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Businesses are the key to helping women

Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 6 Mar 2012 21:31 GMT
Author: Shreela Flather
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Baroness Flather has long been advocate of women’s rights around the world. She became a life peer for Britain's Conservative Party in 1990, was also the first minority woman to become an elected councillor and the first Asian woman to become the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead.The opinions expressed are her own.

In my recent book, "Woman: Acceptable Exploitation for Profit", I argue that we cannot rely on politics or charity to bring about much needed change in the world, but rather businesses who can implement small changes to employ more women.

By employing women who "are mothers we can help children and, as they become educated and mature, the world will begin to recover financially, environmentally, medically, and even, dare I say, morally".

If you employ women, they will ensure that their wages will help their children will be nourished and go to school, which will help strengthen our future generations.

Women are the most reliable and loyal and hardworking resource in the world, and it is harming businesses not to employ more women. Small and creative changes are needed in business structures to help find more jobs that can be given to women.

In the midst of the global economic downturn, it is important to remember the commitment promised in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a framework of global targets set in 2000 by the United Nations (U.N.) to be met by 2015 to try and alleviate poverty.

These goals cannot be achieved without putting women at the forefront of every initiative. Businesses can help create thriving communities and allow for self-sufficient families led by strong women that will ensure a strong future.

Women, especially living in rural areas, have long been ignored by the world.

However, this must change. Businesses are recognising the importance of women and creating partnerships with rural farmers that provide good returns.

These returns must be applauded and emulated elsewhere. Companies must look to see what rural women can produce and thus open up further opportunities for self-sufficiency and development.

There are many good examples of these partnerships, especially in India where cooperatives are a good practice to get women into self-sufficiency.

Businesses have a responsibility to help bring about much needed change in the world, especially helping rural women.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we must applaud the progress that has been made and look to see where creative changes can be made to help employ more women to help create strong futures in the world.

Baroness Flather is available for speaking events. Please contact Jordan Junge at jojunge [at] gmail [dot] com for further information

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