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In order to make substantive change in our communities and in our world, both men and women must work together and support one another. Gender and social inequity have a negative impact on the world around us, in our communities and on the environment. In both developing and middle income countries, an underinvestment in education for women and girls hinders economic growth for the whole nation. By increasing women’s access to education, there is a reduction in infant mortality and an improvement in family health.

“We can either emphasize those aspects of our traditions...that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings. The choice is yours.”

― Karen Armstrong

In order to make substantive change in our communities and in our world, both men and women must work together and support one another. Gender and social inequity have a negative impact on the world around us, in our communities and on the environment. In both developing and middle income countries, an underinvestment in education for women and girls hinders economic growth for the whole nation. By increasing women’s access to education, there is a reduction in infant mortality and an improvement in family health.

Here are some ways that collaborative action positively affects the world we live in:

Changes to harmful policy

As we know, change doesn’t happen overnight, or  as a result of the efforts of one, or even a few, individuals. As our country  prepares to vote for a new president in 2016, citizens place a lot of responsibility on one individual to solve  all of the nation’s issues. But this is a flawed way of thinking  -- here’s why:

Our government has built-in checks and balances for a reason; no one person can or should hold the reins when it comes to developing and implementing policies that affect so many. We are a nation with a wide variety of interests, needs, and goals, which must be represented by a diverse group of individuals that represent them.

Real change only occurs when individuals work together for a common cause, the way Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired so many to do. Through nonviolent protest  and organized, collaborative action, he was able to bring national attention to a plethora of national issues.  In addition to his fight for civil rights for all, Dr. King used his voice to fight poverty and militarism, issues that impacted his community and the people who came together to fight for civil liberties.

The same can be true for the fight for civil liberties today. Inequalities cannot be solved by one group of people, or half of a population. All people must advocate for all rights together to make real progress, especially since many of these issues touch everyone, even if it’s indirectly. It takes all people -- from the President, to local leaders, to citizens --  to really enact substantive change.  

One of the goals of our network is to boost civic engagement and change policies and practices that hurt or hinder groups of people and our earth.

Increased economic opportunities for all genders

Historically, the fight for women’s rights, respect and opportunity has been a joint effort led mostly by women and girls. For too long, the concept of elevating the status of women and girls has been positioned as being  “anti-male,” but that’s not the case. What we really need in order to achieve gender parity is partnership between men and women who are focused on the same goals of regenerating our earth, evolving our democracy, and building fair economies.

When we work together, our communities and our earth prosper at a greater rate. By 2018, women-owned businesses will generate 5 million new jobs, which will create opportunities for men and women in various fields. Paid parental leave and greater access to health care positively impacts the quality of life and health of men as well as women. These are just a few of the facts that prove that elevating the status of women and girls isn’t just good for them -- it’s good for everyone.

A healthier, more unified world

Last month, more than 200 countries met in Paris to discuss climate change at the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . At the conference,  leaders came together to determine which  policies need to be enacted in order to  clean up each individual nation, pass laws to limit carbon emissions, and partner with one another to assist developing countries do the same. This event signifies that no one nation is responsible for climate change, and no one is exempt from the responsibility of addressing it either.

In order to have an impact on something as great as the health of the earth and climate, everyone around the world must come together collectively. What’s more, the nations that are most crucial to the success of the plan are those that make up 55% of the global greenhouse emissions. Not only are they responsible for adjusting their own nation’s output, but they are agreeing to work together to assist developing countries do the same.


Once we recognize and understand our interdependence as global citizens,  we will be better suited to to develop compassionate, resilient and regenerative communities that can address civic, economic and environment issues around the country.


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