Empowerment is Now Online: the Hello World Connection

Imagine that you had lived your life up to this point never experiencing the internet. No smart phones, no online recipes, no Google searches or social media.

How much would your life change if, one day, you were connected to the online world?

Katrin McMillan works with local children on the construction of their Hello Hub. (Photo Credit: Project Hello World)

The potential uses of internet access are abundant: education, job training, medical resources, advancements in farming and agriculture, communication with people across the world, all available at the touch of a button. For many communities, however, that online world is something out of science fiction. Women, children, and entire societies fly under the radar of education and international support simply because they live without access to the world’s information superhighway.

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Why Should It Be Easy? Power and Complexity in Gender Lens Investing

“We need to put pressure on the systems to ask different questions,” says Joy Anderson, in a much-anticipated conversation I had with her recently about gender lens investing and its potential to move the needle on gender-based violence.

Joy Anderson, President and Founder of Criterion Institute (Photo Credit: Criterion Institute)

I’m particularly eager to see movement to end gender-based violence. As a therapist and social worker specializing in trauma, I have treated many people who were victims of physical, sexual, and emotional violence that related to their gender. Joy Anderson is just the expert I want to hear from: someone who can make the case that society can move in the direction of being healthier and more prosperous at the same time by employing gender lens investing techniques.

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How A New California Law is Getting More Women on Boards

(Source: CalMatters.org) For 46 publicly held companies in California with all-male boards, the clock is ticking.

The corporations, including pharmaceutical, financial and software companies that tend to be on the smaller, younger side, have only until revelers ring in 2020 to name a woman to their boards of directors or face a $100,000 penalty. 

A bill signed into law by former Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2018 required public companies with headquarters in California to name at least one female director by the end of 2019.  The law further mandates that companies with five-member boards have at least two female directors by the end of 2021; corporations with six or more directors need at least three women. The penalties for failing to comply rise accordingly. 

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Game Developers Celebrate Access, Diversity at PAX Unplugged

From December 6 to December 8, 2019, developers, funders, and fans alike flocked to the convention center in Philadelphia, PA for three days of dice rolls, panel discussions, and high-octane fun.

Philadelphia, PA – Attendees walk into the Expo Hall on the first day of PAX Unplugged. (December 6, 2019 – Photo Credit: Maggie May)

PAX Unplugged is the analog gaming edition of the Penny Arcade Expo series. “PAX” refers to a collection of games conventions founded by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik, authors of the popular web comic Penny Arcade. Held each year in Seattle, Boston, Melbourne, Philadelphia, and San Antonio, these conventions are an opportunity for celebration, new releases, demonstrations, and discussion surrounding the rapidly evolving world of gaming.

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Announcing the 2020 Philanthropy Women Leadership Awards

We have come full circle on one of the most astonishing years for women’s philanthropy in human history. And yet, as we all know, there is still so far to go. As part of that process of moving forward for gender equality, it gives me great pleasure to announce this year’s Philanthropy Women Leadership Awards.

This year we decided to do something different and opened up 6 of the 10 awards to community voting. We had 689 respondents to our voting survey, and the results confirmed the growing interest in and competitive landscape of women’s giving and social movement-building for gender equality.

With the final four awards this year, we decided to open up some new categories, not necessarily based on Philanthropy Women’s coverage, in order to recognize groundbreaking women journalists and filmmakers contributing to gender equality movements. Oftentimes, this kind of media work is very philanthropic in nature, as women journalists and filmmakers often give of their own time and resources for years and years (sometimes decades!) in order to educate the public on critical issues.

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Movement Building for Women: An Interview with Teresa Younger

For a foundation started in 1972 by four white women (Gloria Steinem, Patricia Carbine, Letty Cottin Pogrebin and Marlo Thomas), the Ms. Foundation has been one of the frontrunner funders pushing to increase strategic focus on women and girls of color. Currently, this oldest and first foundation for women is on year one of a five-year strategic plan to invest in women and girls of color, for the purpose of advancing democracy and creating a more gender equal country and world.

Teresa Younger, Ms. Foundation President and CEO, recently spoke with Philanthropy Women about bold new steps the foundation is taking to advance rights for women and girls.

Among other goals, the five-year plan allocates $25 million toward organizations led by and for women of color. “Women of color have been on the frontlines of nearly every movement in this country — from reproductive rights, immigrant rights, and civil rights, to economic justice, and criminal justice reform,” notes Teresa C. Younger, Ms. Foundation for Women President and CEO.

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How Can Feminist Funding Help Shift Games Culture?

The game development world is changing. And it’s changing for the better.

At PAX Unplugged, held in Philadelphia from December 6-8, developers and fans alike gathered for a weekend of celebrating one of our favorite pastimes: analog board games. The atmosphere at this convention was different from others I’ve been to in the past. The excitement was there, of course, as was the kid-in-a-candy-shop feeling that permeated the Expo Hall, but there was an edge to the proceedings that I haven’t felt before, a conversation that started a few years ago and is turning into one of the most compelling threads in game development today.

From L to R: Developers and freelancers Clio Yun-Su Davis, Misha Bushyager, Kira Magrann, John Stavropoulos, and Jabari Weathers gather for “Lesbisnakes, Orcs, and Vampires: Who are TTRPGs’ Monsters?” (Photo Credit: Maggie May)

For generations, games were seen as something of a “boy’s club,” an industry dominated by white, male players consuming games and media designed by white, male-dominated studios. While there is still much work to be done in this arena, progress is on its way.

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Michelle Obama Tours Asia to Talk about Girl Power

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama on Thursday urged girls to resist the “imposter syndrome” she had felt on the way up and fight men for power, saying plenty of them didn’t deserve it.

On a trip to Asia to promote girls’ education, Obama contrasted her path to the top as a black woman with the easy presumption many men feel on their route to high office.

FILE PHOTO: Former first lady Michelle Obama attends the Girls Opportunity Alliance program with Room to Read at the Can Giuoc Highschool in Long An province, Vietnam, December 9, 2019. (Photo Credit: REUTERS/Yen Duong)

“I am telling you, there are a lot of people who don’t belong there,” Obama said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

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Women’s Voices Unfettered: A Feminist Survival Issue

Yet another U.S. feminist media outlet bites the dust. A lengthy article in the Sunday New York Times, December 8, 2019, “A Farewell to Feministing and the Heyday of Feminist Blogging” skirts around the reasons why. Is it, as author, Emma Rosenberg, writes, “Feminist media has been especially hard hit by the financial turbulence in the news industry”? Or, as she also states, “the sites were undone by their own popularity…..larger media organizations…hired [these women journalists]”? Rosenberg does a disservice by not being clear.

Like many other feminist publications, Feministing has suffered chronic underfunding and now must close down. (Image Credit: Feministing.com)

Money and the lack of it is the core reason that feminist media continues to have such trouble. This problem runs deeper than “turbulence in the news industry.” Over the summer, I wrote about other feminist media in trouble, and raised concern about how the chronic underfunding of feminist media has crippled the movement for gender equality.

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#GivingTuesday2019 Reports Nearly $2 Billion in U.S. Donations

Another #GivingTuesday is one for the books! According to the organization that created the international day of generosity, this year’s online and offline donations crushed a monumental milestone: almost $2 billion in donations in the United States alone, with $511 million in online donations.

According to statistics collected by GivingTuesday, United States donors gave nearly $2 billion on December 3, 2019. (Photo Credit: GivingTuesday)

“Generosity is a core trait and value that brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together,” said Asha Curran, Co-founder and CEO of GivingTuesday. “GivingTuesday creates a shared space where we can see the radical implications of a more generous world.”

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