#WorldMoms at #WorldBank this week for #SMCSO15
Fantastic news! Writers from World Moms Blog will be traveling to the World Bank Spring Meetings (#SM2015) in Washington D.C. this week to help spread the word about the ongoing dialog between citizens from Civil Society Organizations (CSO). World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, and contributor, Cynthia Changyit Levin, are thrilled to be headed back to the World Bank CSO meetings to represent moms around the globe concerned about the futures of ALL children no matter where they were born.
Civil Society meetings are bi-annual events hosted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Non-government organizations like UNICEFthe ONE Campaign, A World at School, and RESULTS send representatives to speak on panels to talk about development policies. Citizens from all over the world can join in and voice their opinions about the best ways to fight extreme poverty and speak out about how World Bank programs affect the lives of people in their countries for better or worse.
We’re honored to be lending our social media skills in a partnership that started at the 2014 RESULTS Conference when we met World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim and continued as we attended and blogged about the 2014 Fall CSO meetings. This spring, we’re returning to help the World Bank to engage in conversation with our audience of concerned moms on topics of importance to us as world citizens: Ebola, Education, Nutrition, and more. We’ll be live-tweeting flagship events and even hosting a panel discussion about social media and citizen activism to move the world toward education for all.
YOU can help take the meetings and the conversation about ending poverty far beyond DC! Please join the conversation by:
- Following the Twitter hashtag #SMCSO15 and the Twitter accounts of @WorldMomsBlog, @JenniferBurden, and @ccylevin so you can join in the conversation and re-tweet posts that you like using the #WorldMoms hashtag.
- Joining live-streamed webcast events (listed below) and leaving your questions/comments on the webcast page for the moderators! Each event has a hashtag so you can engage with the panel and audience through Twitter.
- Leaving a question for the World Bank in the comment section of this blog. We’ll try to ask it in the panel discussions and town hall meetings we attend or ask our contacts at the World Bank about it to get a response to you.
Here is the link to the full schedule of live-streamed webcast events. The list below calls out some of our favorites that we are most excited to attend. Pick one or more that interest you and join us virtually. You may even see us in the audience!
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. ET
Join us for a live discussion where panelists will address the need for a new social contract to meet the demands of the current generation of citizens in the Middle East and North Africa.
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m ET.
Location: World Bank Group Headquarters, Preston Auditorium & Online
Can people of faith help build a movement to end extreme poverty? Can they seize this opportunity at a time of conflict in some regions — some of it driven by groups claiming religious justification?
Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET
How can Latin American governments stimulate growth while preserving social achievements? What growth levels will countries of the region achieve in 2015?
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. ET
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim will address the press during the World Bank’s 2015 Spring Meetings.
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. ET
Join us for a panel discussion on the importance of investing in nutrition; the challenges countries are facing; and concrete steps towards scaling up high-impact programming for child nutrition.
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. ET
Hear from a development banker, a renowned chef, an agricultural expert, a woman farmer, a culinary professional and others about the future of food, and how we can work together to feed the world.
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. ET
Join regional policy makers, practitioners and civil society representatives for a discussion on what it will take to instill adequate accountability and motivation among public servants and service providers toward meeting citizens’ needs.
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2015
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET
Water security is emerging as the number one global risk in terms of development impact. An expert panel will share their experiences and solutions for addressing water scarcity challenges with a view of the social, economic, and political implications.
Date: Friday, April 17, 2015
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET
WBG President Jim Yong Kim chairs this high-level roundtable at which the heads of state of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will present their Ebola recovery plans to finance and development ministers and international partners.
I have long been an advocate of girls education. It is something I want every girl, wherever she is in the world, to have access to. I deeply believe educating girls is a major proponent in our quest to improve the world.
So when my daughter was born eight years ago, I committed myself to ensuring that she would always have the access to and support she needs in attaining the best education my husband and I can give her.
But along with the paramount importance her education is to me, so too is her understanding of how valuable having an education is and how lucky she is to have safe schools and multiple options available to her.
But how do you impart this to an eight-year-old?
Like the majority of other eight-year-olds in the US, my daughter takes it for granted that she attends school five-days-a-week, Monday through Friday. But she also attends school on Sunday, when she goes to Chinese School. And this she does not take for granted, instead she long viewed it as a hindrance to her free-time. Because, though she only spends 90-minutes a week at Chinese school, its homework load and test schedule far exceed that of her American school, where she spends more than 30-hours-a-week.
Whenever my daughter complains about the work load or Chinese school conflicting with social events, I find myself saying:
You have NO idea how lucky you are to have more than one school to attend.
But until recently, this was a phrase delivered with little impact. That is, until my daughter started reading her latest book: I Am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai.
She received the book for Christmas, along with A Long Walk to Water, from her aunt. When she opened the gift, I was thrilled because, though I love Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, here were some stories that really mattered; finally, some glimpses into a REAL world, just one my child did not yet know.
I hoped, desperately, that she’d want to read these stories.
I was in luck.
Almost as soon as she picked up I Am Malala, she had trouble putting it down. It was filled with concepts she had trouble getting her head around: like the idea that a person could board Malala’s “school bus” with the intent to kill her or that having access to school was a privilege.
It had her asking all kinds of questions: about hardships and hurdles girls in other parts of the world have to face in order to get an education; about what it means to be a top student; about what sorts of sacrifices students (and their families) have to make in pursuit of education.
Reading Malala’s story is opening my daughter’s eyes to the opportunities and freedoms she takes for granted and it is giving her a deeper gratitude for what she has.
I don’t want my young children to worry about the injustices and evil out in the world but I do want them to understand better the many blessings they have and that not everyone has the same access to these opportunities.
Tomorrow, here in the US, our Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) will air the third and final episode of #APathAppears. In January, when World Moms Blog Founder, Jennifer Burden, World Voice Editor, Elizabeth Atalay and I attended the pre-screening of this series in New York, by invitation of @SaveTheChildren, it was episode 3 that resonated most with me.
The episode highlights Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya. But rather than showing us the desperate side of life in the slum, viewers (and readers of the eponymous book before) are introduced to Kennedy Odede and his wife Jessica and the organization they have built, Shining Hope for Communities(SHOFCO).
Like me, and so many others, SHOFCO knows that the pathway to hope is guided by educating girls. Authors Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn remind us that, if enough people walk in the direction of hope, ultimately A Path Appears.
You can watch the PBS series, A Path Appears online, by clicking here. Or read the book of the same title by husband and wife journalists @NickKristoff and Sheryl @WuDunn.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Sr. Editor and mother of two in Massachusetts, USA, Kyla P’an.
The image used in this post is credited to the author.
If you’ve been reading World Moms Blog and follow us on social media, you probably already have your ears up to issues that affect women and girls around the world from our global contributors. In some places women and girls are not given the right to an education, treated as legal property and segregated, kidnapped by terrorists, not allowed to hold the highest positions in some organizations, not treated equally, not allowed to own land, not paid equally, and not provided access to maternal care…the list goes on. We have been raising awareness on women’s issues by using our voices. So, as writers and readers, how else can we enact real change on issues affecting our fellow women on the planet in addition to talking about it?
Are You a Fan of Global Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality?
Then, we, at World Moms Blog, would like to introduce you to UN Women.
UN Women is the United Nations entity responsible for promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality. The organization’s projects further the progress of social, political, and economic equality for women and girls spanning 100 countries around the globe.
What type of impact is UN Women making on the world?
Opened women’s access to finance and expanded employment options in Pakistan, resulting in secure employment for 1,000 women and growing
Trained more than 6,000 women in marketing and business management in Ethiopia
Extended paralegal services for survivors of domestic violence in the marginalized Roma communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading to a 50-per-cent increase in requests for help
Launched “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” in several cities
How can we help UN Women keep up the positive work for gender equality and to empower more women and girls?
This holiday season consider giving as little as $5/month or more to support these vital programs for women. A one time donation will do, too!
$10 provides 6 women survivors of violence with psychological and social counseling across Asia and Africa.
$100 trains 17 women activists in the Middle East to engage men and boys as agents of change to end violence against women and girls.
$1,000 provides seed funding to 21,000 women farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.
Some of UN Women’s most recent campaigns are HeForShe and ,UNiTE to End Violence Against Women. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality, whose Goodwill Ambassador is actress, Emma Watson. She gave this amazing speech at the launch. And UNiTE to End Violence Against Women was created to help stop violence against women and girls. The campaign includes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence who follow and end on December 10th, Human Rights Day. To keep up to date with current programs, check out the check out the UN Women newswire, In Focus.
Whether you are looking for an organization to give toward on #GivingTuesday or simply looking for the perfect Holiday Gift for a special woman in your life, please consider donating to UN Women to help the plight of women worldwide. Women are important.
Disclosure: World Moms Blog received compensation in return for marketing UN Women’s #GivingTuesday campaign. And, The United States National Committee (USNC) for UN Women is an independent non-profit, 501c3 organization that supports UN Women programs and one of 17 national committees around the world. World Moms Blog uses any funds received for sponsored marketing towards paying our website operating costs and business expenses to continue providing a platform for mothers around the world.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credit of woman to UN Foundation. Image credit for donate button to World Moms Blog.
It’s the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night.
Even if it is not your own child.
On the night of April 14, dozens of armed men showed up at the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. Dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, they told the girls that they were there to take them to safety and herded the girls into trucks and onto motorcycles. At first, the girls believed them. But when the men started shooting their guns into the air and shouting, “Allahu Akbar,” they realized that the men were militants from Boko Haram and that they were in serious danger.
Nearly 50 girls managed to escape by running away or jumping out of the trucks. But as many as 276 school girls (higher than the initial reports of 234) between the ages of 12 and 17 were kidnapped, disappearing into the night without a trace. Three weeks later, their parents still have no idea where they are. And last week reports began surfacing that the abducted girls were taken across the borders to Chad and Cameroon and sold as brides to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira (about $12). While we still don’t know where the girls are or what has happened to them, these reports remain a chilling reminder of the threat of sexual violence faced by women and girls in conflict zones.
One of the worst things in this truly horrible story is that the girls who were abducted were targeted simply because they were exercising their right to go to school. Throughout the world, there is clear evidence that education is the key to reducing poverty for women and girls.
Access to basic education for girls has remained low in Nigeria; the northern region where these girls lived has the lowest girl child enrollment —in 2008 the net enrollment rate for girls into secondary school was only 22 percent. The girls (who were both Christian and Muslim) at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok must each have been determined to get an education in spite of tremendous odds. The fact that these girls were also risking violence to be in school illustrates how important the right to education was to each of them.
For more than two weeks, the Nigerian government failed to take effective action to find and rescue the abducted girls. The lack of government response has provoked outrage in Nigeria. Last week, several hundred participated in a “million-woman protest march” in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital to demand that more resources be put toward finding and securing the kidnapped girls. The protesters in Nigeria are joined on Twitter with a growing movement under the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls, #BringBackOurDaughters and #234Girls. Finally, international media outlets are paying attention to the story.
While it is ludicrous that it took more than two weeks of pressure from both inside and outside Nigeria to finally bring about action, there are signs that the increased international attention is having some effect.
This week, President Goodluck Jonathan met “through the night” with security, school and state officials and issued a new directive that “everything must be done” to bring back the abducted girls.
We at World Moms Blog stand in solidarity with the girls and their families. It’s time to #BringBackOurGirls!
Here’s what you can do:
1. Sign the Petition
Use social media to spread the word about the situation in Nigeria. Put massive pressure on the government, security forces, and the neighboring governments to spur them to action. Use the hash tag, #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS. Change your profiled picture to Bring Back Our Girls.
3. Get More Information
Read more by World Moms Blog contributor Jennifer Prestholdt in The Advocates for Human Rights post, “Nightmare for Nigeria’s School Girls,” at:
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by international human rights lawyer, Jennifer Prestholdt, of Minnesota, USA.
There’s a Bigger World Out There
When I was a toddler back in the 1970s, my favorite toy was a wind up pocket radio box that played “It’s a Small World”. As the music played, it turned the little children from all around the world dressed in different clothing past my eyes. I remember, as I grew, constantly asking my parents, “Where is this girl from?” and “Where is this boy from?”, while pointing to the toy. My mother even saved the radio for my own kids to play with.
Fast forward 30-something years later, and here I am, learning everyday on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good from the women around the world who write for World Moms Blog. I am lucky to be raising my children virtually with Tinne in Belgium, Susan Koh in Singapore, Tara B. in the USA, Nancy in Tanzania, Deborah Quinn in the UAE…and the list goes on!
And that little Disney radio box was one of my first indications that there was a greater world outside of my own suburban NJ neighborhood.
The #DisneySMMoms Conference
This past weekend I had my bags packed to head to the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, this year in Disneyland in California. What luck that it was going to be during the 50th Anniversary of Disney’s It’s a Small World! I excitedly checked into my flight…only having to call the airline and uncheck myself from my flight hours later because my kids, and at the very last-minute, my husband, fell sick. Taking care of the family is what, us, parents do, right? So, how to turn lemons into lemonade? We asked the World Moms Blog Contributors to send a photo in to be part of a special slide show where our site could commemorate Disney’s It’s a Small World 50th Anniversary. On such short notice, take a look at what we came up with…I can’t stop watching it!!
VIDEO: Happy 50th Anniversary It’s a Small World from World Moms Blog Contributors!
Disney and UNICEF
And, if you’re a regular here, you know how much we love UNICEF when we chose them as our beneficiary for our Live Below the Line campaign. I’ve also traveled to Uganda to observe UNICEF’s programs on the ground firsthand with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. It makes me happy to know that Disney has pledged to donate $150,000 to UNICEF to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of It’s a Small World. You can join in, too. Build your own doll or record yourself at SmallWorld50.com, and for every doll, one dollar will be donated to UNICEF by Disney. This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.