Ewa Wojkowska has created distribution systems that are giving people in remote areas of Indonesia and other parts of the world, who lack access to electricity and clean water, life-changing technologies such as water filters, solar lights and fuel efficient cookstoves. She is co-founder Kopernik, a Bali-based nonprofit organization that launched a Tech Kiosk initiative in 2012 to support 41 Tech Kiosks across five Indonesian provinces.
Turkish Women’s International Network (TurkishWIN) seeks to inspire and connect female leaders in Turkey and abroad with stories that convey whole hearted stories and inspiration. The goal is simple: utilizing the power of video and the format of TED talks, it provides wings to women’s stories, unleashing the economic power of women by inspiring and connecting them across the homeland and in the Turkish diaspora.
“If we hire a woman, she will just leave the company when she gets married or has a child.”
“We want to hire women, but we can’t find women with the right qualifications.”
“We can’t hire women because our men will just harass them.”
The story of how one social entrepreneur in Guatemala, Curt Bowen, is starting a revolution—for farmers, by farmers.
The daily commute is considered a routine task by many people around the world – mundane, unchanging and more often than not, simple. In many parts of South Asia, however, this seemingly simply task of commuting to and from work is considered difficult and often dangerous for women. An issue brought to light by the horrific gang rape in Delhi, safe, harassment-free transportation is hard to come by for many working women in the region.
“Children should have the right to have their mother at home, not in the form of a maid, babysitter or grandmother,” says Nermin Saad. “At the same time, don’t these mothers have the right to use their degrees and qualifications flexibly whilst taking care of their children?
Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society: better health and education outcomes, societal resilience, reinvestment in communities, and national prosperity. While progress has been made globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the most daunting barriers in asserting their economic rights.
“Women currently make up half of the world’s population, work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, produce half the world’s food, but only earn 10 percent of the income and own less than 2 percent of the world’s property,” according to Ashoka Fellow Ben Powell of Agora Partnerships. Moreover, the MENA region has one of the lowest rates of female labor participation in the world.
In Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula, Bedouin tribes have inhabited the region for centuries sharing a distinct cultural tradition, bound by tribal alliances and family connections rather than state citizenship.
It’s hard to believe that Afghanistan was once considered the “orchard of Central Asia.”
In the 1970s, about 60% of the world’s dried fruit came from Afghanistan with fruits and nut exports making up about 40% of the country’s foreign exchange with bountiful vineyards, farms and forests peppering the nation’s terrain landscapes. After years of drought, conflict and the Taliban rule, the war-torn country now stands as one of the poorest in the world.
Finding work in the Arab World is a daunting task. Battling the highest rate of unemployment among youth in the world, nearly a quarter of men and 42 percent of women aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in 2012. In contrast, youth unemployment in the European Union and the US are 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.
Yemen has long been one of the poorest countries in the Arab world and with a history of civil conflict and particularly conservative cultural traditions, the challenges facing its citizens, especially women, are nothing short of enormous.
Imagine turning the taps on, only to wait around for hours for piped water to arrive. This is the daily reality for hundreds of millions of people. In India, tech start-up NextDrop is using mobile phone messaging to spread the word—and the water.
With huge school drop-out rates and half a million young workers leaving for low-skilled labour abroad, Nepal’s education system is in dire straits. Five youngsters who studied abroad came back to turn the tide.
Ashoka and The MasterCard Foundation have partnered to bring the second webinar in the Future Forward series featuring youth and innovators, Ashoka Fellows selected in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to answer: How can job creation be improved for young people?
Judy Stuart, Founder of Future Farmers, http://bit.ly/1g9I1Rw
Nokukhanya Nxumalo, a youth and now aspiring farmer participating in Future Farmers
Investing in women creates a multiplier effect for society – including better health and education outcomes, more resilient societies, reinvestment in communities, and greater prosperity. While there has been overall progress globally, women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) still face some of the greatest barriers in asserting their economic rights.
Sporting mega events such as the FIFA World Cup TM consume the hearts and minds of people around the world. With Brazil 2014 quickly approaching, as well as the 2016 Olympic Games, streetfootballworld would like to ensure that these mega events leave a lasting, positive effect on the host country of Brazil.
News headlines are replete with stories of a growing youth bulge and impending youth unemployment crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. This is the bad news. However, many social entrepreneurs are at work even now creating solutions to these types of challenges—a sort of counterbalance that shapes fortune out of misfortune. And within Africa, innovators are stepping up to the challenge of affecting behavior and pattern change with a deep understanding of the context of their communities’ problems. Young Africa (YA) founder Dorien Beurskens and her partner Raj A. Joseph are part of a wave of social entrepreneurs who are identifying root causes for the youth employment challenges in Africa and developing innovative solutions, which place the needs, assets, and priorities of the youth and the wider community at the forefront.
Sasha Kramer is working with communities in Haiti to fight diarrhea-related disease, the leading cause of child mortality. She co-founded SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods), which transforms human waste into a resource for sustainable livelihoods, agriculture, and reforestation.
The Middle East and North Africa is home to a growing number of women who are, uncharacteristically, demanding equal citizenship and a greater role in society. The impetus? Women are getting educated—and getting online.
The Middle East and North Africa region represents a wildly diverse variety of cultures, customs, religions and political groups. And the relationships between these constructs and popular ideas about women's rights are similarly varied throughout different countries in the region.
What do Ethiopian fine coffee farmers, Uganda vanilla producers and women gatherers of Nilotica shea nuts have in common?
...They were all losing out on their hugely valuable products because of a lack of intellectual property tools.
Tony Juniper is a campaigner, writer, and “by popular consent the most effective of Britain’s eco-warriors.” He’s currently a special adviser to the Prince of Wales Charities’ International Sustainability Unit, a senior associate with the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), and editor-in-chief of National Geographic Green Magazine.
Capitalizing on the untapped labor market could transform business and the lives of 200 million individuals. In India, Barefoot College is leading the way.
What is the Women Powering Work community buzzing about this week? Check out these great reads about current trends in women’s economic equality:
Maria Umar is challenging the cement ceiling as an international entrepreneur and a key player in Pakistan's burgeoning tech scene. She is revered as one of the trailblazers in the female entrepreneurial revolution, and focuses her efforts on furthering work opportunities for women in Pakistan.
More than a third of the world‘s population do not have access to a clean toilet. 1.1 billion people defecate in the open.
She said: "By launching Black Girls Code, I hope to provide young and pre-teen girls of color opportunities to learn in-demand skills in technology and computer programming at a time when they are naturally thinking about what they want to be when they grow up," said Kimberly Bryant. "That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.
Ashoka Changemakers, in partnership with General Electric, has been searching for innovations that enable the full economic participation of women in the MENA region through the Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA competition. It is time to announce the Early Entry Prize winners of the competition and share innovation trends from our outreach with a broader audience.
Today, social innovation is pioneering a new reality for women across the Middle East and North Africa, from Turkey to Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
The last 60 years have been good to you. You’ve probably never run out of affordable food or cheap energy and you’ll likely live longer than your grandparents. What’s more, you can travel anywhere in the world in less than a day, and access virtual omniscience from the palm of your hand.
With taps every few metres in most UK city centres, quenching your thirst with expensive bottled water can feel both unnecessary and unsustainable. The booming retail market for drinking water on-the-go has made asking for a free glass somewhat of a taboo. One young social entrepreneur is trying to turn the tide.
After years in the maize exporting business and fifteen years of fighting to protect the rich natural resources, environment and landscape of Zambia, Peter Sinkamba has decided it is time to swap his activist hat for a politician’s. All the same, he will keep his business hat on when trying to persuade corporates to jump on the environmental bandwagon.
If you’ve ever moved from one city to another, or between countries, you may have noticed that what is allowed in your recycling bin often changes with the move. So what makes a plastic yogurt tub recyclable in one place but not another?
Why can some cities, like London, take virtually all rigid plastic containers, while many in the United States only recycle plastic bottles?
By the time the average American child has finished grade 12, he or she has consumed 4,000 meals at school. What better place to start tackling the obesity crisis?
Kids don't like veggies. Healthy food is expensive. Cooking nutritious meals takes too long. Education boards won't convert. The problem is just too big to solve. The assumptions around school dinners are stubborn, but they did not stop two Californian mums from trying anyway.
If you’re reading this, chances are you buy a brand that supports a good cause at least once a month. Nearly half of global consumers do, a 47 percent increase from 2010.
“Not only are consumers making purchase decisions with Purpose [sic] top of mind, they are also buying and advocating for purposeful brands,” says the 2012 Edelman goodpurpose® Study.
When India changes its urban waste management system, it matters. Ashoka Fellow Ravi Agarwal has spent the past two decades moving mountains… of rubbish. He is counting on the youth to give the final push.
The New York City Mayor’s Office launched the “My Voice, Our City: What will you do?” competition this past summer to help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in New York City—and fast.The competition called for ideas that address challenges faced by young men—ideas designed by the members of the communities that are disproportionately affected.
For the last nine months, Ashoka’s Changemakers and the Nutrients for All programs have been searching for innovations that spark and spread cross sector solutions to the connected epidemics of malnutrition, chronic illnesses, and destruction of our soils. From revolutionizing local waste systems, to empowering farmers to nourish their soils and food, to improving the nourishment of mothers and children, these innovations represent critical elements of the future we are pursuing.