Cindy Dawson, executive director of Global Women, during a visit to Haiti. (Photo: Global Women)
The United Nation's Millennium Development Goals and books like "Half the Sky" have guided the thoughts, prayers and actions of countless organizations and individuals toward empowering women to transform their worlds. That desire is at the heart of the ministry of Global Women.
Founded in 2001 and based in Birmingham, Ala., this organization has a vision of a world where every woman is empowered by the love of God, valued by her community and equipped to fulfill her unique purpose.
"We acknowledge we do not have answers to all the global issues facing women nor do we know the 'best' ministry approaches that may work in specific cultures." Cindy Dawson, executive director, said. "Our response is unique as we answer God's call to action by connecting with indigenous Christian women who lead holistic programs that are transforming lives of women in their areas of the world."
Global Women connects with these leaders, offering support and encouragement as they pray, give, go and do.
When ministry partners tell Global Women their greatest need, it is always the same – prayer.
They are amazed to discover a group of women who knows their names and their needs and prays for them. Because of prayer, Global Women's ministry partners have expanded their programs to meet more needs of more women.
Because of prayer, hearts have opened to hear the call to go on mission trips with Global Women, and people have given sacrificially to support the work. Women have organized International Women's Day observances, participated in Global Women Groups, and attended the annual Global Women Summit.
Gifts to the organization have a global impact. Examples include:
Trafficked and at-risk women attend summer camp in Moldova to foster healing.
Young women in Burma (Myanmar) attend nurse aid training.
Poor women in Nepal learn sewing skills that help generate income to support their families' needs.
Traditional birth attendants in Haiti receive ongoing training and use donated birthing kits to decrease infant and maternal deaths.
Latina women in the United States receive contextualized leadership training.
In order to connect with women around the world, Global Women meets them where they are, which helps to foster cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. Working alongside global ministry partners is encouraging and empowering for everyone involved.
"Your organization is special. Many people may send money, but you also came to meet with us, to get to know us, to work with us, and spend time with us," Naw Paw Gaw told a Global Women team at the ZOE Center in Burma. "We are very grateful for all that Global Women has done for us. We thank you for your friendship and your prayers."
The global issues affecting women worldwide are overwhelming. Directors, staff and investors in Global Women do not fool themselves by thinking they can be all things to all women. But there is a lot that Global Women can do!
Next year, the organization has plans to increase its project support by 45 percent. It is currently seeking to employ a full-time project director.
The primary purposes of the project director are to oversee the project selection process, to determine and oversee mission trips and to maintain ongoing relationships with global project leaders.
This staff member will serve as the liaison between the project leaders and the Global Women staff and constituents.
The ideal candidate will have a concern for addressing global issues affecting women and a heart for ministry among women. She must be comfortable operating in cross-cultural settings.
The project director will be housed in the Global Women office in Pelham, Ala. This position (get more information here) is open to Christian women who are U.S. citizens without regard to age, race or nationality.