New award celebrates success of women in Rotary

Tory Paxson, right, with Dr. Sylvia Whitlock.

By Tory Paxson, Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, USA

On Tuesday, 13 June, we sat down in a cool auditorium in the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, for the first annual Women in Rotary Event. The four of us sitting together were all women, all members of my Rotary club, and all at our very first Rotary International Convention. We were unaware of the impact this event was about to have on us. But then, the lights began to dim. Continue reading

When more women work, economies grow

By Annemarie Mostert, a member of the E-club of Southern Africa

On International Women’s Day, 8 March, it is important to reflect on the milestones women have achieved in economic opportunity, and the role Rotary clubs can play.

The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap report identified the continued burden of economic inequality and gaps in economic opportunity for women across the world. This data isn’t just about representation and greater opportunity. It is important for global economic growth. Continue reading

The future of women in Rotary

International Women’s Day, 8 March, celebrates women and their social, economic, political, and cultural achievements around the world. This year’s campaign asks individuals to #BeBoldForChange in working for a more gender inclusive world.

RI President-elect Ian H.S. Riseley has also called upon Rotary clubs to seek more diversity in their membership, including improving the gender balance. In his address to Rotary’s annual leadership training event in January, Riseley noted that 103 of the incoming 539 district governors are women. These are “leaders who will help Rotary connect with, and represent, and better service, all the members of all our communities,” says Riseley.

Governors-elect Sandy Sava of District 5180 (California, USA) (left) and Dawn deFuria of District 7450 (Pennsylvania, USA) sat down to talk about the current and future state of women in Rotary.

5 concerns facing professional women today

Clara MontanezBy Clara Montanez, a member of the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C., USA

Women are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, supporters, even a shoulder to cry on. Yet women still earn less than their male counterparts. In my field, women comprise maybe 12 percent of all financial advisers. Women need to feel there is a support group, a sisterhood, they can go to for help.

And that is why it is important for us to celebrate this special day, International Women’s Day. Motherhood is one of the most important roles a woman can have. But it can be an isolating role in Continue reading

What can we learn from inspiring Women of Action?

160307_wodon_iwdBy Quentin Wodon

Rotary is about service and fellowship. While some value fellowship the most, others place the emphasis on service as the defining characteristic of their Rotary experience. I tend to belong to the second group. I believe in the importance of thinking through the design of our service projects to ensure they have a lasting and measurable impact on those we are trying to help.

That is why I am excited about an upcoming event for International Women’s Day that will feature two Continue reading

Providing access to healthcare in Africa

Sue Paget on the go for Rotary Family Health Days.

Sue Paget on the go for Rotary Family Health Days.

Based in Johannesburg, Sue Paget is one of the driving forces behind the Rotary Family Health Days in South Africa. She has been married to Trevor for 34 years and has three children. This is the last in a series of blog posts leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.

“Africa is a harsh reality – we see, hear, and live with suffering on a daily basis, most especially in our disadvantaged communities. And yet the people still shine through.

This is why being involved with Rotary Family Health Days has been so rewarding. It has been incredibly gratifying to know that collectively we have been able to help over 120,000 people in two years access free health services and screenings. Continue reading

Rotaract members in Germany “Make it Happen”

Doris Grimm and two fellow Rotaract leaders.

Doris Grimm (middle) and two fellow Rotaract leaders.

By Doris Grimm, Rotaract representative District 1860 (Mannheim, Germany). This is the third in a series of blog posts about women making a difference in Rotary leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.

In Germany, International Women’s Day plays a rather subordinate role, even though two German women proposed the first women’s day in 1910. Nevertheless, I personally think that having an International Women’s Day, where we specifically look into gender equality and women’s rights, is an important observation we should not miss. In her speech at the UN headquarters in New York in September 2014, Emma Watson, ambassador of the UN-campaign “He for She” declared that up till now there is not a single country in the world which has achieved gender equality. Continue reading

One amazing day, made possible by Rotary

Teodora Lucero attends to the newborn at the evacuation center in Laguna.

Teodora Lucero attends to the newborn at the evacuation center in Laguna as the mother rests.

By Teodora Lucero, Rotary Club of Sta. Rosa Centro, Laguna, Philippines. This is the second in a series of blog posts about women making a difference in Rotary leading up to International Women’s Day 8 March.

When I was serving as president of the Rotary Club of Sta Rosa Centro, a big storm damaged and ravaged my community, sending a couple of thousand people to five school buildings which were turned into evacuation centers.The next day, members of several Rotary clubs including my own began distributing relief supplies. Suddenly, I heard a shout. “Help! My wife is about to give birth!”  Continue reading

Women in Rotary make it happen

Editor’s Note: In celebration of International Women’s Day, which is 8 March, we are running a week-long series of blog posts from women who are making a difference in their communities and around the world through Rotary.

Celia Cruz de Giay

Celia Cruz de Giay

By Celia Cruz de Giay, 2014-15 Rotary vice president

If anyone had told me that I would be writing a blog post today as vice president of Rotary International extolling the impact of women, I would have thought that person was dreaming. But when I think about it a little longer, I can see how the idea of service modeled for me since my childhood through my Rotarian father, and then through my Rotarian husband, Luis, led to this day, and I recognize that Rotary was always part of my life. That is why I am a Rotarian committed to serve. Continue reading

Every woman deserves education, access to health care

Divya GopisettyBy Divya Gopisetty, president of the Interact Club of Oakwood High School, Morgan Hill, California

I am amazed at all Rotary is able to accomplish. Each of you, members of Rotary, has an unyielding passion for change, a kind heart, and a determined spirit. You have discovered the importance of taking action instead of merely acknowledging issues exist. You are role models for the rest of the world. Continue reading