“I’m learning how to read, so that I can read my life. I’m learning how to write, so that I can write my own destiny. I’m learning to count, so that I can keep account of my human rights.” ~ Kamla Bhasin, Indian Feminist.
Right now Australians are in the midst of a $40 billion Christmas shopping spree, buying things for under the tree in Australian homes.
But if you’re sick of buying things for people who don’t really need any more things, there’s a thoughtful alternative in gift-giving.
The International Women’s Development Agency has a range of meaningful gifts that you can give to someone who you think might wish to empower women in Asia and the Pacific.
You can give a woman the chance to attend finance training in the Solomon Islands, or to seek shelter from violence and trafficking on the Thai Burma border.
Gifts of Change are investments in the future of women.
$25: A Trip to Financial Literacy Training
Eighty percent of women in the Solomon Islands do not have access to formal banking services. WARA-supported savings clubs provide women with an important opportunity to save money and control their own finances. This gift represents the cost for a women’s savings club leader to travel by boat to a rural centre to attend financial literacy training, run by West ‘Are’Are Rokotanikeni (WARA).
$45: Food and board for a week.
This gift represents the cost of one week’s worth of food for the women who are staying at the Palaung Women’s Organisation’s Crisis and Resource Centre on the Thai Burma border. Ethnic Palaung women from Burma are highly vulnerable to human trafficking and gender-based violence. This centre provides emergency accommodation, support and resources to women who have survived trafficking and violence in this region.
This gift represents the cost for a woman facilitator from Covalima Community Centre to work with women in a rural community to build their micro-businesses. Rural women in Timor-Leste face gender inequalities in income, education and employment opportunities. These projects provide women with opportunities to take on leadership roles, often for the first time.
$95: Two months of training and activities.
This gift represents the cost of running all classes and activities at a drop-in centre for two months. Garment workers in Cambodia are usually young women who’ve had limited opportunities and low levels of education, making them highly vulnerable to exploitation. The centres, run by the Workers’ Information Centre, provide safe spaces for workers to learn, in solidarity with each other, about their rights, labour law, health and migration, and also have fun.
$130: One month’s rent at a crisis centre.
This gift represents the cost of one month’s rent for the Palaung Women’s Organisation’s Crisis and Resource Centre on the Thai Burma border. Ethnic Palaung women from Burma are highly vulnerable to human trafficking and gender-based violence. This centre provides emergency accommodation, support and resources to women who have survived trafficking and violence in this region.
$200: Conflict resolution workshop.
Your gift represents the cost for the Pacific Centre for Peacebuilding (PCP) to run a community workshop on conflict resolution and mediation in a rural community in Vanua Levu. Vanua Levu Island in Fiji faces fragile inter-ethnic relations, and women from different ethnic groups have unequal decision-making opportunities. PCP workshops are vital in improving women’s knowledge and skills on ways to analyse and resolve conflict situations that arise in their communities.
$450: One week business workshop.
This gift represents the cost for a woman to take part in a weeklong workshop organised by Organisasaun Haburas Moris (OHM). Women in Timor-Leste face inequalities and disadvantage in income levels and labour market participation. OHM workshops provide women with the opportunity to come together and explore new business ideas and share valuable lessons with other micro-business groups.
This gift represents the cost of a computer and IT equipment for the participants of the women’s empowerment and leadership training organised by Shan Women’s Action Network on the Thai Burma border. Displaced women from ethnic Shan communities in Burma have limited access to information about their rights, increasing their vulnerability to discrimination and violence. This training provides opportunities for women to further their knowledge and skills so they can take action for change.
Go here to purchase IWDA’s gifts that could make a change in the lives of women.
*This post is sponsored by The International Women’s Development Agency.