BPW International Health & Wellbeing Task Force's Report
by Luisa Monini, Chair
“Think globally and act locally” from humanist René Dubos fits well with the philosophy of BPW International which operates in 5 Continents, with affiliates that, while thinking globally, act locally depending upon the needs of their people. For this purpose, I developed the 3-year Health & Wellbeing Action Plan, on which the Taskforce members began work, also in light of the 17 UN SDGs to be achieved by 2030.
Our lives have been strongly impacted by the COVID-19 global pandemic and Taskforce members quickly reacted to the emergency situation. During the pandemic, women all over the world experienced once again conditions of great pain, anguish and anger due to the increase in domestic violence and the decrease in jobs. Most women with chronic diseases have not been properly treated and many disabled women and their families have been abandoned. BPW members assisted in denouncing the shortcomings of a society too caught up in the pandemic to deal with women and their rights.
BPW affiliates all over the world have either developed new projects to help manage and constrain the global health crisis or have reorganized their teams and ongoing projects.
So, in the midst of the pandemic, new projects were born all over the world, thanks to the creativity and organ- izational efficiency shown by affiliates, who have been able to keep up with the progress of the ITCs by contin- uing to communicate with each other and promoting decisive small and large scale actions in health, social and economic terms; but primarily by promoting the empowerment of women to better face the great challenges of a world in pandemic; in line with the 18th goal “Empowering women to realize the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Among the 9 Goals I identified, I reiterate the following: Equality for women and girls with disabilities (SDG N. 10)/Reshaping the future: girls & women go digital (SDG N. 5) Against any form of violence, treat all women and men fairly at work, respect and support Human Rights and non- discrimination (SDG N.3)/ How BPW International can impact on daily lives of women (SDG N. 18). The UN found a strong ally in BPW Inter- national through the members of this Taskforce, that urge governments to care for women’s rights, against any form of violence and abandonment especially of disabled women, with particular regard to children who, during lockdown, suffered from psycho-physical problems with eating and sleeping disorders and a sedentary lifestyle. I would like to thank all the BPWI Taskforce members who have been active on all fronts, even at a particularly hard time as this.
In thanking our President Amany Asfour for bringing together BPW International in such a difficult period for the whole world and, also the Regional Coordinators who have supported her in this arduous task, we recall Madesin Phillips’ philosophy:
“ ...if our motive is right, if we have faith, vision and courage, accomplishment must come.”
BPW International Health & Wellbeing Taskforce Chair
Report 2017-2020 / Workbook p. 56