Peter Buffett’s deeply thoughtful OpEd piece in the New York Times (July 27 2013) has been on my mind for weeks. I read the letters to the editor and the posts of those scrambling to respond and I also noted that 95% of those responses were from men. Where were the voices of women? And how did gender factor into the equation of both the original piece and in the responses?
In his article Buffett states that, as the son of Warren Buffett, early on in his philanthropic journey, he and his wife became aware of a phenomena they dubbed ‘philanthropic colonialism.’ Here it seemed that the donor was attempting to solve local problems rather than allowing local communities to define the problem and determine the response and then receive the funds to make this response possible.… Continue Reading
Like many others living here in the US, I’ve been riveted by the 50th Anniversary of the original 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom while also seeking to understand the relevance of this today.
At the March this year, five women spoke and yet these women represented, at most, 20% of the speakers.
Where were the other women and what were their memories, views, hopes and dreams?
During the 1963 March on Washington, women such as Rosa Parks and Dorothy Height marched down Independence Avenue, while men walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, where the media congregated.… Continue Reading
As an Australian woman living in the United States, and working with women globally to advance their human rights, it was a momentous week. In the US, President Obama signed a memorandum designed to accelerate, extend and strengthen government actions across multiple sectors to better promote gender equality and empower women and girls.
The President signed this memorandum into law in the presence of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In doing so, he said
“promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives.”
This Presidential directive includes the following:
Establishment of an interagency working group on international gender issues chaired by the National Security Advisor
Designation of an Ambassador-at-Large reporting directly to the Secretary to head the office of Global Women’s Issues
Formal recognition of the importance of women’s voices and actions to development
Commitment to a Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the U.S.
It’s timely that Australia has just appointed its first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. With the convergence of world leaders in New York last week for the UN General Assembly and for the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting, there was an opportunity for these leaders to make, or advocate for, a greater investment in women and girls, who comprise almost 70% of the world’s poor. Some important women leaders were present in person or via satellite link. Aung Sang Syu Ki spoke eloquently of the hopes and determination of the people of Burma to realize a democratic nation, and of the need for other countries to maintain their support.… Continue Reading