On International Women’s Day, Crossroads International is celebrating women and men who are taking bold action for gender equality. This year, the theme is “Be Bold for Change”. Well, these Crossroaders are change-makers, and their boldness is what the world needs now more than ever.
- Asia Clarke is a young Canadian with her own jewelry business who shared her experience as an entrepreneur to support women building their own similar business in Ghana.
- Susanne Courtney is leveraging her expertise in communications and advocacy to aid women’s rights in Tanzania.
- Ángela Romero is advising on market access in Bolivia to support sustainable community projects.
- Crossroads Board Member and volunteer Alain Fournier is providing technical assistance to improve monitoring and evaluation with partners in Burkina Faso
- Daniel Godon leveraged Geographic Information System (GIS) technology with partner APROFES in Senegal to support data gathering and information synthesis that allows the managers to locate and assess current interventions and reveal villages with less support that could benefit from future interventions.
- In Canada, Board Member Susan Green is leading by example in the private sector and calling out misogyny in the discourse and standing up for equality.
Crossroads also has many incredible partners who are being bold for change.
- Mama Elizabeth Minde is a lawyer and women’s rights activist in Tanzania who initiated the first shelter for abused women in the country. Volunteers from Ernestine’s Women’s Shelter in Toronto are helping KWIECO with the process.
- Companies such as Green Beaver and Papillon MDC are boldly supporting Crossroads’ local partner Union Nationale des Femmes Coopératrices du Sénégal, a network of 15,000 women cooperators who produce a range of soaps in ten regional unions across Senegal, to get a foothold in the local economy.
These are just a few of the examples of Crossroads women and men working to advance equality by taking bold actions. In the current climate, these actions stand in stark contrast to rhetoric that marginalizes and demeans women. All Canadians can Be Bold for Change by taking action in their own communities. We need more Canadian businesses to be bold in joining with us to leverage their expertise to increase the productive capacity of women led businesses and ultimately improve incomes.
The proposed US federal budget from President Trump included a more that one third cut to international aid and development. If implemented, the impact on women globally will be devastating. In this country, the Canadian government has made bold statements. We need the federal Liberal government to be bold in investing in international aid. We need the government to heed the call for #MoreCanada.
Global volunteer cooperation is a cost effective way to share strategies, build expertise, and understanding that advances equality and peace. Will you stand with us and help us continue our innovative work on access to justice for women?
We need Canadians from all walks of life to Be Bold for Change. We need women and men to speak out against hate, stand for equality, and support our work – by donating, volunteering, or spreading the word.
So today, I wish you a Happy International Women’s Day, and ask you to stand with us, and #BeBoldforChange.