This doesn’t mean that every other day of the year is for men only

4 Mar

Ashura's Mzinga Group

Ashura's Mzinga Group

(This is part of my series on Holidays in 2009.)

March 8 is International Women’s Day, a nearly 100-year-old tradition of celebrating the economic, political, and social achievements of women. The IWD website has a database of over 800 related events in over 50 countries, so check it out.

I’ve decided to celebrate IWD, along with Mother’s Day and my mother’s birthday (which falls on March 25th), by sending my mother a gift certificate for Kiva. Kiva is a person-to-person microlending website. That means that individual lenders are connected to entrepreneurs in the developing world. You can loan in amounts as small as $25, and you can choose who you’d like to lend to from the directory of entrepreneurs (for example, I made a loan to Ashura’s Mzinga Group in Tanzania; the money was used to help Ashura, a single mother of three, run a small sarong selling business). The loans are distributed via local microfinance partners, and the repayment record is fantastic (Kiva reports just a 2.2% default rate on over $24 million in loans).

Since 78% of the loans distributed on Kiva go to women entrepreneurs, I’m helping to ensure more economic and social opportunities for other women while celebrating my mom!

How are you celebrating International Women’s Day?

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