Do you read the news daily? If you’re paying close attention to global headlines, you might feel saturated by discussion about political conflict, corruption in governments, consumerism (especially over the holidays) and gender stereotypes.
But if you look behind the fine print, you’ll see a lot of good sweeping through communities around the world. More people are getting healthier, societies are becoming more free and inclusive, more kids are going to school and more of us are becoming advocates for causes and initiatives we believe will change lives.
A recent article by Raj Kumar, the President of Devex, listed significant changes in the world that took place in 2016. For example, we are now closer to gender parity in education than at any time in modern history. Countries including Botswana, Nicaragua and Costa Rica have fully closed their school enrollment gender gaps, and Nepal, Rwanda and Zimbabwe are 90 percent of the way there. Last year alone, Chad, Mozambique and Zambia launched plans to end child marriage, and Tanzania and Gambia outlawed the practice. And world hunger is at its lowest point in 25 years.
Kumar also stated how 2016 saw the official declaration that malaria was eliminated in Sri Lanka, and the WHO announced malaria deaths are now down 60 percent since 2000 globally. The World Bank took a big step forward in supporting refugees with its new financing facility. And millions more people, including many women in poor societies, now have access to banking services via their cell phones, enabling them to borrow and save for education and health care investments.
Gender equality is also making headlines…and progress! A video (see above) of a pop song that highlights the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia has amassed millions of views on social media. The video entitled ‘Hwages’, loosely translated in English as ‘Concerns’, shows women in Saudi Arabia skateboarding, playing basketball and dancing.
Women’s safety issues are also making headlines. A smartphone application enabling women to report incidents of harassment to police in Pakistan’s Punjab province went live this week as authorities step up efforts to promote women’s safety in one of the worst provinces for crimes against them. With a click of a button, users who feel threatened can call an emergency response police team who should be able to track their location via a built-in global positioning system (GPS).
What does all this have to say about where we are as a global community? That global development is working. According to Kumar, “Investing in healthier people and societies, in a cleaner more stable planet, in more open and inclusive democracies pays off. That’s why global development is a growing field, why billionaire philanthropists, crowdfunded social enterprises, major corporations, and emerging economic powers are all piling in. That’s why students and young professionals around the world are lining up for a career that makes an impact.”
“Impact” – now that’s a word we want to hold onto in 2017 as we strive for a better world or women and young girls here at Global Moms Challenge. Now is the time to act. Let’s not just keep reading the headlines, but also find ways to make an impact on our communities….and the world.
Take action challenge
- Join forces with a local organization that serves women and young girls, or if your time is limited, make a donation.
- Stand up for your rights and the rights of others by contacting your local representatives when you see a injustice, or even better, run for office!
- What issues matter most to you? Head over to our Facebook page and leave a comment or tweet us at @GlobalMomsChall using hash tag #GlobalMoms.