Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Good News Friday: Grassroots women lead the way

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Earlier this month, in Grandmothers light India, Pakistan with solar power, I shared a TED Talk by Barefoot College founder Bunker Roy. He told how he had discovered that, to make lasting change in the lives of India's rural poor, first he had to train the grandmothers (and learn from them). The grandmothers took it from there.

There's more good news from, for and about the women of the world. On November 10, Ms. Magazine blogger Diana Rico reported on inspiring stories of women in communities and nations leading the way to a global shift of peace and prosperity. In Around the World, Grassroots Women Leaders Rise Up, she shares what she learned at Bioneers 2011 in October, including a stimulating panel themed No Women, No Democracy.

If you need some inspiration and light on this day of massive Western consumerism, I encourage you to grab a cuppa and spend a few minutes reading Rico's post. For even more inspiration, follow the second link above and spend an hour and a half watching the No Women, No Democracy panel. I declare, it is the most worthwhile 90 minutes I've spent in a long time.

Here's some juice to prime the inspirational pump. All of the following quotes are from Rico's article. I'll provide the link again at the bottom of this post.

The idea that women can lead from the trenches, on the basis of their life experiences and without any special blessing from an established hierarchy came forth in many ways at Bioneers.
Diana Rico

[Organizations are] moving from the one person who has the big picture vision and all the answers to … a more shared, collective wisdom and a collective understanding.
Anisha Desai, director of Earth Island Institute’s New Leaders Initiative

The most revolutionary thing we can do is listen to each other.
Gloria Steinem

To Rico, the last word, and perhaps the most exciting statement of all:

In a short film Dr. Rajput screened, I saw images I’d never imagined: 543 women leaders from all over India, who had been democratically elected and trained for a year, discussing matters of law for the good of their whole nation. They drew up a budget based on the principle of Gross National Happiness, an index “based on sustainable development, social justice, conservation of nature and good governance.” In just four days they passed a slew of laws about such issues as child sex trafficking, food security, and domestic workers’ rights. After the film, Dr. Rajput’s proposal for a global women’s parliament was met with overwhelming applause. 'We are citizens of the world and we have also the right to say what kind of world we want to live in,' she declared.

Unabashedly, I echo Dr. Rajput: We are citizens of the world. We have a right to say what kind of world we want to live in. What kind of world do you want to live in?

Get Rico's full article here: Around the World, Grassroots Women Leaders Rise Up. Watch the full Bioneers panel session here: No Women, No Democracy.

We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.


Sharon said...

I want to live in a country who's GNP is about the happiness of its people, about its wellness, not its wealth. This is so inspiring to read. I must read on... Thanks for sharing this Kate!

Pat T. said...

Kate, thank you, I can't listen/read more tonight, but I am determined to listen to the panel and read the article, and I have marked my calendar. GNH...Gross National Happiness: both ways it just rolls off the would be such natural goodness.

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