Seattle pushes women’s rights & private sector to fight poverty

It’s International Human Rights Day and you may be surprised to learn that the modern notion of human rights is little more than half a century old. The universal declaration of human rights was made largely due to the Holocaust, the atrocities of WWII.

Locally, the focus of two leading humanitarian organizations is on advancing women’s rights and finding more effective ways to combine traditional aid and development strategies with a supposedly kinder, gentler and more socially responsive private sector.

It’s the Seattle approach – socially liberal and business friendly, if not economically conservative.

“We are compassionate, creative and outward looking,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said at Global Washington’s annual meeting last week. McGinn noted how at the World’s Fair in Seattle some 50 years ago, many predicted we would have flying cars and jet packs when, in fact, today we continue to have poverty, inequity and injustice — here and abroad.

“We care about that and are doing something about it,” he said. “And that’s what it really means to be a city of the future.”

Two meetings last week back up the mayor’s claims. (Sorry I’m a bit late, but I had a family emergency and this is a one-man news operation)

Global Washington, an organization dedicated to building up the region’s burgeoning humanitarian and social enterprise community, held its annual meeting with an opening keynote talk by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi, an activist and educator who is promoting women’s rights and childhood education in Afghanistan despite threats against her life.

Seattle pushes women’s rights & private sector to fight poverty | Tom Paulson | December 10, 2012