Posted on March 8, 2014. Filed under: International Women's Day 2014 | Tags: , , |

New global gender movement builds collaborations through alliances

While there has been some encouraging global progress to enact laws to protect women, successful implementation has been challenging. Even large advocacy efforts for women and girls have not met the overall needs. Sadly, the media are still replete with horrific stories of women being raped, of young women fighting for the right to be educated, and of HIV being the leading cause of death among childbearing women. Education remains a powerful tool for change, but in many countries it is still prized for men. Few women have become the presidents of their countries or risen to positions of power and authority to address gender disparities

As we once again celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8, 2014), we are reminded of how far we have come, but also of the ongoing work that is needed globally. Why are so many women still facing inequality, injustice and victimization, yet also bear the burden of everyday life and sustaining their children and families? How can we help women to empower themselves to rise above their circumstances? How can we achieve gender equity on a global scale?

There is a movement underway to focus on gender at multiple levels, including education, health, policy, and research. But this movement is young, fragmentary, and often territorial among institutions. What is needed is a united global front with a viable strategy tied to global gender equity standards and a feminist platform. This plan must contain realistic goals and achievable objectives, along with action and boots on the ground.

In November 2013, RTI International proudly announced the creation of the RTI Global Gender Center (www.rti.org/gender). By bringing together gender experts from around the world, the Center is working to improve knowledge, policies, and programs worldwide to reduce gender inequities and disparities.  One of the Center’s overarching aims is to cross-pollinate expertise and build collaborations that will foster new opportunities to significantly influence research, practice, and policy to reduce gender inequities globally.

As professionals and world citizens we have the responsibility to apply our energy and expertise to reach vulnerable populations of women and girls and to help them make a real difference in their lives. This will entail crossing the divide of various disciplines, fields and institutions, as well as generating a culture of global cooperation and alliance. We must build our global gender goals collaboratively to help vulnerable women worldwide to have a voice.

Collaboration and affiliation are the building blocks of our global gender network. Please connect with us!

Wendee Wechsberg, PhD

Director, RTI Global Gender Center

RTI International*

wmw@rti.org

____________________

*RTI International is a trade name of Research Triangle Institute.

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