Have you ever felt out of place or unwelcome?
Sadly, this is a daily experience for members of the LGBTQI community. And for many, it’s worse. They live in fear.
LGBTQI+ discrimination is rampant around the globe. As of March 2019, there are 70 United Nations Member States (35%) that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual acts, with imprisonment as the most common penalty. Indeed, in 37% of these countries, consensual same-sex acts can be punished by life imprisonment. In six countries, a person can receive the death penalty for being found “guilty” of consensual same-sex sexual acts, with three in Asia (Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen) and three in Africa (Nigeria, Sudan, and Somalia).
In 30 states in the United States, LGBTQI+ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, or denied social services simply because of identifying as LGBTQI+.
Our February Film Festival continues tomorrow, February 10th, at 7:00 p.m. CST as we feature “Living Out Loud: LGBTQI rights in Georgia.”
In this episode, we meet feminist activist Ekaterine Aghdgomelashvili, a trailblazer for LGBTQI+ rights in Georgia and co-founder of Women’s Initiative Supporting Group (WISG). Eka and the other leaders at WISG focus their work on empowering women and LGBTQI+ people in Georgia and working to advance their rights through political participation, economic empowerment, and cultural exchange.
We also meet Eka T., an aspiring young artist and fellow community activist, in the tense days leading up to a rally for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Through the eyes of Eka A., Eka T., and others, we see how anti-rights and anti-gender movements are endangering the lives of LGBTQI+ people and seeking to rollback rights gained by the gender justice movement in Georgia.
A 2018 study on hate crimes and discrimination in Georgia found that the majority of Georgians generally think it’s important to protect the rights of minorities—with the exception of LGBTQI+ people.
While officially a secular country, church and state are far from separate in Georgia. LGBTQI+ people in Georgia are the targets of violence and state-sanctioned oppression because of the undue influence of the Georgian Orthodox Church on social and political life in the country. Anti-LGBTQI+ rhetoric, led by religious and political leaders, has resulted in homophobic and transphobic violence, discrimination, hate crimes, and murders throughout the country, as well as state-ordered threats against LGBTQI+ individuals and activists. At the same time, LGBTQI+ and feminist movements in Georgia have made gains and have grown stronger over the years.
Don’t miss this eye-opening documentary and discussion. You are needed and Now is our time!
Be bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-dacious!!
P.S. We will be hosting the Fundamental film series on Wednesdays in February. It is a joint production from Academy Award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and the non-profit Global Fund for Women. At a time of unprecedented political uprisings around the globe, Fundamental introduces global audiences to grassroots movements and community leaders who are standing up for our fundamental human rights and working to hold governments accountable for healthier and more just societies for all.
I had an interesting dream last night.
Since Covid started, I’ve been remembering my dreams and I’ve heard that from others, too. How about you?
Anyway, last night I dreamt I was at a resort and I was trying to find my way outside to the pool area. I asked an employee and he pointed to a door but said we’re not allowed to use it. Then he showed me a small window. A man and then a woman jumped out through the window. But when I went to look out, the window seemed too small for me to get through. Then, magically, it became larger. However, when I looked out I saw my husband already in the water warning me not to jump. There was a large boulder and he was afraid I would get hurt. So I chose not to jump and instead went back inside to look for a door.
Ouch! Why didn’t I jump? Why did I listen to my husband? My logical side? The one that doesn’t take risks?
That’s really not like me. I’ve been taking risks for the last decade. I’m constantly pushing myself outside my comfort zone. Constantly doing things I’ve never done before.
Why? For a lot of reasons…
- Life is more interesting when we’re stretching ourselves
- We need more women leaders and it’s my mission to do everything I can to inspire women to step up and into their magnificence
- Women don’t sit by while women and children suffer so I want to encourage more women to become involved in social impact so together we can effect real and lasting change
- I believe my calling, my purpose in life is to use everything I’ve been given – every gift, talent, skill, experience, bit of wisdom to co-create the better world we imagine
- My soul came here for growth and transformation and I want to honor her
But my biggest reason for living outside my comfort zone is because I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and ask myself, “Why didn’t you jump?”
That’s my why. What’s yours? I want to hear!
Next week you have the opportunity to come together in a circle of courageous women to explore together our why.
What are you Passionate about?
What’s your Purpose?
How do you tap into Passion & Purpose to Invite Abundance into your life?
We’re circling up and there’s nothing more powerful on the planet than a circle of women on a mission.
I hope you’ll join us!
On November 10-12 from 12-1 pm CT, I’ve created a FREE Facebook Challenge called:
Grow Your Business – Grow Your Impact…
For More Passion, Purpose & Profit
You can join us live in the Business Women Giving Back Facebook Group where we’ll explore together how to…
Re-ignite your Passion
Discover your Purpose
Expand your Profit
When it comes down to it – it’s all about your Why!
Let’s leave the closed doors of 2020 behind and take a leap out the window together into the clear, blue waters of 2021 and our new future!
Be Bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-dacious!
Women and girls are half of the world’s population and yet in 2020 they are not considered equals in most parts of the world.
And despite attempts in the social impact space to direct funding to organizations that serve women and girls, support is surprisingly deficient when compared with philanthropic giving as a whole.
In 2019, The Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University published the first Women & Girls Index, which measures giving to more than 45,000 U.S. organizations dedicated to women and girls. The findings show that only 1.6% of all philanthropic support went to these causes. And through studies of foundation giving in both the U.S. and Europe, researchers estimate that only about 7% of all foundation grants specifically benefit women and girls.
How can this be? We know that female-led households are more likely to give to charity than male-led households and, at nearly every income level, women donate almost twice as much as men. Additionally, women are both more likely to give to women’s and girls’ causes and give larger amounts to these causes.
And despite the current challenges we’re facing, the financial status of women in the U.S. continues to improve. Women already own more than half of investable assets and control decision-making for $11 trillion. They are expected to inherit 70% of the $41 trillion in intergenerational wealth transfer over the next 35 years. More women obtain college degrees than men and more women are in the workforce than ever before.
So with the knowledge that making investments in women and girls promotes a ripple effect of change throughout families, communities, and even entire countries – why aren’t more women supporting causes that lift up women and girls? And what can we do to change that?
Perhaps the answer lies in the confusion over how we can effectively support women and girls around the globe. Of the philanthropic giving directed toward women and girls, 90 cents of each dollar are focused on reproductive health, leaving inadequate funding for the range of other issues affecting them. The factors that will lead to women rising into co-equal partnership with men are varied and go beyond reproduction.
Intersectionality emerged in the late 1980’s as a way to understand the complexities of women’s lives and to develop solutions that take these complexities into account. Coined by Kimberle Crenshaw the essence of intersectionality is that gender alone does not determine women’s experiences. According to Crenshaw, intersectionality is a way to see “multiple forms of exclusion”, as well as to advocate for women of all backgrounds and identities.
So what does that mean for those of us who desire to lift women and girls out of oppression? It means we need to focus on multiple issues at the same time. We can’t devote resources in one area and expect it to be enough.
But it can be a daunting task to sift through data and information and identify those efforts that have the greatest potential for social impact. There are many existing frameworks used by different organizations, but no single framework that is commonly used across the field. For example, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are not specific to women, do not organize the topics that improve women’s lives holistically in one place, and can be overwhelming given there are a total of 19 goals.
But what can feel overwhelming doesn’t have to be. In an effort to simplify the approach to better focus our efforts in the places where we are likely to have the greatest impact, I’ve created the:
7 Pillars of Women’s Empowerment and the Divine Feminine Rising
Using research from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania, we begin with the five core areas where the most promising solutions lead to the greatest impact on the lives of women and girls globally. These five dimensions are inextricably linked and provide a holistic view of how to create the greatest impact:
- Access to Healthcare
- Economic Empowerment
- Freedom from Violence
There is terrific work being done on the ground to address the issues that keep women and children disempowered. But is it enough? Are we moving women from a life of suppression and oppression quickly enough and at scale? What might we be missing?
Can we really make an impact on the empowerment of women and children if we’re living under the old constructs and beliefs of a patriarchal, hierarchical society? Constructs and beliefs around culture, religion, politics, business, education, healthcare that we have in many ways accepted for ourselves as truth. Until now.
The rise of the Divine Feminine on the planet is shifting the way we look at women and men, the roles we play, the privileges we have, where the power is held, and ultimately the imbalance that is prevalent in all sectors. And it’s time to incorporate two long forgotten pillars into the women’s empowerment movement and all sectors of society:
- Re-connecting to Mother Earth
- Restoring the Sacred Feminine
I believe these two anchor pillars merged with the five core pillars are the missing link to ending oppression and restoring equality for all. It’s time sisters to shift the paradigm that has allowed the “-isms” of sexism, racism, classism, etc…to fester and infect the health of our planet and humanity. Over the next couple of months I’ll share more about how we do this together.
Let’s get started!
Be Bold. Be Daring. Be AWE-dacious!