Elsa Marie D’Silva, 2016 Rotary Peace Fellow.
By Elsa Marie D’Silva, Rotary Peace Fellow alumna, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
During the lockdown enforced due to COVID-19, I have been reaching out to all my friends to see how they are doing. The other day I happened to call one of my girl friends who I know has been in an abusive relationship to find out if she was fine. She answered my call and we exchanged pleasantries. In the midst of the conversation she suddenly went quiet and then started to talk in riddles. I immediately sensed that all was not right and asked her if her partner was around. She could not even answer with a “yes” or “no” and so I quickly reassured her that I understood her situation and we could communicate further on WhatsApp. Continue reading
By Kathleen Rose, vice president of the Rotary Club of Gilroy, California, USA
I attended the Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany, in June, to widen my own leadership experience as I prepare to serve as club president next year. I was asked to present a breakout session entitled Women’s Leadership Skills: Strengthening Our Rotary Legacy. What an experience! Although I have been a scholar of leadership for many years, have written on the subject often, and have had the opportunity to speak nationally, it was a thrill to present to an international audience of Rotary leaders who are clearly motivated change agents.
If ever there were a time to focus on the work of leadership, the development of leadership skills, and the debate around qualified leadership, it is now. Continue reading
Charlie Ruth Castro leads an exercise class for inmates.
Charlie Ruth Castro
By Charlie Ruth Castro, Rotary E-Club of Sogamoso Global, Colombia
I had to go to prison to understand how education for innovation is the path for empowering millions of Latin American and Caribbean women economically. I’ve never committed a crime; I belong to that group of people who believe education is the most sophisticated tool we have to opening any door.
In 2016, I founded MujeresConDerechos.org with the idea of reminding society that all girls and all women are powerful. For this reason, I have dedicated myself to gathering the most influential leaders through summits, marches, and a television program. The attention and support I have received has been converted into generating innovative programs for girls and women most in need. Continue reading
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
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
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.
By 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
By 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
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
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