Saturday, March 7, 2009

Another Woman Who's Making a Difference

This week was International Women's Day and the premiere of A Powerful Noise. I had a particularly challenging and over-scheduled work week, and I missed participating earlier. I can't let it pass without comment though.

Here's to all the women who work to make this world a better place. It gets discouraging, no doubt. But there are many who inspire us. Today, the NY Times profiled Ela Bhatt and the Self-Employed Women's Association she founded in India.

The Saturday Profile - An Empire for Poor Working Women, Guided by a Gandhian Approach - Biography - "THIRTY-FIVE years ago in this once thriving textile town, Ela Bhatt fought for higher wages for women who ferried bolts of cloth on their heads. Next, she created India’s first women’s bank.

Since then, her Self-Employed Women’s Association, or SEWA, has offered retirement accounts and health insurance to women who never had a safety net, lent working capital to entrepreneurs to open beauty salons in the slums, helped artisans sell their handiwork to new urban department stores and boldly trained its members to become gas station attendants — an unusual job for women on the bottom of India’s social ladder."

Read her story. Ela Bhatt inspires me. Maybe she'll inspire you, too.
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