This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast, Craig Fagan, policy director of the World Wide Web Foundation and Sonia Jorge, the executive director of the Alliance for Affordable Internet discusses how over 60 percent of the world is still not connected to the internet and how this digital divide is keeping billions from prospering economically and socially. They talk about how their mission is to raise voices for those who don’t have internet access, enhance internet participation and expand access by reducing cost of digital access.
This week on the Democracy that Delivers podcast this week, AARP Chief Communications and Marketing Officer Martha Boudreau stopped by to discuss the importance of messaging and branding in the world of non-profits. A CIPE board member and top communications strategist in the DC area, Boudreau also talks about her years at FleishmanHillard where she was president of the mid-Atlantic and Latin America and the experiences there that led her to interest in international communications. In particular, she highlights her work at FleishmanHillard in the Middle East and Latin America and explains how that work led to her interest in serving on CIPE’s board, where she heads the communications committee. Boudreau also talks about the mission of AARP, which is to enhance the quality of life for all people as they age, and the important part storytelling plays in furthering that mission.
Founder and President of the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) Selima Ahmad returns to the Democracy that Delivers podcast to talk about helping women move beyond micro-enterprise to larger businesses. She also discusses how when women become economically empowered they become more engaged in policy making and seeking accountability in governance. Ahmad also explains the societal changes in her country that are making it easier for women to succeed in business.
Ahmad was the podcast’s most popular guest of 2016 and she returns to the show after a very successful year for her organization, culminating in winning the Confederation of Asia-Pacific Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s Local Chamber Award for 2016, beating 27 other countries. Ahmad discusses why this award was especially important to her, and the work she is doing taking the best practices she has developed with her Chamber and sharing them with chambers in countries as far and wide as Papua New Guinea, Somalia, and Bhutan. She also talks about how business interests cross borders and sectarian divides, and how the private sector can transcend political constraints to work together to move issues forward.
CIPE Country Coordinator in Papua New Guinea Eli Webb discusses the challenges facing women in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the work being done to empower women from all levels of society. Web talks about efforts being made to bolster women’s rights in the country where she says 98 percent of women have been victims of gender-based violence. She discusses legal reforms and development programs that address the issue. Webb also talks about “good news” stories of positive achievements that are being made.
Creating economic opportunities for women is another key element of development work in the country. During his recent confirmation hearing before Congress, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson noted the importance of women’s empowerment programs in Papua New Guinea. Webb discusses the international community’s focus on PNG and the work that CIPE is doing to help women succeed by supporting establishment of a women’s chamber of commerce and a women’s business resource center. Webb tells inspiring stories of women being helped by the Center, including illiterate women who are brought to the Center by their husband’s to access training opportunities.