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World Economy: Women Weigh in on Poverty, Work and Debt

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

The International Museum of Women‘s online exhibit on women and the economy, features slideshows, podcasts, videos and essays on women from countries such as Sudan, Denmark, Philippines, USA, Costa Rica, Mexico, Argentina and how they view issues such as poverty, business, family, rights, money and much more.

Economica, IMOW's online interactive exhibit sets out to explore women's contribution in the global economy. Picturing Power and Potential, was a juried photography exhibit showing different ways in which women participate in the economy and are agents of change.

For example, the exhibit's Community Choice Award winner was Brenda Paik Suno, a third generation Korean-American who took pictures of a Jeju Granny of the Sea, a woman who is part of the tradition of female divers of the Jeju Islands who have harvested the sea for generations.

Female divers of the Jeju Islands. Image by Brenda Paik Suno.

Female divers of the Jeju Islands. Image by Brenda Paik Suno.

Focusing on Latin America brings us perspectives on how the crisis affected the women in three different countries of the region: Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina, and how they are facing the new challenges brought by the rising participation of their countries in the world's economy.

Version in Spanish here.

Young Women Speaking the Economy asked women from four different countries to send in their thoughts on diverse economic issues.

Ally Zeifman tackled the subject of relative poverty through an audio interview. First she started by asking people in Denmark to answer if they thought there was poverty in Denmark, and then by interviewing a woman who believes that she is one of the invisible Danish poor. On her project page, you can hear the audio and read an introduction to the subject and see a picture slideshow with quotes from the interview illustrating what being poor in Denmark looks like.

Some of the quotes such as “I graduated from the university, but  I am unemployed”,  ”My son really wanted to play football, but I cannot afford all the shoes and equipment, so in the end i decided it's better to just get some food on the table” and “I know I am not poor like in Africa, but I have to say no a lot” might ring bells with anyone who has been in a tight financial situation.

Valeene Salanga of Philippines reflects on how even a college education is no guarantee to a brighter future, when getting that first job seems to be a path riddled with obstacles for which she, a recent graduate, felt unprepared:

In this video, uploaded on the IMOW's YouTube channel, we learn about the hardships a certain group of women are facing in India. These are the women whose husbands have committed suicide due to agricultural debt and now they are left alone to fend for themselves, pay of debt and provide for their families in a society where they were already at an economic disadvantage:

There is much more to see, read and listen in Economica, and women can also participate and submit their own creative work focusing on the economy.

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

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