Globally, women and girls are estimated to account for almost two-thirds of the people who live in extreme poverty. Women currently perform two-thirds of the world's work and produce 50 percent of the food, yet earn only ten percent of the income. To add to this injustice, only one in five parliamentarians worldwide is a woman.
A wider debate has now emerged about the role of women in society. 'Fourth wave feminism' questions whether men and women both have a subconscious misogyny, perhaps a blind spot about women's role in public life. Do we all assume women will shut up and sit back, rather than fighting for a space within public discourse?
Over the last week, 'Twitter trolls' have targeted high profile women with repeated online threats of rape, murder and bomb attacks... It's terrible behaviour, of course. Just because it's a feature of internet culture doesn't mean it's ok. But anyone remotely surprised that the internet is full of trolls and misogynists hasn't really been paying much attention for the last 20 years or so.
The journey I embarked on when I started with the Foundation in early 2009 could not have been a richer or more rewarding one. What motivated me to move from a UN job in the Middle East to London and immerse myself in a start-up? I was inspired by the focus of the Foundation's mission: to support women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets.
Last Friday, Women for Women International opened its landmark Women's Opportunity Centre in Kayonza district, Rwanda. The WOC will serve as a centre of excellence and innovation supporting women's economic and social development in the region through training, employment, and business opportunities.