Kavita Ramdas – India & USA

Linked with Global Fund for Women.

She says: “MHC was life changing in far-reaching ways. It gave me confidence in myself at a time when I was unsure and searching for direction. It opened a whole world of strong women achievers to me, from math professors to crew members who were my dorm mates. It let me choose a wide variety of courses and to revel in learning. And it made me a more open and tolerant person as I made friends with Latina and African American women, out lesbians, and women from countries I had been taught were enemy nations. Meeting my husband at Mount Holyoke was wonderful, but it could have happened anywhere. The rest, however, was not accidental – it was a part of what makes MHC so special”. Kavita Ramdas helps Girls and Women build new lives by investing in their dreams.

She says also: “worldwide, more girls and women between 15 and 44 die from violence than from cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined. Domestic violence, dowry deaths and discriminatory laws that prevent women from having control over their bodies, owning property or participating in civic affairs are the largest threats women face at the global level”. (full text).

Listen to her on the Google-video ‘Investing in Women, a strategy that yields high returns‘, 56 min., May 26, 2006.

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Kavita Ramdas – India

Kavita Ramdas has been the President and CEO of the Global Fund for Women. Ramdas was born and raised in Mumbai, India. She received her B.A. in international relations from Mount Holyoke College in 1985 and her M.P.A. in international development and public policy studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University in 1988. Ramdas is currently on the Board of Trustees at Mount Holyoke. She is also a member of the advisory board for the Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights. (wikipedia).

Read: Need a Safe Abortion? Go to Mexico City.

Before joining the Global Fund, Kavita supported both domestic and international initiatives in economic development and population as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. She earned a master’s degree in international development and public policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a BA at Mount Holyoke College. Kavita was born and raised in India, and speaks Urdu, Hindi, English, German, French and Spanish … (full text).

Kavita Ramdas succeeded the founding president of the Global Fund for Women as president and CEO in September 1996. In 1999, Ramdas received the Women’s Funding Network award for “Changing the Face of Philanthropy.” That year she was also selected to become a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. Before joining the Global Fund, Ramdas spent eight years as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. Ramdas earned an MA in international development and public policy studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, where she currently serves as a member of the Advisory Council. She holds a BA in international relations and political science from Mount Holyoke College. She serves on the board of the Rural Development Institute of Seattle, Washington. Ramdas is a former member of the Committee on Women and Development, an advisory board to the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and was a trustee of the General Service Foundation. (full text).

KAVITA RAMDAS: I think talking about the women of Afghanistan is a very important issue for us to think about. We had been working with women in Afghanistan since 1990, and in fact, as Afghan women will often say, it has been 25 years that they have experienced war and suffering and it took the tragic events of 9/11 to create a response that would actually, in any way, recognize or alleviate what their own struggles have been.
I think even there, remarkably, even there there was, on the one hand, a great sense of relief at the removal of the Taliban, and on the other hand a grave sense of concern that this not be viewed as simply the solution to a larger set of problems that have to do with how women are viewed and treated and responded to within a society. The condition, the wellbeing, the health, the levels of education of women are extraordinary indicators about the wellbeing and health of that society as a whole. And in some ways, September 11 opened a door for us in this country and for much of the world to begin to think of a different way to envision ourselves as a global community. I think we have much to do to make that vision a reality. (full text).

Ramdas has received many awards for her contributions to advancing women’s human rights and for being an exemplary role model for girls and women. Her many appointments include serving on the board of directors of the Rural Development Institute in Seattle, a nonprofit organization that helps the rural poor in developing countries obtain legal rights to land. Before joining the Global Fund for Women, Ramdas supported domestic and international initiatives in economic development as a program officer at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Ramdas was born and raised in India and speaks Urdu, Hindi, English, German, French and Spanish. (full text).

At no time of the year do the deep-seated contradictions of our world become more apparent and more disturbing than these few weeks at the end of December. On the one hand, the pages of our newspapers and the screens on our TV are filled with advertisements for the latest consumer goods – how can you live without the next version of the ipod, or the Tahitian pearl necklace, or a luxurious cashmere scarf? Simultaneously, our mailboxes are flooded with appeals from charitable organizations reminding us of the many millions of people, both here in the United States and across the world, whose lives are an endless miserable litany of hunger, poverty, violence and injustice. The faces of countless starving children, vulnerable refugees, and AIDS victims stare out at us from these pages. This year, the war in Iraq makes these contradictions even harder – our newspapers tell us how many more lives are lost and blithely advertise for the holiday sales on the facing page … (full text).

Google’s BETA book search;

Google’s BETA scholar search;

links:

List of Indian Americans;

Mount Holyoke.edu;

pbs.org/now;

Gruber Prize for Women’s Rights;

Kavita Ramdas with the film Crude Impact;

SF Chronicle, A Woman’s Work … ;

Kavita N. Ramdas ‘85, 2003-2008, and: Sowing the Seeds of Global Change;

The online resource of women experts for journalists.

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