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Getting Started

Thank you all for participating in the development of this collaboration! Let’s begin our discussion by talking about what our previous experiences and current expectations are with the kind of online community we will be creating together.

• Can you tell us about any previous experiences you may have had with online collaborations or communities?
• How could participation in an online community benefit your group? Other groups in your region or with whom you work?

Also, it would be great to get everyone’s input into what we will discuss in this advisory group.

• What are you are most excited to discuss as we develop the Visionary Voices Network?

Most importantly, please don’t hesitate to ask questions, give World Pulse and Global Fund for Women staff feedback (praise and criticism alike) or direct the discussion in new ways. It’s important that this advisory group’s discussion be of, by and for the group.

Please respond to this question by going to and clicking on the "Contribute" tab. When you write your response, be sure to include "Getting Started" in your title and make "GFW Getting Started" your tag.


Sharon Bhagwan Rolls's picture

Getting Started

I hope I'm doing this right - despite belonging to/contributing to various online
Communities I always find navigating around a challenge!-)
Anyway I think in addition to sharing global south realities and enhancing north-south collaboration there is an opportunity to assist GFW in its mission.
I would like to be able to collectively address "where is the money for women's human rights, peace and security" because of the reforms within major ODA contributing countries, the mismanagement of funds resulting in the global financial crisis as well as the increasing emphasis on private sector partnerships by states, there is a back tracking on the commitments to resourcing and advancing women's human rights.
If we are not raising our voices then what happens to the women who are silenced by the lack of healthy and nutritious food for themselves and their families, poor health services, the inability to enjoy their political rights and freedoms and face the brunt of political insecurities and conflict?
With my own work of developing and publishing media initiatives and operating community radio
I also hope there is potential for collaboration to tap into potential fundraising opportunities because that is also a responsibility I bear for our organisation.
I also look forward to hearing about GFW next steps with Musimbi Kanyoro at the helm as well.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls,
Executive Director - FemLINKPACIFIC
Suva, Fiji Islands

It's great to hear your ideas. The "where is the money" question is one I'm sure everyone in this group relates to. And GFW is really focusing on peace and security lately with our militarism initiative.

I would love to see some collaboration arise in this space. Please let us moderator-types know what we can do to help facilitate that.

Finally: Musimbi comes aboard August 1st! She'll be sending out a brief note to our mailing list (sign up here if you're not already on it), and we'll be sharing an interview with her later in the month.


~ Laura Shapiro
Global Fund for Women

Thank you Laura. The discussion could possibly focus on global as well as national budget comparisons ie military spending as opposed to peacebuilding/making and even peace support operations (in compliance with 1325/CEDAW); this is one of the policy recommendations of our Pacific regional media and policy network on UNSCR1325, which reflects recommendations from Peacewomen from Fiji, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Tonga:

THEME 2: Women’s Budgets for Conflict Prevention & Economic Security
1. Pacific governments to exert pressure for the reallocation of funds currently devoted to global military spending (1200 billion) to human security needs, implementing the MDGs (135 billion) and prepare for real security threats such as climate change.
2. Democratise national annual budgets processes to ensure proactive community participation in identifying priorities and needs, which will help to ensure adequate line items to resource implementation of gender equality commitments across all government departments.
3. National assessment of women’s contribution to the macro and micro economy, and gender budget analysis incorporated into all national development plans by 2010.
4. Revenue generated by tax collection to be allocated by governments to address real human security needs, including environmental, health, food, personal, economic, community and political.
Governments, bilateral donors and the banking sector, including development banks to collaborate to trial a Women’s Fund to increase women’s access to loans and credit for livelihood projects, developing appropriate requirements for loan application that discriminate against women.
5. Provide regulated and safe childcare centres as well as childcare allowances for carers in the home through appropriate legislation to increase productivity and ensure women’s participation in the work place.
To encourage equal participation in the economy and public life, substantial funding increase in public education, and the removal of fees, other barriers to education and gender bias in curriculum.
Governments to ensure public housing provisions for female headed households and to provide loans and assistance to ensure adequate housing that complies with public health standards, and provides access to water and electricity. Working with bilateral donors and Habitat for Humanity and accessing funding streams for climate change migration and adaptation, governments could provide subsidies, a percentage of homes per year, starting with the lowest incomes bracket, for retrofitting, water tanks, solar panels etc.

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls,
Executive Director - FemLINKPACIFIC
Suva, Fiji Islands

dianne's picture

Women, Peace, and Security

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Your list provides some concrete suggestions for how we can change our budgets and policies to empower women in the peace building process, and how to utilize our resources to build real human security. As Laura mentions, here at GFW, our miliarism initiative ( is one way we are investing in women working to address militarism in their own contexts throughout the world. Many groups are pressuring their own governments to implement UN resolutions, such as 1325, to ensure women's participation in conflict resolution and peace-building.

I'm interested to learn if this topic area resonates with others in the group. Are others working to address these issues in your own countries, or on the global level? Are there other thoughts on how participation in this online community could benefit your work in these, or other, areas?


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