13 Nov 2013[/caption]
Over 33 million women worldwide were represented by 100 global women leaders at the first International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit held two weeks ago in Suffern, New York. Nobel Peace Laureate, Jody Williams, announced last week that women are putting the world on notice that women will “raise our voices followed by serious actions” pointing to possible boycotts and protests of corporations that are contributing to climate change escalation.
Global grassroots women met with women world leaders “to bridge the gap between the women on the ground and the world policy makers”. The global women addressed protecting the water, oceans, air, and forests, focusing on the need for a deep systemic change concerning carbon emissions. High on the list of concerns was protection of food sovereignty/ stability, how oil, coal, fracking, and nuclear industries which are negatively impacting climate change, (and human rights issues surrounding these issues), protection of tribal lands and peoples, and protection of the rainforests.
Osprey Lake, Co-Director of the recent International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, proclaimed, “Nature is not waiting while politicians debate. We need a deep overall analysis about climate change right now. Enough is enough.”
28 Dec 2012
For me, the holidays are a time to reflect on what we’ve achieved over the past year and look ahead to the challenges and possibilities the New Year holds in store. 2012 was a quite a year. Besides the obvious big story – the reelection of President Obama – here’s a list of my ten favorite stories of the year.
12 Nov 2012
We sending a BIG SHOUT OUT to our community. That’s you. And your friends. And your friend’s friends. We’re looking for the Top Ten Women Of Green. Women who are stepping out and making a BIG POSITIVE IMPACT on the planet. We know you know one. Send us her name, what she’s up to and why you think she should be on our Top Ten list. The time is now.
8 Nov 2012
How many of you have bras in your drawers that you are itching to toss out? Unfortunately, all of the pieces that make up a bra, such as hooks, underwire, and elastic, will never biodegrade. Wouldn’t it make you feel better to know that your bra was getting a second life instead? Believe it or not, bras are a sought-after item!
Over in Japan, women are encouraged to recycle their brassieres so that they can be converted into fuel. Meanwhile, Oxfam is working hard to upcycle bras in the UK with its Big Bra Hunt campaign.
Here in the U.S. of A, we have an Arizona-based organization called The Bra Recyclers. The organization buys and sell recycled bras, which are then redistributed to communities in need around the world. There are drop-off sites around the country through the Bra Recycling Ambassador program, or you can ship your donation directly to the organization.
4 Sep 2012
Sharon Ede who is part of our Women of Green community and co-founder of the Post Growth Institute, is rallying forces for “Free Money Day”. On Saturday, September 15th people around the world will participate in this event by handing out their own money to complete strangers and asking recipients to pass half on to someone else.
Free Money Day is a signal interruption to business-as-usual, and a way to spark conversations about the benefits of economies based on sharing, as well as a liberating experience that gets people thinking more critically and creatively about our relationships with money.
28 Aug 2012
Four archetypes of entrepreneurship and how they contribute to a better world.
For four decades I have worked with small business entrepreneurs, helping them grow their businesses by keeping stakeholder success and consciousness of how they do business in the forefront of their minds. I have seen how, by developing the characteristics of what I call The Responsible Entrepreneur, anyone helping to bring new business into the world can fulfill the promise of entrepreneurship and contribute to the creation of a better world.
Every Responsible Entrepreneur represents one of four archetypes, each with a unique role to play in the entrepreneurial system. Cultural anthropologists have identified all four in every healthy culture, and all four are needed to ensure the health of our own evolving social system. Each takes on change differently in search of different outcomes. All four approaches can also be found inside established organizations, among intrapreneurs who lead change.
27 Jun 2012
It is, perhaps, the greatest failure of collective leadership since the first world war. The Earth’s living systems are collapsing, and the leaders of some of the most powerful nations – the United States, the UK, Germany, Russia – could not even be bothered to turn up and discuss it. Those who did attend the Earth summit in Rio last week solemnly agreed to keep stoking the destructive fires: sixteen times in their text they pledged to pursue “sustained growth“, the primary cause of the biosphere’s losses.
The efforts of governments are concentrated not on defending the living Earth from destruction, but on defending the machine that is destroying it. Whenever consumer capitalism becomes snarled up by its own contradictions, governments scramble to mend the machine, to ensure – though it consumes the conditions that sustain our lives – that it runs faster than ever before.
The thought that it might be the wrong machine, pursuing the wrong task, cannot even be voiced in mainstream politics. The machine greatly enriches the economic elite, while insulating the political elite from the mass movements it might otherwise confront. We have our bread; now we are wandering, in spellbound reverie, among the circuses.
We have used our unprecedented freedoms – secured at such cost by our forebears – not to agitate for justice, for redistribution, for the defence of our common interests, but to pursue the dopamine hits triggered by the purchase of products we do not need. The world’s most inventive minds are deployed not to improve the lot of humankind but to devise ever more effective means of stimulation, to counteract the diminishing satisfactions of consumption. The mutual dependencies of consumer capitalism ensure that we all unwittingly conspire in the trashing of what may be the only living planet. The failure at Rio de Janeiro belongs to us all.
It marks, more or less, the end of the multilateral effort to protect the biosphere. The only successful global instrument – the Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer – was agreed and implemented years before the first Earth Summit in 1992. It was one of the last fruits of a different political era, in which intervention in the market for the sake of the greater good was not considered anathema, even by the Thatcher and Reagan governments. Everything of value discussed since then has led to weak, unenforceable agreements, or to no agreements at all.
14 Jun 2012
At a peace summit in Vancouver, the Dalai Lama made an extraordinary statement when he said that the world will be saved by the western women. This proclamation created a tsunami of responses in cyberspace. Can you imagine? The Dalai Lama saying it will be women that will save the world? As remarkable as this was to many, it was “duh” moment for me. I thought, of course, it’ll be women. We purchase 85% of the consumer goods in the United States. We can do right now by what we buy – and don’t buy. That was my “ah-ha” moment. That’s when I decided to write and speak on this topic.
Let’s look at the numbers. It is estimated that American women spend about five trillion dollars annually. That’s over half of the US GDP. We purchase everything from autos to health care. Here are some quick stats on our purchases:
6 Jun 2012
by Carolyn Parrs
This is Part 2 of 3 on “How the Collective Power of Women Can Change the World”
QUICKIE QUIZ #2: On April 26, 1777, who rode through the towns of New York and Connecticut warning everyone that the British were coming, and gathered enough volunteers to push back the British army the very next day? Not Paul Revere. It was Sybil Luddington who accomplished this feat at the ripe age of 16. Her ride was twice as long as Paul’s but unfortunately most of us never heard of it — or her.
“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!” says poet, Maya Angelou. How important it is for us to be invited to the table – especially now. “The fortunes of nations are inextricably tied to the fortunes of women,” says Hillary Rodham Clinton in the foreword to The International Human Rights of Women. “It is this simple: where women flourish, her families flourish. And where families flourish, communities and nations flourish. Issues affecting women and their families are not ‘soft’ issues to be relegated to the sidelines of serious debate, rather, they are among the hardest and most important issues we face.”
1 Jun 2012
by Carolyn Parrs
When sleeping women wake, mountains move.
~ Chinese proverb
No sunlight. No fresh air. Enclosed in darkness to plump up in an insanely artificial way. That’s the reality for most chickens being farmed today. And if the farmers under contract with the Big Boys do not agree to raise their livestock that way, “They hold their contract over their heads,” says third generation chicken farmer, Carole Morison. She was mad as hell and just couldn’t take it anymore.
20 Apr 2012
by Emily Wax
“Let’s throw some bombs,” a young woman calls out, waterproof floral purse swinging on her shoulder and Laura Ingalls braids flying behind her as a band of 25 followers cheer, “Cool!”
They rush toward a drab vacant lot in Shaw. Some climb up onto the back of a truck to get better aim at their target. But these bombers aren’t likely to appear on any terrorist list or even get arrested. They’re throwing “seed bombs,” golf-ball-size lumps of mud packed with wildflower seeds, clay and a little bit of compost and water, which they just learned to make at a free seed-bombing workshop for Washington’s guerrilla gardeners.
9 Apr 2012
Keith Brunner from Gears of Change Youth Media Project reports back from the side event “Women’s critical perspectives on the green economy” carried out during the UN Rio+20 intercessional (March 25-27) at the UN headquarters in New York.
The “green economy” will be a shot in the arm for ailing global markets- a rush of new commodities and investment frontiers, packaged neatly within a UN mandate for “sustainable development.” But how will it affect those who are already the most marginalized?
This afternoon I attended an event entitled “Women’s critical perspectives on the ‘green economy.” Participants painted a picture of a future far different from the heady visions on display at the corporate side events. The “green economy,” according to the panelists, will exacerbate already growing gender violence, urban migration and loss of traditional skills and knowledge amongst women, with women in the Global South being hit the hardest.
Isis Alvarez, with Global Forest Coalition, began the panel by noting that: “Biodiversity and the environment turned into marketable goods seems to be the current approach to conservation. And markets necessarily need privatization. But what are the consequences for women, if a resource which used to be accessible is now privatized?”
She continued: “Women usually provide their families with key resources for their livelihoods, such as fuel wood, medicinal plants, fodder, food, nuts, they collect seeds, so biodiversity means everything to them, as they depend on the non-monetary benefits of biodiversity.”
27 Mar 2012
Continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month, this week we’re featuring Women, War & Peace: A five-part PBS television series challenging the conventional wisdom that war and peace are men’s domain.
The vast majority of today’s conflicts are not fought by nation states and their armies, but rather by informal entities: gangs, insurgent groups and warlords using small arms and improvised weapons. The series reveals how the post-Cold War proliferation of small arms has changed the landscape of war, with women becoming primary targets and suffering unprecedented casualties. Yet they are simultaneously emerging as necessary partners in brokering lasting peace and as leaders in forging new international laws governing conflict. Women, War & Peace spotlights the stories of women in conflict zones from Bosnia to Afghanistan, and Colombia to Liberia, placing women at the center of an urgent dialogue about conflict and security and reframing our understanding of modern warfare.
Featuring narrators Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, Geena Davis, and Alfre Woodard, Women, War & Peace is a comprehensive global media initiative on the roles of women in war and peace. The series will utilize all forms of media, including U.S. and international prime time television, radio, print, web, and worldwide community screenings, and will be accompanied by an educational and outreach initiative designed to advance international accountability with regard to women and security. Women, War & Peace is a co-production of THIRTEEN and Fork Films.
1 Mar 2012
On the day Steve Jobs died last fall, Occupy Wall Street organized the first massive march down though the Canyon of Heroes in New York, in the opposite direction of the route the New York Giants would take four months later. Swollen by busloads of stoic union troops, the small and somewhat ragged OWS band melded with a much larger crowd and dominated lower Manhattan from Foley Square to Trinity Church, a patch of turf Washington and Hamilton would surely still recognize for its geographic and economic centrality to the nation, if not for the shadows of the modern buildings and mounted police officers in riot gear.That news of Apple‘s
27 Feb 2012
Women have been at the forefront of the uprisings that started in Tunisia and soon cascaded west to Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria and across the Gulf. Over the past year, Arab women have relished the promise of a change — and found a new sense of equality long suppressed under sclerotic patriarchal regimes.
But many women activists fear that promise is now receding; and that women’s rights are being left on the political back-burner. In Egypt’s first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections — largely seen as the nation’s first free and fair vote — only nine of the newly elected 498 parliamentarians are women.
Popular Egyptian activist blogger Dalia Zaida says shortly before the elections, she conducted an informal poll of 1,400 voters across Cairo and found not a single person, male or female, who said he or she would vote for a female presidential candidate. Women across the region worry about this growing chasm between the reality of women’s unyielding participation on the streets and their stark absence from the formal political process.
Some secular female activists also fear that the rise of Islamist parties, whatever their professed moderation, will curtail their political space.
In Egypt, women have faced brutal treatment at the hands of the caretakers of the revolution — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. Activists describe its handling of protests as incompetent at best, and malevolent at its worst. Back in March, when the military forcibly expelled protestors from Tahrir Square — the epicenter of pro-democracy protests — 18 female activists were arrested, 17 of whom say they were forced to undergo “virginity tests,” (the military has claimed the tests were done to protect the army from possible allegations of rape).
Recently, hundreds of women from across the Middle East attended a conference in Egypt to discuss how technology and the Internet, namely social media, can be used to protect and advance women’s goals in the region. The Egyptian-American pundit Mona Eltahaway moderated the conference, taking the stage with both arms in casts. In November, she was sexually assaulted and beaten by soldiers near Tahrir Square. The plaster didn’t preclude her from articulating her message: “The most revolutionary thing a woman can do is share her experience as if it matters.”
As countries across the region struggle to dismantle inequitable systems and build civil society anew, these are just a few of the female “agents of change” who are sharing their experiences and have no intention of backing down.
4 Feb 2012
Facebook is about to go public. Founder, Mark Zuckerberg stated in a letter to its shareholders, “Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected. We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.”
OK, so Facebook’s good for business. Now how can we leverage it then to create a healthier, more just world for our children, and our children’s children?
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