The Power of Global Networks - Blog Series

Click on the location markers below to read posts from women's funds around the world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are You a Social Venture Capitalist?

Watch this interview with Kavita Ramdas -- a self-described 'social venture capitalist' -- who talks about the challenges facing women as well as the immense opportunities during this moment of transformation in the world.

Notable quote (on "women's issues"): "I really don't know what that is. What issues should 51 percent of the world check out on?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Prescription for G20 Leaders: Invest in Girls

Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette features sage advice from the leaders of two women's funds -- Heather Arnet at Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania and Kavita Ramdas at Global Fund for Women.

Among the interesting facts:
The global recession is hitting girls the hardest because they are the first in their families to go without food, to be pulled from school and to lose jobs ... 22 million women will become unemployed, driving more girls into the sex trade.
Arnet and Ramdas also point out interesting data from Indonesia, which is one of only two countries in the G20 with a woman finance minister:

Sri Mulyani of Indonesia, is credited for her work in putting Jakarta's financial house in order by dismantling the cronyism that plagued Indonesia's financial architecture from the Suharto era. Indonesia now enjoys one of the most conservative balance sheets in the world and over 4 percent economic growth -- and Ms. Mulyani is credited for her role as a tough regulator.
What is your advice to G20 leaders?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On the Right Track?

The New York Times reports on Ladies Specials in India -- commuter rail cars reserved for women travelers only. These trains, similar to the ones in other large cities around the world, like Cairo, are in response to the growing number of working women contributing to India's explosive economic growth. As more women participate in morning and evening rush hours, they are being exposed to increasing harassment from fellow male passengers.

But are separate compartments the solution to such a complex problem? This article shows how widespread systemic change is needed to solve the interconnected problem of personal security -- not just in India, but around the world. The article points out that violence against women has increased along with higher rates of participation in the workforce.

Thankfully, women's funds are addressing complex problems like the ones highlighted by the increase in Ladies Special cars in India.

What do you think are some solutions that can be applied in this situation that involve all of society?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ludacris Gets the Philanthropy Bug

Rapper Ludacris, who recently launched his own foundation, announced over the weekend he had given away 20 cars as a way "to give back to those who need it." Read the whole story here.

This story is encouraging because it puts a spotlight on philanthropy -- especially for young people who listen to Ludacris and come across this story while searching for information on the artist.

It also shows there is a consciousness that economic difficulties are not ending just because a few economic indicators are heading back up.

I am also hoping this is the beginning of a personal journey for Ludacris as he hones his philanthropic knowledge and begins learning about root causes and systemic change. Giving away cars does not solve problems. Hopefully Ludacris is on his way to becoming a donor activist capable of creating lasting, sustainable change by working with communities to solve the causes of problems.

Luda -- if you're reading -- check out Anderson Family Foundation. They're in Atlanta too and doing amazing work!

Friday, September 4, 2009

$ + ♀ = Δ

More high-level recognition that putting money toward programs and policies that support women creates improved conditions for everyone, this time from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

A USAID staffer said they expect to increase funding for women's health by 50 percent in the next two years to address widespread societal poverty that results when women do not have equal and adequate access to healthcare. You can read more here.

While that comes as good news, it is likely not enough money, which is where women's funds make a critical difference by providing resources directly to women in communities most affected by inequality. And, unlike USAID, women's funds also provide major funding to women right here in the United States, where maternal health is unfortunately on par with many "developing" nations.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

'He had Medicare'

Associated Press reports that a health care reform supporter in Southern California bit off the pinky finger of a fellow protester with opposing views. Get the gory details here.

In a call with women's fund leaders today, it was sagely pointed out that the people screaming the loudest in these health reform debates are those who have their health care needs met.

Where are the voices of those who need health care the most -- especially women and people with low-to-no income?