Birmingham only UK city selected to join global women’s campaign for gender equality
Birmingham is the only British city selected to join a global women’s campaign for the promotion of international gender equality.
Chosen by the Carter Center as 1 of 12 international cities to participate in its Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign, which aims to ensure women can access information.
The US-based organisation aims to educate and enable women to play an active part in the public sphere as well as in their local communities.
The overall goals of the Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign are to enhance awareness of women’s right to information, increase the number of women accessing information about municipal and social services in participating cities, and support participating local governments in reaching women with meaningful information.
According to the Carter Center, “Information has the power to transform lives. The fundamental right of access to information is critical for both governments and the people they serve and is particularly crucial for women.
“It provides for a more meaningful voice, enabling women to participate in public life, access public services, and make better decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities. Yet for many women, the power of information remains unreachable.
“Women are less likely to demand and receive access to information, yet they are often responsible for earning income and caring for family; are more likely to be poor or illiterate; are less likely to participate or use their voices; are more susceptible to and affected by corruption; and are sometimes in danger of retribution in cultures dominated by men if they ask for information. ”
The campaign will include use of traditional and social media marketing materials, programming for both government agencies and citizen groups designed to help connect women to information, and virtual events and platforms to make it possible for participants to share ideas and best practices with each other.
The Carter Center was founded by former US President Jimmy Carter and his wife, the former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University.
The organisation is based “on a fundamental commitment to human rights and the alleviation of human suffering,” a mission statement for the centre reads. The initiative “seeks to prevent and resolve conflicts, enhance freedom and democracy, and improve health”.
Cllr John Cotton, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, Community Safety and Equalities, said: “We have chosen to join the Carter Center’s campaign because it will have a direct impact on the everyday lives of women in our city.
“Information empowers women: it strengthens their voices, enables them to participate fully in society and decision-making; to access public services, education and employment.
“We are taking part in this global initiative because we want to ensure that women in every neighbourhood and community are empowered and able to enjoy full access to information and the great opportunities Birmingham can offer during the decade ahead.”
Cities across the globe applied to be part of this campaign, and the finalists were chosen based on their commitment to transparency and gender equality.
The 11 other cities taking part in the 2022 campaign are Bogota, Colombia; Casablanca, Morocco; Dhaka North, Bangladesh; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Maputo, Mozambique; Montevideo, Uruguay; Nairobi, Kenya; Paris, France; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Tunis, Tunisia; and Washington DC, United States of America.
The campaign will be officially launched on 8 March 2022 – International Women’s Day.
For more information about the campaign and work previous cities have done to help women access information, please visit: www.cartercenter.org/info4women