Happy International Women's Day 2019!

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....Happy International Women’s Day! .. Bonne Journée internationale de la femme! ....

....This women’s day we reached out to our network to hear from the incredible women that we work with! We want to learn more about their unique experiences working as women in social enterprise in the Middle East and Africa!

..En cette journée de la femme, nous avons contacté notre réseau pour entendre les femmes incroyables avec lesquelles nous travaillons ! Nous voulons en savoir plus sur vos expériences uniques en tant que femmes dans l'entreprise sociale au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique !

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.... These are some of the Responses

..Voici quelques-unes des réponses:

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“International Women's day in my world means celebrating women breaking barriers. Women rallying for causes and supporting. Most importantly women running thriving businesses in Uganda and the world.” -Hadijah Nankanja

“ International Women's day is a celebration of women's perseverance against oppressive systems and a reminder to continue working together towards a more inclusive future for all women. Women entrepreneurs have the power and privilege to challenge oppressive systems and help pave the way for a more inclusive and prosperous future. It is my day-to-day goal to challenge old traditions and assumptions to make space for alternative business and lifestyle solutions that allow  room for women to succeed authentically in their chosen path” - Lianne Holland

“International Women's Day is near and dear to my heart since 2000. I was a senior in high school then and created the first ever Young Women's Club where we hosted a conference to discuss domestic violence amongst young women on International Women's Day. We had panelists and the entire school attended. Then three years ago, I launched my business Trendy Napkin on March 8th. I was born and raised in the United States but I would spend my summers as a child in Turkey. During my visits to Turkey, I would spend some time in rural areas and there were several women who had very little education, were the sole bread providers, and barely earning income for their families.  At the same time, I saw determination, perseverance, and hope in these women. I would like to have a positive impact in relation to women's rights moving forward. I am honored to be a Commissioner for the MetroWest Commission on the Status of Women. Our mission is to improve the lives of women and girls in the MetroWest. One of the ways in which we do that is through advocating for legislation related to women and girls in Massachusetts. Another small role I have is through my business, Trendy Napkin. We sell products with inspiring quotes and some products from women in various areas of the world, then donate a percentage to charities that help women and girls. My husband and I launched a non-profit called, Rowe Reptiles. We built a 1,500 sq. ft reptile education facility. Herpetology is a male dominated industry and we are so happy to provide access to girls of all ages to learn more about reptiles and environmental science.” - Ceylan Rowe

“It's a day set aside to honour woman all over the world. This makes it possible for each and everyone to think about the woman, think of their activities and achievement. The day draws attention of the world to the role of women in all facets of life and to accord what is due her. As an individual it's a day to reflection on what i have been able to do for other women within the year. I then compare what my actions and contributions were the year before and how i can improve on same in the coming year.” - Edwina Assan

“International Women’s Day is a day where the world recognizes and celebrate all the phenomenal women that make the world go round.  Through the work that we do with T+I, we hope to create opportunities for women social enterprises to thrive, while telling the stories of these remarkable women and the impact they make all year round.” - Daniella Mastracci

“International Women’s Day means an opportunity to come together and raise our collective voices to remind the world of the power we carry as women. It's a day to remember our worth and proudly speak forth the path for our daughters and their daughters to ingraine themselves into society however they want and whenever they want. A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur with a higher purpose. Her accomplishments and success are directly inspired by and driven back to her community. A social entrepreneur is a gift to the world.” - Miri Rodriguez

“? International Women’s Day is a day when we take stock of the strides that women have made in various struggles economically, socially, and even mentally. I think the challenges for women living in Africa and the Middle East are the same, from access to financing, self-confidence in pushing one's agenda and planning for growth of one's business .I want to give women the tools that can boost their confidence in regards to their personal and business brands. Once these are in place, I believe she can achieve anything.” - Wambui JL

“As a women having work on Gender and Development Programs across Africa for 24 years, I see the international women’s day as a Day to show case what women do, program planned for women and what we can together as women to promote women’s development. I see Women Social Entrepreneurs as Bridge and Community Builders. There is need to present an alternative to capitalism which takes care of the 1% and leave out the 99%. As a women social entrepreneur my objective is to look out for the 99% of what I call the Most Vulnerable Groups (MVGs). In terms of privileges, as an African woman living in Africa, I easily get accepted when I do community visits because I can easily be recognized as one of them. This easily breaks down the communication gap. One of the greatest challenges is that of funding. How to support community projects that would benefit grassroots women. I desire to do much for the women of Africa but getting the cutting edge funds to facilitate this process is one of my greatest challenges.Since 1993, I have been actively involved in Gender and Development Programs across Africa.  I have had the opportunity of working in West Africa (Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia), Central Africa (Cameroon) Eastern and Southern Africa ( Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa). The major role I have been playing is putting African Women at the Forefront of Sustainability – Looking at the Water- Energy and Food Nexus. Look at the role women play or could play as agents of change in promoting sustainable livelihoods, sustainable development and resilient community building. In 2014, at the Women’s Day celebration in Brussels –Belgium by the Africa-Caribbean- Pacific (ACP) of the European Union (EU), I was nominated Exceptional for Africa representing the ACP. This year, 2019 Women’s Day Celebration under the Gender and Community Development Office of the East African Community (EAC), I shall be making a presentation on “African Women at the Forefront of Sustainability: Water-Food-Energy Nexus” as my contribution to the work I am doing across the East African Community (EAC) and other parts of Africa.” - Rosemary Olive M Boneenie

“International Women’s Day  is more like a symbol, a day where the woman is the protagonist.  But should be every day.  It’s the opportunity to claim strongly about the rights of the women in certain countries, and also to say everywhere how talent are women, so they shouldn’t be less than men in terms of income, salaries, rights.” - Christina Izarbe


.... These stories of women rising to the challenge are incredibly motivating. In the face of adversity we have proven time and time again that we have what it takes to succeed

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Ces histoires de femmes qui relèvent le défi sont vraiment très motivantes. Face à l'adversité, nous avons prouvé à maintes reprises que nous avions ce qu’il faut pour réussir.

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Kaytie Newby