NMWA and Vital Voices Global Partnership Present a Trunk Show and Special Reception on March 15, 2–8 p.m.

Museum Shop International Women Artisans Initiative Trunk Show and Sale

Purchase a wide range of jewelry, home accents and personal accessories made by courageous women around the world who use their creative abilities to improve economic stability and enhance the lives of their families. A portion of the proceeds from sales of these products will assist women in this effort.

The NMWA Museum Shop established the International Women Artisans Initiative to recognize the global, artistic traditions of women artisans, and further link decorative design and functional craft with social responsibility and the promise of dignity for all women.

Special Reception to Meet Rebecca Lolosoli, 2010 Vital Voices Leadership Honoree

Rebecca Lolosoli from Kenya will be recognized at the 2010 Global Leaderships Awards on March 10th. The Awards honor and celebrate women leaders around the world who are working to strengthen democracy, increase economic opportunity, and protect human rights.

Rebecca Lolosoli is receiving this honor from Vital Voices due to her leadership in the creation and establishment of the Umoja Uaso Women’s Organization. Throughout her life, Rebecca witnessed discrimination and cruelty towards women in her Samburu culture in Kenya. She began to advocate for better treatment for women, speaking out against the male leadership of her community. Her cries were met with violence as she was beaten for her ideas and opinions.

After being rejected for her plea for justice Rebecca changed tactics.  Along with 16 other homeless women she created the Umoja Organization. Umoja, meaning “unity”, was established to create a haven for women. The Umoja Organization is a place for abused women to come for support, safety and resources. Women in the Umoja Organization are able to support themselves through making and selling jewelry, enabling them to leave behind lives of poverty. Through their artistic creations these women are able to rise above what is expected of them and become female leaders in their own communities.

Vital Voices Global Partnership

The nonprofit Vital Voices Global Partnership grew out of the U.S. government’s successful Vital Voices Democracy Initiative. The Vital Voices Democracy Initiative was established in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright after the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing to promote the advancement of women as a U.S. foreign policy goal.

Under the leadership of the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative, the U.S. government, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations, the World Bank, the Nordic Council of Ministers, the European Union and other governments coordinated Vital Voices conferences throughout the world, bringing together thousands of emerging women leaders from more than 80 countries. These conferences launched regional Vital Voices initiatives that continue to give women the skills and resources they need to lift up themselves, their communities, and their countries.

The overwhelmingly positive response to the Vital Voices Democracy Initiative led to the creation of Vital Voices Global Partnership as a nonprofit non-governmental organization in June 2000. Vital Voices is now continuing the work of advancing women’s economic, political and social status around the world, by providing skills, networking, and other support to women around the world, whether they are working to increase women’s political participation in Latin America or promote women’s entrepreneurship in the Middle East.

History provided by vitalvoices.org

Contact MuseumShop@nmwa.org for more information.

About the Author-Breezy Diether is currently an education intern at NMWA.