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Why We Celebrated International Women’s Day All Month Long

Girl With TrophyNo doubt you have enjoyed reading about some of the world’s most influential women in this month’s blog. But why spend an entire month discussing women who inspire change? After all, International Women’s Day is just a single day occurrence, right? Really, though, we hope a month full of blogs featuring special women of all ages and walks of life was inspiring to our readers. 

If you have a daughter, take a moment to reflect on how she is living her life and your hopes for her future. The young women of the world may be tomorrow’s leaders. They may be called upon to fight for the rights of women who can’t do so for themselves. They may affect change that results in better lives for people the world over. Yes, our young women are precious and deserve to be recognized.

Sadly, the world today continues to exploit women of all ages. A Pantene commercial that aired in the Philippines dealt with the issues that women face in the work place. It depicted men as being praised as leaders and dedicated workers. Then women were depicted in the same roles, but the words associated changed to things like bossy or selfish. For today’s girls to be tomorrow’s thinkers and leaders, in business and other aspects of society, they need help to overcome these social barriers.

DiversityWomen also need to be seen as deserving of respect. Certainly, the women we have discussed this month make us pause and wonder at the things they have accomplished. We can’t imagine these women as teenagers sending lewd pictures of themselves to boys at school. This is just one of many areas where young women need to be taught to have enough self respect. It’s not just men who need to respect women. These young women need to learn to respect themselves. Hopefully, some of the women we have discussed this month are motivating young women to break free from these reckless social norms and reach out for a brighter future for themselves and others.

Next month, this blog is all business. Do you want to start a business, but find it difficult to come up with a great idea? Do you have a great idea and are just hitting walls trying to fund it? If you are looking for something to help your business, be sure to come back here in April as we get down to business all month long. 

 

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She Works Hard in Washington for the Hard Working Middle Class

Internatlional Womens DayIt would be tough to consider women who inspire change without discussing the political career of Elizabeth Warren. In 2012, she was elected as a senator for Massachusetts, the first woman ever to hold that position. Her stand on middle class struggles has earned her recognition from organization after organization since 2009. TIME magazine has listed her amongst the most influential people in the world on multiple occasions.

A Harvard Law professor, Warren has used her knowledge and influence to assist families that struggle like hers did after her father suffered a heart attack and the family’s income was reduced as a result. Today, she sees the same struggle for families as they cut costs in things like clothing and appliances to make up for skyrocketing healthcare, mortgages, and transportation expenses. She co-wrote a book along with her daughter explaining why even two-income middle-class families need to get by with less and sometimes still incur a lot of debt.

As a result of the 2008 economic crisis, Warren moved further into the political spotlight as chairperson for the Congressional Oversight Panel that reported on how the government bailout program was working. Subjects such as loans for small businesses and mitigation of foreclosures were addressed by the committee during her tenure as chairperson.

By US Congress (U.S. Government Printing Office) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By US Congress (U.S. Government Printing Office) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Along with several other senators, Warren is fighting for the average American worker. Since greater productivity has been required, and cost of living has continued to increase, she is in favor of increasing the nation’s minimum wage to over twenty dollars per hour. The drastic increase would obviously affect many businesses that rely on cheap labor, but the idea is to pay the average working person what they are actually worth regardless of the effect on bottom line for major corporations such as in the fast food industry.

Her latest book, A Fighting Chance, is set for release in April of this year. In it, she continues her crusade for better bankruptcy laws in the US, revealing that many cases are actually for reasons other than health related bills which previous studies claimed made up about half of the nation’s bankruptcies. In her book, she shows the decades long battle that she fought and lost against the powerful banking industry. After failing to defeat Washington bureaucrats, she decided to become one, and reached that goal in 2012. E

lizabeth Warren’s story is one of success and failure as she struggles to inspire change for the average household. Regardless of the outcome, however, Warren is determined to continue speaking out against predatory bankers, and in behalf of the working class.

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Big Business Wealth, Supporting Women in the Developing World

March8thVector2When we think of the last name Gates, we generally connect it with Bill and his multi-billion dollar technology corporation: Microsoft. Melinda Gates, however, is more than just the wife of one of the wealthiest men in the world. She helps to run the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and thus supports women across the globe. Consider some of the ways that Melinda Gates is inspiring change for women globally, thus deserving our attention as we continue to reflect on International Women’s Day throughout the month of March. 

Bill Gates wasn’t always as philanthropic as he is today. It wasn’t until Melinda married him in 1994 that charity efforts increased with the formation of the William H. Gates Foundation. She was content to be in the background without her name on the charity organization. The name changed in 1999 to represent the active role that she played. A $30 billion donation from Warren Buffet in 2006 made it possible for Melinda to completely restructure the foundation into three sections. While one was focused in the US, the other two focused on global development and worldwide health. Some of the biggest contributions of the foundation have been in developing more efficient ways to test and treat disease in poorer countries, including some of the biggest health concerns like HIV, TB, and malaria. 

By Bill_og_Melinda_Gates_2009-06-03_(bilde_06).JPG: Kjetil Ree derivative work: Jacek555 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bill_og_Melinda_Gates_2009-06-03_(bilde_06).JPG: Kjetil Ree derivative work: Jacek555 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In 2012, Melinda Gates made a pledge that will affect women globally. The organization is using more than half a billion dollars to provide women in developing lands with access to contraceptives. They are fighting to implement family planning services across Africa where many women die simply because they have no medical facilities to assist them with pregnancy. The foundation has also provided millions in charity to help give financial support to Latin American women who are at the poorest levels of society. 

Follow Melinda Gates on Twitter to keep up with the latest in advancements for women on the world scene. For example, on March 14th she provided a link to an article about gender equality for women in Tanzania. The foundation also has its own Twitter account which likewise follows global change, such as the March 16th post about efforts to increase awareness in Asia about the benefits of breastfeeding. 

Melinda is living proof that a woman doesn’t have to come from hardship to want to help change lives for others. She is willing to use the large sum of resources at her disposal to improve the quality of life for women globally. That’s why we are taking this opportunity to salute her efforts in behalf of women around the world. 

 

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