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CAROLINE NAZARENO-GABIS

SONGSOPTOK THE WRITERS BLOG | 11/15/2015 |




REDEFINING WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT: AWID’S COLLECTIVE POWER  AS GLOBAL DEFENDERS OF  WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS
(A Woman Warrior’s Perspective And Tribute  To All Women Of  The World)

I am a proud AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development ) member. It is an eye-opener to me. I found a safe pool of lived gender equality. Its goals and priorities include resourcing women's rights, economic justice, challenging religious fundamentalisms, women human rights defenders, and young feminist activism. To wit: ‘’The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) is a global, feminist membership organization. For over 30 years we have been a part of the incredible ecosystem of women’s rights movements working to achieve gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights worldwide.’’

Vision: ‘’A world where human rights and freedoms, environmental sustainability and gender justice are a lived reality for all people and the planet.’’

Mission is to be a driving force within the global community of feminist and women’s rights activists, organizations and movements, strengthening our collective voice, influencing and transforming structures of power and decision-making and advancing human rights, gender justice and environmental sustainability worldwide. ‘’



AWID becomes a driving force for women’s empowerment and solidarity. It caters a home of collective efforts and voices of women from different parts of the globe to regain the power, for  humans, for young girls, for wives and for leaders.

I can still remember the historical question from the 1994 Miss Universe pageant held in Manila, Philippines, ‘’ What is the essence of being a woman’’?, there and then, it became my  ‘’leading role framework’’ or somewhat a cross-question at the same time cross-examination to myself as  a feminist, as a female educator and researcher. It became a challenge in my life. A brick of point to prove worthy of.

I am no goliath to perform famed accountabilities in our modern times. I am no queen regnant of the society, not even a transformed legend  or a public figure in Urduja’s town. My take is, a woman’s perspective should have a place in a healthy premise not demise. A call for transformative valuing for women.

Empowerment goes hand in hand with solidarity. ‘’Empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social or economic strength of individuals and communities. It often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities. ( Lisa Whatley, The Official Guide to Empowerment)

Let’s reflect on how Saint John Paul II shared his views, ‘’ Solidarity is about valuing our fellow human beings and respecting who they are as individuals. We are all one family in the world. Building a community that empowers everyone to attain their full potential through each of us respecting each other's dignity, rights and responsibilities makes the world a better place to live.’’

On the other hand, Pope Francis  said, “The many situations of inequality, poverty and injustice, are signs not only of a profound lack of fraternity, but also of the absence of a culture of solidarity. New ideologies, characterized by rampant individualism, egocentrism and materialistic consumerism, weaken social bonds, fuelling that “throw away” mentality which leads to contempt for, and the abandonment of, the weakest and those considered “useless’’.

Hence, respect one another, empower everyone.

Women’s voices at home and in community sound soporific before to those who had undergone violence, traumatic incidence, discrimination and ostracism, but nowadays, not anymore. There are millennial goals in development to fight these struggles.

Women need equal access to education, research and innovation; economic freedom and development, productive contributors in arts and cultural programs, political leadership, proper health monitoring, constructive mobilization and networks to provide multilingual table for all, including young girls, female single parents, mothers, senior citizens and the LBTQ community.



Women are actors, potentially equipped with power.
Women transcend time, place, and history.
We are women of today, of the millennium and  beyond.
We, too, can shape, build, move a home, a society and a nation.



CAROLINE NAZARENO-GABIS

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