Thursday, March 25, 2010

Join President Zuma of South Africa at J.W. Marriot

You have been invited by The Sullivan Foundation!

We are pleased to invite you to attend a very special event in honor of H.E. President Jacob Zuma, newly elected President of South Africa. President Zuma's visit to the US is a significant step towards US/South Africa relations. Please join us for a Birthday Celebration for President Zuma, as well as a thought-provoking dialog on South Africa and US relations. April 13, 2010 in Washington DC. Reception, The Dialog, Dinner, and Dancing! Hope to see you there! The Sullivan Foundation

Will you be attending?

Elected in 2009 by the Parlaiment of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is the President of South Africa, and our featured speaker and dinner guest on April 13, 2010, at a special event to be held at the J.W. Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC. His birthday is April 12, so this is also a celebration of his life. Join us!!!

Date: April 13th, 2010, 6:30pm - 10pm

Location: JW Marriot Hotel

Address: Grand Ballroom 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC

Contact: Ms. Wonder Lockridge at 202 736 2239

Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Recognizing The International Women's Day 2010



As a voice of reason and for special appeal I speak on behalf of many in both Diaspora and in Africa to sound our voices for urgent need to save life and for urgent speedy consideration to undertake trading activity for Economic Recovery from Economic Global Collapse, women are the answer.

People of Africa have been condemned to poverty by selfish Politicians who take political mileage of corruption to benefit themselves at the expense of security and peace of its Citizen ..….There are risks that should be urgently addressed and cases prioritized in the Continent of Africa by African Governments and how Africa can shape up to be part of the solution to the Global Crisis when women’s participation in development agenda are given 100% opportunity to embark on Social Entrepreneurship and in Global Trading Partnership where women have been noted for their skillfulness in meeting fundamental domestic needs and challenges for Development.

Food is number one fundamental necessity in the world today. Agriculture is a crucial economic activity, requiring and providing employment and livelihoods for many and serving as the basis for many industry creation or expansion. About 203 million people, or 56.6 percent of the total labor force, were engaged in agricultural labor in 2002. In most African countries, agriculture supports the survival and well-being of up to 70 percent of the population. Thus, for many, their livelihoods are directly affected by environmental changes, both sudden and gradual, which impact on agricultural productivity.

In recognizing The International Women’s Day, I appeal to all leaders of the World to make 2010 a year of Economic Achievement, and as Citizens of the Global Community having one common purpose of protecting and safeguarding the Climatic Environmental Condition in order to preserve “Nature” for life, Leaders of the World should capitalize on the talents of women in all sectors of economic development prospects for development prosperity, and more or so, recognizing Africa’s grassroots Agricultural Production Potential growth to benefit household food sufficiency and for social entrepreneurship trading. I suggest, 2010 be earmarked for Women’s Development booster towards development achievements emerging from the edge of catastrophic economic collapse and abyss of poverty stigma.

Development Goals for Women of the World is achievable because women have skills but are lacking financial resources to gain trading momentum. People of Africa are lacking Good Governance, infrastructure and financial empowerment and political goodwill to be able to meet world challenges and competitive edge for economic development.

I take this opportunity to send an appeal to the Presidents and all other leaders of the World, in recognizing the International Women’s Day, to give women a gift, so to join forces to pull and provide a jumpstart opportunity for women to access Financial Grants and Funds all over the world so women can start New Business Opportunity notably for Agricultural and Food Production and for security so they are able to participate effectively in engaging on Climatic Environmental Change and Bio-Energy Action from accessing Financing for Development in Social Trading Competitiveness sustainability and capacity growth for expansion.

I however, send an appeal request to the First Lady Michelle Obama and the Queen of England to spearhead to initiate a 2010 Summit by inviting substantive Representatives of Women from all over the world, at the White House, to prepare a Global Platform of action to Flag Off the Promotion and Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship so that women can contribute in the solving of speedy Global Economic Crisis as well as other domestic and Social problems that face the World in an innovative and effective manner.

There are looming serious Global Economic Crisis compounded by job loses, rapid price increase on food with other basic day to day needs, when on other angle there are wastages. Africa is the backbone for rapid Economic Growth for increase of World Food Production. We need to develop appropriate structures to provide subsistence for peasant farmers who are the small land holders to access necessary inputs in order to increase production and achieve our objective for Agricultural Development and food security. In Africa, effective Agriculture production have been neglected where there are ample potentials for land for investment in Agriculture but lacking networking to coordinate the same….Women are the majority in Africa who make 70% income earners in the domestic and social welfare. We need voice of reason to empower these energetic skillful sector to revamp Global Economy for a comprehensive Trade balance in both Supply Vs. Demand a basic component to improving the economy and an added means to create job opportunities…..

When Government gets Society and the Community involved along with Civil Society with the women for inputs and logistics, the needed infrastructures are put in place……this is how to get small local farmers achieve their worth and are able to grow more food that finds its way to the market quick and easily without wastages....With this kind of planning, there could emerge a provision to create Budget Funding Allocation for Regional safety-net budget account that can easily be accessible within the community under a Micro-Economic finance budget distress available to local community farmers in the future.

Most grassroots women farmers rely to some extent on sale of agricultural products to educate their children and provide the basic domestic needs. Thus, access to markets, finance and supporting infrastructure are crucial. An opportunity which is yet to be fully exploited is irrigated agriculture for bumper production.

Agriculture provides the opportunities to address extreme poverty in Africa, where the proportion of people living below the poverty line, of less than US$1 a day, increased from 47.6 percent in 1985 to 59 percent in 2000. As a result, more and more people in Africa have limited access to food and other basic amenities such as potable water, minimum health care and education, effectively limiting the opportunities available to them. Poverty and nutritional status are closely linked. About 26 percent of the people in Africa – more than 200 million people, particularly women and children – are undernourished; this is a reflection of poverty. It deepens other aspects of poverty such as incapacity to work and resistance to disease. It also affects children’s mental development and educational achievements.

Horticulture, which includes vegetables, fruits and cut flowers, has become a major activity. It has grown to be the single largest category in world agricultural trade, accounting for over 20 percent of such trade in recent years. While in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), horticultural exports now exceed US$2,000 million, this is only 4 percent of the global total. Significant opportunities for expansion, therefore, exist in Africa to boost employment as well as foreign currency earnings. The challenges would be to adequately deal with environmental problems, which include pollution from chemicals.

Africa’s development obstacles have previously been politically motivated…..but with the emerging New Order coupled with the knowledge landscaping, there are noticeable changes surfacing for good leadership with enabling environment for investments, which will provide for quick policy options incentives with improved logistics to access the market for the Agricultural produce. Give Africa an opportunity to trade in Agriculture Produce for global food security and remove barriers that are the causes of poverty through partnership approach.

We are living in a Global World, and so our Economic Crisis require Global Approach to solve the problem and therefore, the World should look at the Economic and Climatic Environmental Crisis as a Global concern for global partnership solution. We will therefore, be able to solve in addition our common problems which include Energy Power with preservation of a secured nature.

We must save lives by acting locally while we are thinking globally….majority of Politicians have bad behaviors but together we can join hands to improve our destiny the beginning of Global Peace and Security. Women of the World are still in Liberation is time to stand-up.......

I await for consultation, coordination, networking and facilitation of the above request for Way-Forward.......

God Bless you all.

Written by: Judy Miriga

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 08, 2010

Remarks by the President and the First Lady at International Women's Day Reception
East Room
4:52 P.M. EST
MRS. OBAMA: Thank you so much. So I get to speak first while he stands and watches. I love this. (Laughter.) Look at me adoringly. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: I can do that.
MRS. OBAMA: With sincerity. (Laughter.) Anyway.
I’m thrilled to see everybody here. Welcome, welcome. This is a wonderful event as we celebrate Women’s History Month at the White House. It’s so exciting. (Applause.)
And let me start by recognizing all of the amazing leaders who have taken time out of their very busy days and schedules to be here with us today. We have our Cabinet Secretaries, congresswomen and other leaders who are serving as such powerful role models for the next generation.

But we have some of the members of the next generation here, as well, and I want to take a moment to acknowledge some of them, as well. We’ve got young people here from the Girl Scouts, from Mount Vernon. (Applause.) From Mount Vernon and Hayfield Secondary in Virginia. (Applause.) From High Point High School in Maryland. (Applause.) From Eastern High School. (Applause.) And Georgetown Visitation here in D.C. (Applause.) All of you stand. Everybody stand. (Applause.)

I had a chance to meet with each and every one of them, to get a hug and a picture, and we talked. They are beautiful, they are inquisitive -- yes, it was a hug, it was a good hug. (Laughter.) And what I told them is that they should make sure they take advantage of this evening by making sure that they take time out to meet all of you extraordinary women, right; that they come up and introduce themselves with confidence; and that you make sure you have a little fun, right? So you’re going to make that promise.

Make sure you get to meet everyone here today, because today all of you are joining the long line of incredible women who have graced these halls both as visitors and as residents, from admirals and actresses to civil rights pioneers -- my good friend, Dorothy Height, is here. (Applause.) Nobel Prize Winners -- you name it, this house has hosted some of the most accomplished women and some of the most accomplished Americans in the history of this country.

But we’re here today not just to pay tribute to leaders and icons and household names. During Women’s History Month we’re also here to honor the quiet heroes who’ve shaped this country from the very beginning. We honor the women who traveled those lonely roads to be the first ones in those courtrooms, to be the first ones in those boardrooms, to be the first ones on those playing fields, and to be the first ones on those battlefields.

We honor women who refused to listen to those who would say that you couldn’t or shouldn’t pursue your dreams. And we honor women who may not have had many opportunities in their own lives, and we all know women like that: Women who poured everything they had into making sure that their daughters and their granddaughters could pursue their dreams; women who, as the poet Alice Walker once wrote, “knew what we must know without knowing it themselves.”

All of us are here today because of women like these who came before us. And during this Women’s History Month, may we recommit ourselves to carrying on their work for our own daughters and granddaughters, and also for our sons and our grandsons too.
Now, speaking of sons, it is my pleasure to introduce one of the few men in the room -- (laughter and applause) -- my husband, and the President of the United States, Barack Obama. (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: That would be me. Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, everybody. Please, have a seat. Let me begin by just thanking some of the people who are participating here today. Michelle mentioned my outstanding Cabinet members, the extraordinary members of Congress and people who are in our senior White House team. I also want to thank Ms. Kerry Washington for emceeing today. Give Kerry a big round of applause. Where is she? There she is. (Applause.)

Ms. Katharine McPhee, who’s going to be performing a song in the program. Where’s Katharine? She’s around -- she’s practicing. (Applause.) She’s here, I just saw her.
Secretary Madeline Albright is here today. (Applause.) and Ms. Mozhdah Jamalzadah is also going to be here performing a song in the program, so we want to thank her, give her a big round of applause. (Applause.)

And then there’s this lady here. (Laughter.) FLOTUS, that’s what we call her -- FLOTUS. (Laughter.) She is -- I’m biased, I acknowledge; but I think she’s a pretty good First Lady. (Applause.) Don’t you think? She’s pretty good. (Applause.) And I’m very sincere when I look at you adoringly. (Laughter.)
The story of America over the past 200 years -- past 233 years is one of laws becoming more just, of a people becoming more equal, of a union being perfected. It’s a story of captives being set free and a movement to fulfill the promise of that freedom. It’s a story of waves of weary travelers reconsecrating America as a nation of immigrants. It’s a story of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters making the most of that most American of demands –- to be treated the same as everybody else. And it’s a story of women, from those on the Mayflower to the one I’m blessed to call my wife, who looked across the dinner table, and thought, I’m smarter than that guy. (Laughter.)

The story of America’s women, like the story of America itself, has had its peaks and valleys. But as one of our great American educators once said, if you drew a line through all the valleys and all the peaks, that line would be drawn with an upward curve. That upward curve –- what we call progress –- didn’t happen by accident.
It came about because of daring, indomitable women. Women like Abigail Adams, who brought on the ridicule of her husband John by advising him to “remember the ladies” in our founding documents. Women like the pioneers and settlers who, in the words of one, said, “I thought where he could go, I could go.” Women like Dorothy Height and Sylvia Mendez and Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem and Sandra Day O’Connor and Madeline Albright, upending assumptions and changing laws and tearing down barriers. Women like Hillary Rodham Clinton, who, throughout her career, has put millions of cracks in America’s glass ceiling. (Applause.) It’s because of them –- and so many others, many who aren’t recorded in the history books –- that the story of America is, ultimately, one of hope and one of progress, of an upward journey.
But even as we reflect on the hope of our history, we must also face squarely the reality of the present -– a reality marked by unfairness, marked by hardship for too many women in America. The statistics of inequality are all too familiar to us -- how women just earn 77 cents for every dollar men make; how one in four women is the victim of domestic violence at some point in her life; how women are more than half the population, but make up only 17 percent of the seats in Congress, and less than 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.
These, and any number of other facts and figures, reflect the fundamental truth that in 2010, full gender equality has not yet been achieved; that the task of perfecting America goes on; and that all of us, men and women, have a part to play in bending the arc in America’s story upward in the 21st century.
I’m proud of the extraordinary women -- and the extraordinary Americans -- I’ve appointed to help take up this task. In addition to our outstanding Secretary of State, we’ve got Hilda Solis serving where the first female Cabinet Secretary, Frances Perkins, once served, at the Labor Department. (Applause.) We’ve got Kathleen Sebelius leading our Health and Human Services Department; Janet Napolitano running the Department of Homeland Security. Susan Rice is our ambassador to the United Nations. The chair of my Council of Economic Advisors is Christy Romer. We got Lisa Jackson, who’s doing great work at the EPA.
We have just extraordinary talent all across this administration. And from health insurance reform, to climate and energy, to matters of domestic policy, I’m seeking the counsel of brilliant women. And that list doesn’t include, by the way, the Justice I appointed to the Supreme Court –- Ms. Sonia Sotomayor. (Applause.)
So, yes, I’m very proud to have appointed so many brilliant women to so many essential posts in our government. But I’m even prouder of what each of them is doing –- and what all of us are doing –- to make life better in America and around the world, because lifting up the prospects of our daughters will require all of us doing our part. And that’s why we’ve established a new White House Council on Women and Girls, chaired by my friend and senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, that will help make sure that every part of our government is working to address the challenges faced by women and girls.
At a time when women are on the verge of making up the majority of America’s workforce, the very first bill I signed into law -– a bill named after Lilly Ledbetter -– was designed to help keep America’s promise: If you do the same work as a man, you ought to be paid the same wage as a man. (Applause.) To help parents balance work and family, we’re offering states more support for quality, affordable child care and paid family leave.
At a time when we are waging two wars and fighting a global network of hatred and violence, we need the service of all those patriotic Americans who are willing to do their part. And that’s why Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen and top Navy officers decided to end an old barrier against women, so our skilled and brave Navy women, as well as men, can serve on submarines.
At a time when it’s still legal for health insurance companies to discriminate against the victims of domestic violence in eight states plus the District of Columbia, we’re seeking health insurance reforms that would finally rein in the worst practices of the insurance industry. And I’m also proud to note that I’ve appointed the first White House Advisor on Violence against Women, Lynn Rosenthal. (Applause.)
At a time when the jobs of tomorrow will go to workers with the knowledge and skills to do them, we’re ramping up efforts to educate our young people in science and technology, engineering and math, and we’re making a special effort to recruit women to those fields -– because I want to see more teenage astronomers like Caroline Moore. In fact, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has launched a new partnership with Spelman College to train women engineers and help put them to work rebuilding our highways and our infrastructure.
And since today happens to be International Women’s Day, it’s also worth mentioning what Secretary Clinton, and Ambassador Rice, and this administration are doing on behalf of women around the globe. We lifted what’s called the global gag rule that restricted women’s access to family planning services abroad. (Applause.)
We’re pursuing a global health strategy that makes important investments in child and maternal health. We sponsored a U.N. resolution to increase protection for women and girls in conflict-torn countries –- to help make it possible for more women like Mozhdah, who traveled from Afghanistan to join us here today -- to reach for their dreams. We created the first Office of Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, and appointed Ambassador Melanne Verveer to run it. (Applause.) We’re investing $18 million -- we’re investing $18 million to combat the unconscionable cruelties being committed against girls and women in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And next month, I’ll host an entrepreneurship summit to help fulfill a commitment I made in Cairo; a summit that will focus, in part, on the challenges facing women entrepreneurs in Muslim communities around the world.
We’re doing all of this not only because promoting women’s empowerment is one of the best ways to promote economic development and economic success. We are doing it because it’s the right thing to do. I say that not only as a President, but also as the father of two daughters, as a son and a grandson, and as a husband.
Growing up, I saw my mother dedicate most of her life to promoting the rights and well-being of women overseas; to empowering them to take more control over their economic lives and be able to empower their families as well. I saw my grandmother work her way up to become vice president at a bank in Hawaii, starting as a secretary, never had more than a high school education. But I also saw how she hit a glass ceiling, and had to watch as men, no more qualified than she was, rise up the corporate ladder.
Before we got to the White House, where we are grateful for the extraordinary support that we receive from the White House staff, I’d see the challenges Michelle faced as a working mom. And as usual, she handled it with grace and skill, but she’d be the first one to tell you it wasn’t always easy balancing the responsibilities of being a hospital executive with those of being a mother, and sometimes worrying about the girls when she was at work, and sometimes worrying about work when she was with the girls.
And today, as I see Sasha and Malia getting older, I think about the world that they -– and all of America’s daughters -– will inherit. And I think about all of the opportunities that are still beyond reach for too many young women and too many of our brothers and sisters -- too many of our sisters and mothers and aunts -- all of the glass ceilings that have yet to be shattered.
We have so much more work to do, and that’s why we’re here today. I think about this because it reminds me of why I’m here. I didn’t run for President so that the dreams of our daughters could be deferred or denied. I didn’t run for President to see inequality and injustice persist in our time. I ran for President to put the same rights, the same opportunities, the same dreams within the reach for our daughters and our sons alike. I ran for President to put the American Dream within the reach of all of our people, no matter what their gender, or race, or faith, or station.
If we can stay true to that cause, if we can stay true to our founding ideals, then I’m absolutely confident that the line that runs through America’s story will, in the future, as it has in the past, be drawn with an upward curve. And I’m especially pleased that these young ladies are here today because they’re the ones who are going to help bend that curve towards justice and equality.
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
(CNN).....World marks International Women's Day

March 9, 2010 3:04 a.m. EST
Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi, meets with women's rights activist in Tehran.

The day was marked for the first time in the early 1900s
Across the world women demanded right to vote and hold public office
U.N.: International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history
Women for Women International is sponsoring peace demos on bridges in 70 locations

(CNN) -- The world marks International Women's Day on Monday, an annual celebration that highlights their economic, political and social achievements.
"International Women's Day is the story of ordinary women as makers of history; it is rooted in the centuries-old struggle of women to participate in society on an equal footing with men," the United Nations says.
The day was marked for the first time in the early 1900s. More than 1 million women and men attended rallies in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland in 1911, according to the United Nations. They demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office, and an end to job discrimination.
"It is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of women's rights," the United Nations said.
Women for Women International is sponsoring peace demonstrations on bridges in 70 locations. The event will "honor the resilience of millions of women survivors of war around the world" and push for peace instead of armed conflict, the group said.
On a bridge between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo -- countries marred by internal violence -- thousands of women will gather in support of peace and development, the group said.

Video: UK celebrates Intl. Women's Day

United Nations
While a celebration of progress, International Women's Day is also a time to acknowledge the struggles women still grapple with around the globe.
Sarah Brown, wife of UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, joined thousands of demonstrators on London's Millennium Bridge on Monday in a stand against obstacles faced by women.
"There are still too many women suffering in pregnancy, childbirth, no access to good health care, suffering from violence, suffering in all kinds of ways," Brown told CNN. "I think women all around the world feel a greater sense of solidarity for campaigning for better human rights."
Hundreds of white balloons were released to signal the marchers' desire for peace and equality.
A push for equality in India prompted angry protests, which disrupted the Parliament several times Monday in a bid to thwart a landmark bill that would reserve one-third of the seats in federal and state legislatures for women. While the president is a woman -- Pratibha Devisingh Patil is India's first female president -- women make up just 11 percent of the members of the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
On Saturday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh vowed to work for greater female representation in the country's democratic process, citing Women's Day as a time to "reaffirm our government's commitment to all-round social, economic and political empowerment of our women."
Half of India's female population cannot read or write, authorities say.
In Iran, female activists were honored Sunday by Zahra Rahnavard, wife of Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Moussavi, in celebration of International Women's Day.
About 30 of Iran's most prominent women's rights activists and their supporters held a private gathering in Tehran. Rahnavard declared that the opposition movement was still alive. She said the movement would not forget the sacrifices by women who were jailed, beaten or died in the post-election protests last year. Women, treated as second-class citizens under Iranian law, were noticeably front and center at the massive demonstrations after the disputed election in June.
"This year these women are now much more visible," said Nadya Khalife, a gender equality researcher for Human Rights Watch in Beirut, Lebanon. "But Iranian women are not only battling gender discrimination, they are also battling heightened political tensions."
Gender Equality for Iran, an activist organization, launched a renewed campaign for women's rights to mark International Women's Day, the group said.
The campaign, Call for Solidarity: Freedom and Gender Equality in Iran, is calling for the release of all political prisoners and an end to government-sponsored repression, the group said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has made women's rights a key aspect of her international agenda, said Monday that women still have a long way to go in obtaining full rights.
"Women are still the majority of the world's poor, unhealthy, underfed, and uneducated," Clinton said in a video message posted on the State Department Web site. "They rarely cause violent conflicts but too often bear their consequences. Women are absent from negotiations about peace and security to end those conflicts. Their voices simply are not being heard."
She repeated her words from a speech she made at the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing: "Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights."