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International Women’s Day 2014

Published 03/07/2014 by Global Communities

In recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8th, Global Communities is highlighting some of the staff from our country offices around the world and honoring the amazing work they do.

Sandy Salkham is the Deputy General Manager and Chief Financial Officer for Global Communities microfinance institution Vitas Jordan. She plays a key role with responsibility for all the support functions including finance, accounting, IT, customer service, communications, quality assurance and administration. In her role as a female leader she says, “Winston Churchill once said, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’ Through our commitment and hard work we will be able to differentiate ourselves, through our will we became what we are today, Women leaders empowered and ready to face the future. We basically set an example of how women can excel in what they enjoy doing.”

Betty Adera is the Chief of Party of the Healthy Outcomes through Prevention Education (HOPE) Program funded by USAID Kenya. The HOPE program is helping young women and girls by ensuring they are empowered by knowledge to prevent HIV infections, other STIs, unwanted pregnancies and achieve their education and health goals. In her role of advancing the well-being of women, Betty explains, “Existing evidence suggest that women and girls are four times more likely to contract HIV infection compared to young men and boys of the same age. A good quality education is largely considered one of the key defenses against HIV especially among young women.”

Lana Abu-Hijleh is the Country Director for Global Communities – West Bank & Gaza. Lana has served a country director in Palestine since 2003 and dedicated the last 28 years working with international development agencies. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Palestine Investment Fund and as Vice Chair of the Partners for a New Beginning Palestine Chapter. She was also selected by Forbes Magazine as one of the top one hundred Arab Women Leaders in 2012. In reflecting on the challenges that women face in Palestine she says, “Our Palestinian society and other Arab societies, faced with such big challenges, need to involve women at young ages in all different fields of life including in the economy. It is necessary that everybody contributes to creating an enabling environment for acquiring knowledge and competences that allow women exhibit their individual differences and prosper.”

Selline Korir has been called an “ambassador for peace” by the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders. She has worked for the cause of justice, peace and women’s rights in Kenya for more than 20 years. In her current role as the Program Director for the USAID Kenya Tuna Uwezo program, she works with communities to reduce politically-motivated conflict in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. As a young woman, she describes a critical moment that shaped her future activism, “My bosses were male. When I reported that the women were not speaking out when we went to communities, and that we needed women-only spaces, they threatened to sack me. I was accused of starting a parallel program…I was given two options: stop mobilizing women or lose my job. I lost my job.”

Janet Abzakh began working for Global Communities in Iraq and moved to Vitas Jordan in 2007 where she is manager of the Human Resources department and a member of the Senior Management Committee. In describing her role as a female manager as well as an HR professional she says, “To inspire change we must show that we care and invest time in promoting the role of women and the importance of diversity. We should support our teams and female colleagues across the institution. Finally, we need to lead by example; some of my greatest role models are women who live what they preach.”