Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2012
Today, March 8th
, marks the 15th
anniversary of International Women’s Day
. Focused on Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities, and Progress for All
, International Women’s Day is about far more than the continuing effort to shatter the glass ceiling (for more on gender inequity, read this
OECD Report and this
World Bank Report ).
Around the world, women make up 70%
of the 1.3 billion people living in poverty. According to the UN
, Women account for a vast percentage of the world’s absolute poor, disproportionally suffering from hunger, disease, environmental degradation and impoverishment. Even more distressingly, women perform 66% of the world’s work, and produce 50% of the food, yet earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the property (2009
It is becoming clear that investing in women gives more “bang for the development buck” as investments made in women trickle down
to positively impact their children and communities. In the developing world women are more and more seen as the
societal change agents for lifting themselves, their families, and their communities out of poverty. (For more details on the multiplier effect of investing in women and girls read this blog
post and watch this GirlEffect video
In addition, despite systemic imbalances throughout the world, women control the majority of “household” money – the daily funds used for food, cooking fuel, lighting, and children’s education. Taken together, women represent a $10 trillion market
, about 1/6 of the world’s economy.
In business, too, we see more and more women-led organizations tackling this problem household by household. In our 9 years of experience with The Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBITM)
at Santa Clara University, we have trained 50 women social entrepreneurs to help them build and scale sustainable organizations that solve problems for people living in poverty. Many have set up organizations designed to empower women and girls.
Below are a few examples of exceptional GSBI alumni tackling some of these issues. We salute them, and the millions of other enterprising leaders striving to end poverty, and the feminization of poverty, for good.
Zipporah Ogwenyi, Binti Africa Foundation, Kenya (GSBI ’08). The Binti Africa Foundation provides poor women and girls in Kenya’s rural areas with access to education and products for health, sanitation, and social empowerment. This includes producing low cost, affordable, and locally produced sanitary pads; providing information about health and rights; and creating clubs with a focus on mentoring and building young girls' confidence.
Suraiya Haque, Phulki, Bangladesh (GSBI ’05). Phulki Provides low cost day care facilities in Bangladesh to enable women to achieve economic emancipation without sacrificing the well-being of their children. Phulki has also begun a project to provide a ‘safety net’, providing counseling, skill training, education and legal services for the thousands of young women working in homes in Bangladesh.
Katherine Lucey, Solar Sister Uganda (GSBI ‘11). Solar Sister eradicates energy poverty by empowering women with economic opportunity. Using an Avon-style distribution system, Solar Sisters sell solar lighting products directly to female heads of household – providing light, hope, and opportunity. Read more on their blog.
Jabeen Jamughodawala, Sahaj, India (GSBI ’09). SAHAJ is a fair trade organization, working with tribal women artisans of eastern Gujarat, India to create home-based livelihood opportunities. SAHAJ economically empowers these women by providing product design and development, business development, marketing, micro finance, and capacity building for women’s craft industries. This helps the women to be able to stay at home, send their children to school and take care of their health and agriculture.
Photo Credit: Gifts and Graces blog
Gregorie Perez, Gifts and Graces, Phillippines (GSBI ‘09). Gifts and Graces works to improve opportunity for the poor and disadvantaged who seek to earn income by making handicrafts and other livelihood products. Those who benefit most are often female entrepreneurs who use their craft to overcome poverty and become leaders and role models in their communities. Gifts and Graces partners with other NGOs to identify marginalized groups, and then provides product development assistance and training which will help them sharpen their creativity, and improve their craft, and strengthen sales.
Want to read more?
Posted by Katie Buck & Carolyn Lucey |
Wednesday, Mar. 7, 2012
This is part 2 of our Immersion Trip series. You can view part 1 here.
Wednesday, February 22
A morning workout means encountering social entrepreneurs from South Africa who are contemplating replication of HPS: small world theory in action?
Mobile transaction at EKO in Delhi.
Outside the EKO CSP (Customer Service Point).
Thursday, February 23
An early morning flight to Amritsar brings us to the Punjab.
Greetings at Amritsar airport by the manager, on the left. eHealthPoint CEO Amit Jain is next to her in the front row.
Our drive to Rajeana exposes us to some of the realities of India: one of our two buses breaks down, then the remaining bus is stopped for a routine police check, revealing that our driver is unlicensed. We are not comforted to learn that he has applied.
CEO Amit Jain (GSBI '08; Tech Awards '11) and Professor Sukhi Singh save the day through negotiations with the police and we are on our way once again.
We arrive in Rajeana to a formal greeting by the village elders.
Greeting at Rajeana.
This full service eHealthPoint
center includes a telemedicine consultation room, diagnostic lab, supply-chain validated pharmacy, and X-ray facility as well as a water point.
Delegation, village elders, and eHP staff at Rajeana clinic.
Ashley Kim with the Rajeana eHP diagnostic lab manager.
Two NASSCOM Social Innovation Award winners: Anudip CEO Radha Basu and eHealthPoint CEO Amit Jain, at Rajeana.
The faculty take a now-repaired bus with a licensed driver to Sukhi’s village, where they are greeted with great fanfare, and spend the night. The rest of the delegation travels to a second eHealthPoint
center in Gurusar.
Susan and Sherrill with village children after distribution of See’s candies.
We visit the Golden Temple in Amritsar
during night prayers. We feel ignorant about the Sikh faith, and learn as we see the rituals and hear beautiful song.
Golden Temple, Amritsar.
Friday, February 24
Friday morning, we fly back to Delhi, and after lunch nearly half the delegation departs for a shopping excursion, returning successfully before our farewell dinner at the Oberoi.
Satyan Mishra, Founder of Drishtee
(GSBI '06) and eHealthPoint
CEO Amit Jain, as well as his son – a prospective SCU student – join us to celebrate a transformational collective learning experience in social justice.
Farewell dinner. Amit’s son is to the far left and Satyan is between Thane and Sherrill.
Friday, Mar. 2, 2012
Want to see more photos? Visit our Facebook Page!
Who: Asi Burak & Michelle Byrd, Co-Presidents
What: Games for Change: www.gamesforchange.org/
Where: Headquarters in New York City, NY. Impacting: Globally
When: The Tech Awards 2011 Microsoft Education Award Laureate: www.thetechawards.thetech.org/
How: Games for Change brings together organizations and individuals from the social impact sector, government, media, academia, the gaming industry and the arts to create and distribute social impact games.
Thursday, Mar. 1, 2012
Since its founding the Center for Science, Technology, and Society (CSTS) has promoted the use of science and technology to benefit underserved communities around the world. The Center continues to work with diverse social entrepreneurs who are using innovation and entrepreneurship to build appropriate and sustainable organizations that directly impact underserved populations. Our expertise and network enabled us to create a trip for Santa Clara University faculty and Executives to facilitate in-depth experiences with communities at the forefront of innovation in India.
Sunday, February 19
All 12 of our Santa Clara University
delegation arrived in Kolkata by today, via Dubai, Frankfurt, or Bangkok.
The afternoon is devoted to immersion in the City of Joy, with visits to the Victoria Memorial; St. John’s Church; an obelisk commemorating the black hole of Kolkata, as described in Dipak Basu’s A Flight of Green Parrots; and the Mother Teresa Center, where Fr. Reites takes communion.
At the Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. From left: Fr. Jim Reites, S.J.; Thane Kreiner; Ashley Kim; Silvia Figueria; Susan and Bill Carter; Suki Singh; Larry Hambly; Sherrill Dale; Ruth Davis; Hohyun Lee.
Larry Hambly asks our guide questions along the Ganges in Kolkata.
Thane, Hohyun, and Fr. Reites outside Mother Teresa Center in Kolkata.
The largest Communist rally in several years attracts fewer participants than organizers expect, minimally affecting traffic but affording us some great photo ops.
Communist rally in Kolkata.
A welcome reception is followed by dinner is at a terrific Bengali restaurant, Aaheli; Fulbright Fellow Preeta Banerjee of Brandeis joins us this evening and through the day on Monday.
The Carters celebrate with a birthday/anniversary cake at Aaheli; it is neither their anniversary nor either of their birthdays!
Monday, February 20
We visit Metiabruz, an Anudip
(GSBI '04) MERIT Center in a minority Muslim community. Many of the young women are delighted that we have returned. They pepper the School of Engineering
faculty and our Advisory Board members with questions, and demonstrate a strong working knowledge of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.
On the bus to Metiabruz, with Preeta Banerjee, Fulbright Scholar from Brandeis.
Anudip team and SCU delegation at Metiabruz MERIT Center with the prestigious NASSCOM Social Innovation Prize recently won by Anudip.
Several hours later and picking up Madukhar Shukla of XLRI, we arrive at a rural MAST (Market Aligned Skills Training) Center in Gocharan, where we are warmly greeted by faculty and students; they shower us with handmade gifts. Anudip’s
partner at this Center is Alor Pathe.
Dipak Basu at Anudip’s Gocharan MAST Center in partnership with Alor Pathe.
Driving back into Kolkata, we visit GSBI 2011 alum Piyush Jaju of ONergy
, which focuses on last mile distribution of solar home systems and other solar products. A demonstration is followed by wonderful homemade appetizers prepared by Mrs. Jaju, who also opens her fabric shop to our fruitful attentions.
ONergy demonstration site in Kolkata; Piyush Jaju, Co-Founder is in the doorway, and Madukar Shukla is in the front.
Preeta, Madukhar, and Fr. Xavier of Xavier University join us for a Thai dinner at the hotel.
Tuesday, February 21
Departing early, we fly to Patna, the capital of Bihar, one of the poorest states in India. A heavy lunch fortifies us for the 4+ hour drive to cover approximately 115 km to a Husk Power Systems
(GSBI '09, Tech Awards '10) site in time to see the village light up. The villagers remember Thane and Sherrill from 2011.
Fr. Reites atop the rice husk feeding tower.
We drive back arriving at the hotel quite late.
The journey continues next week in part 2 of this blog series!
Friday, Feb. 24, 2012
Want to see more photos? Visit our Facebook Page!
Who: Cora Zayas Sayre, Executive Director
What: Water, Agroforestry, Nutrition and Development Foundation (WAND): www.wandphilsorg.com
When: The Tech Awards 2011 Intel Environment Award Laureate: www.thetechawards.thetech.org/
How: WAND has developed a low-cost composting toilet using local materials called Ecosan, which prevents water contamination and the spread of disease while producing valuable fertilizer from human waste. In the Philippines, 20 million people have inadequate access to sustainable sanitation.