The Womanity Foundation celebrated International Women’s Day on 8 March 2013 by organizing a global Twitter-based virtual summit, #SocEntSummit, which focused on Celebrating #WomenChangeMakers. The summit saw social innovators – men and women, working in various sectors and geographies come together to discuss, share and debate various issues related to women and girls. Through active participation from women social innovators, the summit showcased the work being done by extraordinary women globally.
The summit comprised of 5 sessions: Women as leaders of change; Men’s role in women’s empowerment; Overcoming the obstacles to girls education; The benefits of economic inclusion of women and a session on women and technology – from access to action.
WomenChangeMakers is a global fellowship program that identifies, supports and connects leading social entrepreneurs addressing women’s access to education and healthcare, economic and political participation . In doing so, it empowers them to build sustainable models, develop synergies and increase their impact. Yann Borgstedt, a Swiss entrepreneur, founded WomenChangeMakers with the aim of helping women to higher social and economic participation is to help their communities develop and succeed. He is assisted by Antonella Notari Vischer, director of WomenChangeMakers. WomenChangeMakers offers a full range of tools to its fellow social entrepreneurs to achieve growth; in accordance with their specific needs, they chose what type of support and tools they require.
Meet some of the WomenChangemakers:
Guacira Cesar de Oliveira, Founder and Executive Director of the Centro Feminista de Estudos y Assessoria (CFEMEA, Brasilia), Ashoka Fellow. CFEMEA designs and guarantees women’s rights in Brazil and works to secure social justice for women by teaching social movements and organizations how to monitor public expenditures, ensuring that dedicated resources are used to address women’s priorities. They strengthen the incidence of feminist policy on public policies and finances by reinforcing the women’s movement’s dialogue with the public authorities – www.cfemea.org.br
Alice Freitas, Founder and CEO of Asta (Rio de Janeiro), Ashoka Fellow and Avina leader. Asta contributes to social equality and economic development in Brazil by strengthening women’s productive enterprises at the bottom of the pyramid through access to markets, know-how, and the creation of networks. Asta has created a direct sales catalog to help informal artisans overcome the challenges of large-scale distribution. By equipping a network of well-trained amateur sales agents with an intimate understanding of the personal histories and social impact behind the products, Asta provides a direct communication channel between producers and consumers. 93% of the 600 artisans it works with are women; 97% of the 650-700 re-sellers are women and 100% of the Asta team are women
Safeena Hussain , Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Educate Girls is a WomenChangeMakers fellow in India. Educate Girls has developed a comprehensive model that leverages existing resources from the government, village and school levels and creates community ownership for school reform. They ensure that teachers, the government, parents, and even girls become active participants in the process and operate independently in school governance even after the withdrawal of Educate Girls. Educate Girls is building a cadre of village based youth leaders to work as champions for girls’ education and catalysts for school reform. Team Balika works in the schools as well as village communities spreading awareness about girl child education. It boosts enrolment, retention and learning outcomes for all girls. To create synergy, they work top-down with government officials on different levels, and bottom-up with villagers and village committees. This enables them to realize their mission in a 2-year intervention with an average cost of just INR 100 or $2.60 per child.
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