We’re Loud & We’re Proud

Celebrating women’s empowerment, and voicing protest – the growing power of video messaging

When women get together in many countries around the world, they sing songs of praise and protest. Indeed, song has bound together movements for generations – so why not the women’s movement? We made note of that a few years back, in one of our most popular and forwarded blogposts, “Womenabling Music: uniting cultures and empowering women through song,” and we have also shared historical videos of importance and interest to women’s economic empowerment advocates (such as those highlighted in our 1st quarter e-newsletter from 2011).

This year during Women’s History Month, we again turn our focus on song. First off, we wanted to make sure you get a chance to tap your toes to One Woman, which comes to us from  UN Women; proceeds from song downloads will go to their good cause.

Secondly, there was a recent flashmob social media campaign to mark V Day – celebrated primarily as Valentine’s Day, but more recently used to call attention to the appalling fact that one out of three women (fully one billion women) will be the victims of violence during their lifetime. Under the One Billion Rising moniker (I love their tagline: 1 billion women violated is an atrocity; 1 billion women dancing is a revolution), thousands of local groups got together to perform – flashmob style in some cases – to the song “Break the Chain,” written to highlight the issue. Here’s one flashmob example of the performance of the song, from India:

And here’s the video that’s garnered the highest number of views on YouTube (over 172,000), from San Francisco:

Check out others at onebillionrising.org/livestream. And learn more about the song and the choreography HERE. These are just a few examples of the growing power of social media to deploy aural advocacy. Sing out, sisters!

Musings on Women’s History Month

On a recent trip to Washington, DC, to – what else – advocate for women’s economic empowerment in my new role as Chair of the Association of Women’s Business Centers, I was catching up on my business magazine reading. I ran across an article about “do it yourself” animated movie-making, and I thought it sounded interesting. So, I said to myself, why not experiment with it a bit. Here’s the result, a little ditty reflecting on the meaning of Women’s History Month. We’re calling this occasional series “The Womenabler Speaks,” and you’ll be able to find this and other video contributions from Womenable on our new You Tube channel. We’d love your comments.

Just in case you can’t make out all of the words that the Womenabler avatar is speaking, our Musings on Women’s History Month poem is repeated below:

Womenable speaks makes its debut.
A lighthearted look, from our point of view,
at womenabling news you can use.

We may not always rhyme,
our raps may not be sublime,
but our tweets, posts and bon mots,
mixing poetry and prose,
will shine a light, make you think, and be right on time.

March means women’s history.
A month-long look at all that we
have done to move that proverbial ball
up the hill and over the wall.

So let’s remember the suffragettes,
and those who bear the torch today.
From Tareer Square to High Street they gather to say
Let’s make a path so we can get
A chance to launch and find our way
to peace through business and empowerment.

That’s what our foremothers saw,
when risking life and limb.
A future bright with promise,
for all our kith and kin.

So celebrate women’s history by making some of your own!

Conversations on ‘Women in Power’ in Canada

It’s a provocative title for a series, and an opening salvo in a series of discussions online and in Canada’s leading newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Entitled, “Canada: Our Time to Lead,” the series will feature stories and conversations on eight important topics, one of which is Women in Power.

A look at the stories and video/photo features so far this month (which is Women’s History Month in Canada – this year’s theme is “Recognizing Canadian Women in Business”) is impressive. Here is a sampling:

CLICK HERE to view and bookmark the series page; you’ll want to save it and check in on the stories as they unfold. Three cheers to The Globe and Mail for launching this conversation.

Celebrate Women’s History … in a Museum

We womenablers all know that the 8th of March is International Women’s Day, when many nations around the world celebrate the unique roles and achievements of women in society. Many countries extend their recognition of women’s accomplishments to the entire month of March. (Other nations celebrate women in other months more appropriate to their history, like Canada in October and South Africa in August.)

To learn more about all of the events happening around the world on International Women’s Day, visit internationalwomensday.com.

One thing we’d suggest doing during this month of celebration and focus on women’s issues is to visit a museum – with your colleagues, friends, or family (especially youngsters). There are many museums around the world that focus exclusively on one famous woman (like the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in Delhi), a group of women (like the National Cowgirl Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas), or women in general. Here are a few of them:

So celebrate Women’s History Month by heading off to a women’s museum near you. Here’s hoping that you learn something new, and can share the experience with others.