the distinction between ‘women’s issues’ and global
issues. In 2013, women who find real solutions and leverage their leadership to
empower others will rise to the international stage in increasing numbers – and not
because they’re women.
I believe these women are the vanguard of a new era of global leadership.”
A universal vision seems at work here: Elect more women as heads of state and
government (there are only 21 worldwide) and to parliaments, and promote more
women to corporate boards and executive positions; advance and empower women
in the developed and developing world; close the gender pay gap; and improve
Meantime, violence against women, a central focus of U.N. Women’s agenda, has
exploded as a world issue. “In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten,
raped, abused, or mutilated during their lifetimes,” Ms. Bachelet said. “There can
be no peace, no progress, when women live under the fear of violence.”
Indeed, Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani student shot by Taliban attackers after she
spoke up on behalf of girls’ education, has become a global symbol, renewing efforts
to protect schoolgirls in extreme patriarchal societies.
India, the world’s largest democracy, was put on notice that women would
not be silent anymore. Thousands of people have joined female demonstrators
against government and police mishandling of rape cases and insensitivity to
women in general. Large protests over a fatal gang rape became front-page
news around the world, and protesters, led by women, demanded stronger laws
against rape, sexual harassment and child abuse.
Tomorrow: Women’s Movement Is World Wide! Part 2
Donna Henes is the author of The Queen of My Self: Stepping into Sovereignty in Midlife. She offers counseling and upbeat, practical and ceremonial guidance for individual women and groups who want to enjoy the fruits of an enriching, influential, purposeful, passionate, and powerful maturity. Consult the MIDLIFE MIDWIFE™
The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.