The United Nations (UN) set a goal of achieving gender equity by 2030. A new report indicates meeting this goal will be impossible due to deeply rooted biases against women around the world in heath, education, employment and the halls of power, the United Nations said.
The report paints a grim picture of the gender gap, and the ‘lacklustre commitment’ globally to equality for women. It was noted that funding for programmes promoting gender equality and female empowerment globally is ‘inadequate, unpredictable and inconsistently distributed’
“The world is failing women and girls,” UN Women, the agency promoting gender equality, and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs said in “The Gender Snapshot 2023” report.
“The power imbalance in philanthropy—often maintained by those without intimate knowledge of a community’s historical context, the needs on the ground, and the most urgent issues—spurs activists in marginalized communities, especially Black women and girls, to call for more input in determining what should be prioritized, how it should be funded, and who gets the money.” This is the opening paragraph of Feminist philanthropy: Dismantling silos and raising long-term funding (link).
Feminist giving, especially that focusing on women and girls, and especially women and girls of color, faces a dilemma. On one side, traditional philanthropic organizations are often hampered by a “white savior” mindset and scrutiny from the patriarchy; on the other, Black women face access issues, and are often not granted adequate trust to control large gifts.
On September 5, Rhode Island held a special primary election to select the candidates to replace David Cicilline, who resigned as US Representative for USC District 1. The field for the Democratic candidate was crowded with 12 names on the ballot. Due to the deep Blue color of RI politics, the Democratic candidate, whoever was selected, was considered the odds-on favorite to win in the Special General Election in November.
As of June, Sabina Matos, the current Lt Governor, was leading comfortably with polling numbers surpassing 20% of the electorate. Matos is the first Dominican American elected to statewide office in the country and the first Black woman to hold statewide office in Rhode Island. She was supported by the campaign arm of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Ellen Burstyn has attained the pinnacle of success in the entertainment world. She has received numerous accolades including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, and two Primetime Emmy Awards. She is one of only 24 people who have won all three awards, known as the “Triple Crown” of acting.
And Ellen Burstyn is also a philanthropist. Her most lasting legacy may not be so much about what awards what she has gotten, but what she has given back. Burstyn has been a member of the Actors Studio in New York City for most of her life and has been a co-president of the Actors Studio for over twenty years. She was instrumental in founding the Actors Studio Master’s program, an MFA degree track (currently hosted at Pace University) that offers tracks in Acting, Directing, and Playwriting for promising young artists.
This statistic is VERY disappointing. Southern Black Girls is a collective of Black women in philanthropy and they have made it their highest priority to disrupt the way philanthropy is done in the south. Their goal is to help change the status quo.
Southern Black Girls has been on a mission to raise $100 million over the next decade to financially empower the goals and dreams of Black girls and women across the south. Their signature giving vehicles – the Black Girl Dream Fund and the #BlackGirlJoyChallenge are starting to make those goals and dreams a reality.
Not everyone has the luxury of being able to choose where we live. For most people, the decision often depends on employment: people relocate to a place with a better economy to find a job, or as a necessary step to start working at a new job. After college, I relocated from my home state of Michigan to Boston because the economy was much more robust. It has been my good fortune because the decision has worked out very well. While working remotely is not a universally available option, whether due to the nature of the work, like a nurse or a mechanic, it is easier to do and more widely available than ever before.
And where we live has repercussions beyond the availability of jobs. Quality of life issues matter. Diversity, inclusion, and acceptance of lifestyle matter. Access to quality health care really matters. Health care includes reproductive rights and reproductive rights is more than being able to make your own decisions about your body. For example, how does your state of residence rank in terms of being a good place to have a baby?
The last couple of posts have had a focus on men and the difficulties they are supposedly facing. Let’s turn that around and focus on the success of women as leaders who stand up to their difficulties and manage to break out of the constraints they face and achieve some significant accomplishments. The first two below do just that.
One: Hypatia Capital
On the face of it, Hypatia Capital is an investment firm. However, the first two sentences of the mission statement very clearly indicate it is much more than that. It is an idea supported by concrete proof. Hypatia has created an ETF called WCEO. As the mission statement says:
During his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, now-Chief Justice John Roberts said the court’s role was to “call balls and strikes” and not engage in judicial activism. Oddly, SCOTUS has been judicially hyper-active of late. In the past weeks yet another precedent, bolstered by many decades of case law, was unceremoniously overturned. Affirmative Action (AA) in the college admission process has been the law of the land since the early 1970s, and passed its first Supreme Court challenge in 1977. Sadly, it is no more.
Per the ruling, colleges may not consider the applicant’s race as relevant for admission. Colleges are, however, allowed to consider–and give preferential treatment to–relatives of alumni. What’s wrong with this picture? Coming from a background of privilege entitles you to be, well, entitled. Coming from a background of slavery entitles you to get to the back of the line. But, they say, the students of color who are negatively affected by the ruling are actually from the upper middle class, so they will have lots of other choices of colleges. That might be true, but, they will be excluded from entrance into the ruling class. And note that five of the six members of the SCOTUS majority went to law school at either Harvard or Yale. This includes Clarence Thomas, who admits he was the beneficiary of AA, and he’s apparently still bitter about it.
For inspiration today, I’d like to turn to a news story set in Rosh Ha’ayin, a municipality in the northeast of Tel Aviv. The municipality was recently promoting a children’s performance where the seats closest to the stage were reserved for men, while the seats in the back of the hall were reserved for women. They claimed that this arrangement was made to “meet the needs of the entire population, based on their preferences.
The Israel Women’s Network demanded that Rosh Ha’ayin end the gender segregated seating.
“Separation between men and women in the public space, particularly between boys and girls, as part of an event supported by public funding, is forbidden and violates the law,” Gili Zinger, the director of the legal department at the Israel Women’s Network, wrote to the Rosh Ha’ayin municipality.
For the better part of a decade, Philanthropy Women has provided unique content and special insights into the world of feminism in general and feminist giving in particular. As a man, I am too often horrified by the way women’s contributions in so many fields are belittled or simply ignored. I’ve been enormously proud of the work that Philanthropy Women has done over the years to provide journalism about the efforts and accomplishments of women in so many different endeavors. Please help us keep up the good work by subscribing. It doesn’t cost much, less than $10 per month, the price of 2 or 3 coffees. Unity is strength.
On a slightly different angle, I’ve started reading a book called “Of Boys and Men”by Richard V. Reeves of the Brookings Institute. I ran across a reference to it in the Washington Post, and it piqued my curiosity. As you may be aware, there has been a caterwauling of complaints about the problems men and boys face in these troubled times. Reeves wrote the book as an attempt to uncover the reasons for these difficulties. I’m about halfway through, so I will provide some comments on the book and its thesis in my next post. For the time being, let’s just say that Reeves presents an interesting case, but I’m not sure it’s the case he intended to present.