Batteries not included
So many gifts you can buy to improve the lives of women and children. Gifts that make a difference. Gifts that empower, enrich, enable. Gifts that can change the world.
In many poor countries, the greatest unexploited resource isn’t oil fields or veins of gold; it is the women and girls who aren’t educated and never become a major presence in the formal economy. With education and with help starting businesses, impoverished women can earn money and support their countries as well as their families. They represent perhaps the best hope for fighting global poverty.
Charities are in desperate straits this holiday season as Canadians struggle to pay the mortgage when so many have lost their jobs.But, for all the talk of what's happening in the automotive and media industries, to name two troubled sectors, we never hear about how the non-profit side of the economy is faring.
Make no mistake, non-profits are not unimportant -- and they employ a lot of women.
Which is why I liked this oped by Jill Wyatt, CEO of Calgary's YWCA, brought to my attention by pal Francesca Dobbyn, executive director of the United Way in Bruce Grey.
One of the sectors in which women dominate is the not-for-profit or third sector. Almost 75 per cent of the employees in this third sector are women. But this sector is receiving considerably less media attention than other sectors during this recession, even as our community's needs increase.
Far from not-for-profit, I believe there is great profit from what we do, but our bottom line is different. We save lives. We make a difference by building human capital. And we try to do more with less and less every single day.
Believe me when I say you would miss us if we disappeared overnight. There are 161,000 charities in Canada with revenues of $112 billion. We employ 1.2 million people representing 7.2 per cent of the paid workforce--we have 11 times more workers than the automotive sector and two-and-a-half times the number of workers in the construction industry. We contribute 8.5 per cent of Canada's GDP, which is more than the retail, mining, and oil and gas industries combined.
Seems pretty straight-forward to me.
You know what you have to do.