Category Archives: United Nations

D9 Conference Report: Women Leadership

There was something special and inspiring to be at the Zonta International District 9 conference among women of like minds when word came of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to three women.

Even before the announcement, there had been a strong endorsement for Zontians to view “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” a documentary film on the Liberian women who brought an end to the civil war there.  Two of the three women Nobel peace winners are involved in the Liberia recovery.  For more information about the film link here.  For information on the Nobel peace prize winners go here.

Standing: Weiland, Neumiller, Hastings. Sitting: Spencer, Foissette

From Hawaii, there were 5 participants at the D9 Conference: Area Director (and Hilo Club member) Mele Spencer, former district Governor Karen Foissette (now a Honolulu Club member), Linda Weiland, president of Honolulu Club, Edie Ignacio Neumiller of Kauai Club and myself. Mele, by the way, has been elected to the D9 nominating committee.  She is well-regarded in D9 Circles.

Our Hawaii group is determined to set up at least-quarterly Club presidents videoconference meetings with Mele.

Snippets from the Conference:

  • Membership remains the biggest issue for Zonta International.
  • What younger members want:  More service projects; service projects that can be completed quickly; social media; exposure of projects on social media.
  • Whatever a Club does should be evaluated against our mission—Advancing the status of women.  That doesn’t mean you can’t take on other efforts for community, particularly children, but those should be in addition to, not in place of projects directed at women.
  • We need to use technology to enhance participation in meetings at all levels.  You don’t always need to be physically present.

Lois Frankel, Ph.D., Corporate Coaching International, was a keynote speaker. She is author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office; Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich; See Jane Lead and other books. Her website: www.drloisfrankel.com Highlights from her talk:

A woman leader must be a leader for your time. The times are changing. “We still think of powerful women as an anomaly.”–she quoted Margaret Atwood

Women lead all the time, Frankel said, they just don’t call themselves leaders. She asked the audience why that’s so.  Reasons that were called out;

  • We don’t what to be seen as arrogant
  • Push back from other women
  • We were not raised to it

Dr. Frankel said “command and control” leadership no longer exists. It will sabotage you. There is a feminization of leadership going on across the globe.

“We’ve reached turning point,” she said. But the numbers don’t show it. Right now, only 9 of 190 countries are run by women, and women make up about 13 % of legislative bodies. (It has been estimated elsewhere that it takes 30% of women in a legislative body before the female impact matters.)

“We (women) have track record,” Dr. Frankel said, we are just too modest to put it out there. We need to elevate ourselves. (Aside: I thought of this when Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in an interview with the New York Times, said she is prepared because she’s been preparing both inside the country and out. She was confident, rather than modest.)

Dr. Frankel said our EQ–emotional intelligence—is more important than  IQ.  Emotional intelligence involves self awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills. The new brand of leadership is collaborative, networked, personal, teaching, fosters others to speak up, is flexible and reaches out.

Dr. Frankel outlined eight ways to help women be effective leaders:

  1. Articulate your vision.
  2. Develop your strategy.
  3. Resist perfectionism.
  4. Choose the hill you are willing to die on. (Pick your battles.)
  5. Get to the point. (First thing should be most important that you say.)
  6. Practice 7:1 rule.  Seven positive to one negative feedback.
  7. Manage meetings effectively.
  8. Build leadership brand. (That means defining it and selling it.)

I’ll make every effort to post more D9 Conference information as time allows.
Cheers,
Barbara Hastings

655 Pencils & More for Africa

Two suitcases filled with school supplies for children in Africa have been packed up and sent to Honolulu today.

Hilo Zontians bought or collected:
655 pencils
28 packs colored markers
23 rules/protractors
45 pens
230 erasers
4 boxes colored pencils
paperclips
65 boxes crayons
45 pencil sharpeners
7 flutophones
17 scissors
10 bookbags
miscellaneous items

They will be delivered to Nancy Pace, MD, who spoke to our Club in June.  Nancy does medical mission and other work in various world tough spots.  She said for some of the children, it will be their very first pencil.  We will keep you posted on  details of exactly where the supplies go in Africa.

Zonta Hilo Hears about Heifer International

When women around the world have control of income, it tends to be used for the family,” said Wendy Peskin, who worked as a fundraiser for Heifer International. When men have economic control “it’s not that way.”

Heifer International works mostly with women in rural areas, often where men are absent.  Its mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty

 

Peskin talks about international self reliance.

 

and to care for the earth. Beginning with heifers more than 60 years ago, the group has branched out to many types of animals and been providing families with a source of food and training, rather than short-term relief. Millions of people in 128 countries have benefits from these gifts that promote self reliance.

“Pass on the gift,” Peskin said, is a cornerstone of the Heifer program.  “If you get a cow, the first calf must be raised and passed on,” she said.  Generations and generations of animals have been passed along, “that has an enormous multiplying effect.”

It also has the effect of giving a poor person the dignity to pass on athe gift to someone else, she said.

Heifer International does not send people into the countries to handle the training and gifts.  “They hire people in the area,” Peskin said.  When a village woman exhibits leadership skills, Heifer is likely to train her as a para-veterinarian so she can serve her community.

Peskin said when a woman has an income, its likely she will no longer uffer at the hands of an abusive husband. Often, she said, the woman’s initiative creates meaningful work for her husband in tending the food crops sustained by the gift animal.

Part of the Heifer training, she added, is centered around issues of gender.  Frequently men are victims of their cultural milieu.  During gender workshops, the men and women detail their day’s activities.  The men are often surprised by what the women do.

Heifer also promotes sending girls to school through a “girl child education fund.”

Go to heifer.org to see how you can help with a gift as small as $10.

Zonta Club of Hilo Inducts New Members

 

Nagao, McCall and Aoki

 

Bev McCall, elementary school principal, pictured here with Irene Nagao and Ellen Aoki, was inducted into the Zonta Club of Hilo at the October program meeting.  At the September meeting, Jan Haraguchi-Abundo, a sales promotion officer, was inducted.

The inductions are part of Zonta Club of Hiloʻs membership drive.