Gender and Diversity

When discussing topics such as gender and diversity, we should not focus merely on the problems, but rather on the solutions that these can offer us. In 2009 the Worldconnectors began a new working group, Gender and Diversity, with the aim of calling on each and every individual to commit themselves to the support of a sustainable and inclusive world in which the talents of all are recognised and embraced.

Because of the fact that the majority of people worldwide who live in poverty worldwide are women, the working group argues that the issue of gender plays an essential role in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and that solving the problems surrounding it is a ‘prerequisite for building a sustainable world’, . The Worldconnectors considered questions such as: What can we gain in terms of innovation and new leadership from the increasing participation of women and cultural minorities? The recommendations of the Worldconnectors include ideas such as: making teaching of human rights and active citizenship obligatory in every school and encouraging teachers to shoulder the responsibility of being gender and diversity role models for their students.

Millions of girls are brought up to believe that they have a lower social status than boys. In Sub-Saharan Africa, twice as many men as women are literate. Of the approximately 800,000 people who are trafficked across national borders every year, around 650,000 are women and girls. These are just some of the facts and figures contained in the Quick Scan of the Gender and Diversity working group, which also includes examples of inspiring initiatives and movements for equal rights for women and minorities occuring around the world. A Dutch example of such an initiative is WOMEN Inc. The current managing director of this organization, Worldconnector Jannet Vaessen, co-chaired the working group in co-operation with Sylvia Borren .

The Worldconnectors working group produced a Quick Scan and a statement on Gender and Diversity. The Gender and Diversity statement is based on the strategy of Stop, Move Over and Different Together. It describes intolerable practices that should be stopped (Stop), gives examples of structural inequality that should be changed (Move Over) and offers suggestions for transforming policies and practices (Different Together). In the statement, the working group also shared thoughts about reaching a tipping point: the point at which people start advocating equality and gender justice.

On December 14th 2009 Sylvia Borren presented the Worldconnectors statement at the WOMEN Inc. event De Grote Niet-ver-van-mijn-bed-talkshow (‘The Great Not-far-from-my-bed talkshow’) on international women’s rights. From the financial and the food crises to the environmental crisis: women and girls in developing countries are among the hardest hit. WOMEN Inc. invited activists, policy makers and opinion makers to discuss these themes and comment on the statement. With their positive approach towards the issues of gender and diversity, the aim of this Worldconnectors working group was to create and strengthen the feeling that together we can realize the goal of being ‘different together’.

Below you can view the Worldconnectors statement Gender and Diversity:

Worldconnectors Statement Gender and Diversity