FiveByTwenty: Coca-Cola’s Pledge to Empower Women

When I say ‘Coca-Cola’s reputation’, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Coca-Cola may not have the greatest reputation for its business practices around the world, but for thousands of women in many developing countries, the Company’s business decisions aren’t looking so unjust!

When It All Started

At the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative Meeting in New York City, Coca-Cola’s CEO Muhtar Kent announced the Company’s FiveByTwenty project – their pledge to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs in the developing world by 2020. The idea is to integrate profit-making with local community support, not through charity, but through innovative and inclusive business models. For women entrepreneurs around the world, this means access to the skills training, small-business loans and professional networks that are crucial to the prospect of a bright future for themselves and their families.

By 2020, The Coca-Cola Company aims to partner with civil society and other private sector actors Read more…

empowHer: Hope Through Empowerment

Nigeria is often a country that creates news because of its vast oil fields.  There have been countless negative effects from being one of the world’s largest oil producers.  Few Nigerians actually reap the benefits from being such an oil rich country while limitless violence and corruption haunts the Niger delta.

Last year I met Brittany Atchison in Rwanda.  After our human rights delegation in Kigali, she was going to Nigeria for nine months. I knew that she was going to learn and gain immeasurable life experiences but I didn’t know what a powerful impact she would have on the north-eastern community of Jalingo.

Brittany and her Nigerian counterparts, Hannatu Robinson and Yusuf Jatutu, with the assistance of a 20 year partnership between the Iowa United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church of Nigeria, started EmpowHER – a microfinance initiative that supports women to start their own businesses.

A little hope Read more…

Pixel Project: Stopping Violence Against Women. Together.

When Regina Yau received two SOS mails from the Malaysia Women’s Aid Foundation in the same week, she knew something wasn’t right. She realized that the foundation was and still is at a great loss of funds. There seemed to be lack of donors and decrease in pledges. Regina noted such state of affairs and decided to do something about it. Her eagerness and drive to help the community of women suffered due to domestic violence led her to brainstorm variety of ideas.

The Pixel Project: Piecing it Together

Coming from a conservative family background herself, and witnessing the hardships of her grandmother, she decided it is time to put an end to abuse towards women in all its forms. She created Pixel Project in hopes to aid the Women’s Aid Foundation for the desired betterment. Malaysia Women’s Aid foundation shares its funds with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), which Read more…

Join Me On The Bridge: Women for Women International

We hear all too frequently of the abuses suffered by women in the countries we work with. It was reported last month that a woman in the Kunduz province of Afghanistan was murdered by her mother-in-law and husband for failing to produce a son. In a recent report by Doctors without Borders, it was revealed that only 1% of pregnant women in DRC with HIV are receiving treatment, and one of the reasons given for this is that international donor support is being withdrawn. It is important that the international community supports women in Afghanistan, DRC and other war afflicted countries to ensure their voices are heard and their demands for peace and equality are met.

This year marks the beginning of the second century for International Women’s Day (IWD), and the beginning of a renewed effort to secure equality, security and a voice for women around the world. We Read more…