“Whatever title or office we may be privileged to hold, it is what we do that defines who we are … Each of us must decide what kind of person we want to be—what kind of legacy that we want to pass on.” Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan Queen Consort of Jordan
Maria Alexandra Tamayo is a Colombian biomedical engineer, inventor and founder of NanoPro, a device capable of eliminating fungi, viruses, and bacteria in water without affecting its flavour, smell, and colour. Because of her invention, she was selected as one of the winners in the Latin American Innovators Under 35 from the MIT Technology Review LATAM edition. Maria has been selected as one of the top ten speakers for the CELD and Amazon Watch Magazine Women in STEM Symposium. Her speech was inspiring and revealed a simple truth that we often overlook: the relevance of clean, quality water in our development and sustainability on Earth.
By Tanya Maswaure
From migration to agriculture and business, Lucia has made a significant impact with her work in STEM. Her story paves the way for many young girls who do not see a future in tech but want to make a real difference in their societies. Lucia was also one of the speakers at the CELD and Amazon Watch STEM symposium, and as the first speaker of the group, she set the tone to inspire and make a real change.
The Gender-Inclusive Care Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Program (GICEEP) has been launched in the Asia-Pacific region, to help women turn the persistent and disproportionate responsibility for unpaid care work into business opportunities and pathways towards full economic participation. Women-led business and women-benefitting enterprises in the care economy are encouraged to apply and join a 10-month business acceleration programme.
The programme is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Visa Foundation, and implemented in partnership with Bopinc, UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and the Swiss Association For Entrepreneurship In Emerging Markets (SAFEEM) and will be working with governments, investors, employers and other support organizations.
When the American singer and actress Queen Latifah first debuted with her distinctive two-octave vocal range in 1989’s ‘All Hail the Queen’, she was already focused on tackling issues around inclusion. The timeless duet with Monie Love, “Ladies First,” emphasized the value of women in society and has remained a representation of female emancipation. With her Queen Collective initiative, created in collaboration with Procter & Gamble, Flavor Unit Entertainment, and Tribeca Studios, the New Jersey native continues to practice what she has been preaching nearly four decades later.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day calls for the inclusion of women in technology and innovation and to ensure that technological progress promotes gender equality. In South Africa, UN Women is leveraging technology to connect buyers of good and services with women suppliers. “Buy from women! That is our appeal to those who hold the procurement purse in public and private institutions,” says Ayanda Mvimbi, Programmes Specialist at UN Women’s South Africa Multi-Country Office. Buy From Women is also the name of the online platform that, in its current phase, has reached over 6,000 women entrepreneurs in several industries across the nine South African provinces.
As we continue celebrating women, it is pertinent to understand that women are God’s unique gift to humanity. A woman is an irreplaceable force that must be reckoned with. According to Diane Mariechild, “A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”