Here is a unique and incredibly exciting opportunity from the More Women More Power team at One World Action! MWMP are offering one of their supporters the opportunity to join them on their trip to Bangladesh this December, as they visit one of their partners to see the work being done there.
The organisations that MWMP support in the city of Dhaka, where the chosen supporter will be visiting, work to strengthen women’s rights and stand up against caste discrimination. You can learn more about the Dalits (formerly ‘outcastes’ or ‘untouchables’) of Dhaka here, and by watching this video from One World Action;
For anyone interested in (or already!) working in global human rights and development, this would be a great opportunity to see first hand the work that a charity organisation of this scale is involved in. On a deeper level, you would also be meeting with some incredibly inspirational people – the women of Dhaka and the MWMP workers – and that’s a priceless experience! All you will need to do in return is share your experiences with fellow campaigners back in the UK.
Back in May, I blogged about One World Action’s ‘Standing Up, Not Standing Still’ letter, which the organisation created as part of their More Women More Power campaign. Addressing the letter to the UK’s main political parties, One World Action called for women’s representation to be put back on the political agenda.
Well, it’s been a bit of a wait, but earlier this month One World Action received a response from the Government Equalities Office. Prime Minister David Cameron had transferred the letter on to the office for its specialist attention, and the response had great elements of positivity. It was encouraging to see admissions that equality is far from achieved and that more must be done to work towards it;
I also note your particular concerns regarding the under-representation of women across the UK Parliament (143 women MPs out of a total of 650 (22%)). Since the election the UK position internationally has moved from 61st to 50th out of 186 countries and placed us 10th in the EU, but we are aware that we still have a long way to go in order to make the very best use of diverse talent in political life. We also agree that increasing numbers of women in politics has a real and constructive effect on the quality of decision making. The reality is that politics needs a reasonable balance of men and women so that the decisions that are made truly represent the electorate.
Not all concerns felt answered, however. Whilst it’s great to hear that our government “are committed to making Britain a fairer society for all”, I’m sure those who had signed the original ‘Standing Up, Not Standing Still’ letter would have been welcomed some more concrete plans towards achieving equality.
If, like me, you’re sometimes a bit too reliant on the mainstream media to spoon-feed you world news – then this month’s World Refugee Day may have passed you by without so much as a “How d’you do?” (It was on June 20th, BTW, so we’ll know for next year!)
I was thankful, then, to receive an email from One World Action about their Women Seeking Refuge campaign. With this campaign the charity is aiming to bring attention to the plight of women and children who experience violence and abuse in the refugee camps of northwestern Tanzania;
Over the past five decades, the Great Lakes region, which includes Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republis of Congo (DRC) and Uganda, have been swept by brutal conflicts which have caused the deaths of millions and forced many more to leave their countries in order to survive. For more than thirty years, Tanzania has been hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled the most brutal atrocities.
Over 90,000 refugees remain in two camps in northwestern Tanzania. Despite fleeing the violence of their homelands, many refugee women have been met by a similar threats in the refugee camps, including rape, forced marriage, domestic violence and psychological abuse. The camps themselves have come under the close scruitany of the international community due to frequent abuses of refugees’ rights and many refugees face forced repatriation back to the homeland from which they fled.
One World Actionworks with the Women’s Legal Aid Centre to help refugees claim their rights and access justice.
To learn a little more about the campaign, take a look at One World Action’s video, below. You can also share the campaign with friends via the One World Action webpage.
So, there’s a new government in at number 10 and we’ve all been frantically playing spot the women and minorities… to little avail. The F Word has, of course, had its keen eye on developments as cabinet members were announced – read their posts here and here – but, now that the dust has settled, things are looking pretty dismal with just 4 female representatives out of 23 posts (17%) and a minute 3% minority ethnic representation (somewhat at odds with the most recent national population estimates that puts the British population at 16% non White British).
In the spirit of striving towards a political landscape that more truly represents the British population, One World Action have targeted the UK’s main political parties with a letter that calls for women’s representation to be put back on the political agenda. The letter, which is part of their More Women More Power campaign and has been backed by nearly 200 supporters, states;
The presence of women in greater numbers in public life is not only fairer and more representative, but it also ensures different perspectives, solutions and approaches and must be at the heart of political renewal in the UK.
Read the full letter here. One World Action have called for parties to respond, and will be posting up any feedback on their blog. We’re all ears!
Not long now to book your place at the International CEDAW conference! Here’s the information from One World Action;
“2009 marks the 30th anniversary of CEDAW, the Global Bill of Rights for Women. Womankind Worldwide and One World Action and their partners around the world believe that the principles set out in CEDAW remain as relevant today as they did 30 years ago. However, urgent action is needed by the UK and other governments around the world to ensure that the commitments set out in this key human rights instrument are implemented swiftly and in full. We invite you to attend our International CEDAW Conference in November to discuss the successes and challenges of CEDAW and join our campaign to mobilise UK resources for women’s rights.
In solidarity, join us and our international partners from India, Peru, Nepal, Bolivia, South Africa, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania. Our partners will share their experiences of using CEDAW in their countries and share their recommendations for future advocacy strategies.
In one voice let us take this opportunity to develop a way forward for civil society – a robust UK sector-wide strategy that seeks to ensure the government fully commits to its international obligations under CEDAW in advancing women’s participation, building women’s capacities, and promoting women’s empowerment.”