I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece but of the world. Socrates

Pida Ripley: A Selection of Quotes

Quotes by Pida Ripley

“Women are entitled to independence of mind and independence of action.”

“Only men and women working together can end violence against women.”

 Launching CAUCASUS 16 DAYS and the White Ribbon Ambassadors Initiative, Tbilisi. 2001

“A battle is taking place in Afghanistan between Taliban sympathisers and American-backed moderates for the country’s soul. Perhaps this problem stems from US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, agreeing that moderate Taliban leaders could be included in the new Afghan government. There is no such thing as a ‘moderate’ Taliban."

Ref: Pida Ripley addressing 3000 Townswomen Guild members at the National Conference in Birmingham. 2003

”The freedom of choice – to do what she wants with her life, whether it is to stay at home and raise her children, or  go out and earn a livelihood, choose to do something for her country, to  pursue the dreams she has…nothing actually is possible without that choice.”  

Ref: Answering “What does emancipation of women mean to you?” article Khaleej Times, Dubai. 06.03.2004.

 “As long as women and their children are facing a crisis, are crushed by poverty, are vulnerable and in need – WomenAid has an unfinished agenda.”

Ref: Article by Sharon Walters, UK press 21.07.1998.

“Some of the world’s most heroic people are those who face an unrelenting struggle for their fundamental needs. They are the poorest of the poor; they toil the hardest; they are uneducated – they are women!”

Ref: Pida Ripley speaking at the Women of the World Awards 1987, Café Royal, London.

“Once we know the facts about what is happening (to Afghan women), then I believe we have a moral imperative to do something about it. The right to work, to an education and to talk freely are things that we, in the West, take for granted. Imagine the anger and frustration you would feel if these were taken from you.”

Re:  National Federation Women’s Institute article on WomenAid’s ‘Living Shadows’ Campaign for Afghan women. 1999.

“What comes to my mind when I think about those women trapped in a country where they can have no life, is what John F. Kennedy said when he visited Berlin: Ich bin ein Berliner’…and I feel I am an Afghani woman. We are all Afghan women, because if we do not defend their human rights, then who will defend ours?”

Ref: Communication Workers Union article in ‘Voice’ magazine. October 1998.

“Those of us enjoying freedom and with our basic needs met have a moral obligation to engage in passionate activism on behalf of those who have no freedom, who have no voice, whose situation is precarious and whose lives are in crisis.”

Ref: Townswomen’s Guild article in ‘Townswoman’ national magazine. Spring 2003.

”Every woman should build the 21st century. She should have the right to choose – therein lies women’s empowerment. If she wants to stay at home and be a mother, she can. If she wants to go out and have a career, she can. Every woman in every community, every country, must work together to build a better world….we have to spend our life in a way that we can achieve our dreams…and help others to achieve theirs.”

Gulf News, Dubai. 08.03.2004

“For me, refugee women are the strongest women in the world. They go through horrific trauma, but they survive. And they help their families survive, giving their children hope.” “Dubai is a 21st century city where the women are playing a major role, encouraged by the government. I’m particularly impressed with the number of women who are involved in the IT sector...almost 75%! Western women could learn a great deal from the women in this city. And that is a great message for women worldwide, everyone can learn from everyone. That’s why it is important to build bridges of communication.”

Ref: Speech at ‘‘The World of Women in 21st Century’ Dubai Ladies Club, International Women’s Week 2004.

“Women continue to be poor, illiterate, earn less and suffer violence. Various forms of violence that women suffer include genital mutilation (at least 2 million girls a year suffer from this), dowry deaths, honour killings, forced marriage and rape. Women and children are most affected by armed conflict and war. Over 80 per cent of refugees are women and children.”

Ref: article in Khaleej Times, Dubai. 07.03.2004.

“Women stand at the crossroads of life as the carers and nurturers of future generations. Reducing the poverty and powerlessness of millions of women throughout the world is not just a women’s issue but it is central to sustainable economic and social development of the whole global community.”

Ref: article UK local press syndicated 19.06.1998.

“Of all global fundraising only 9% ever reached women although they are the heart of developing countries. It is the women who spend hours of back-breaking labour to provide food, water, fuel and housing and generate household needs. But it is women in the past who have been completely ignored. In relation to the economic output of a nation, women’s work was not considered at all. If a man lays a water pipe for a mile it is called development but if a woman carries water for a mile it is called a household chore.”

Ref: Article New Zealand News UK –speech to Maori Women’s Welfare League. 27.04.1988.

“Women are central to the problem of whether or not Africa is going to feed itself but when projects are set up they are never consulted….women’s projects receive only 3.4% of all the millions given in aid.”

Ref: Sunday Express 29.03.1987.

“Today there is an increasing awareness that women are central to any long-term development. A simple fact: 80% of food for domestic consumption in Africa alone is grown by the women farmers. FAO (Food & Agriculture Organisation) reported recently that simple technologies could increase food production by 50%.

Ref: Article -British Association of Former United Nations Civil Servants Newsletter 1987.

“WomenAid was founded to meet a need that the UNIFEM current mandate does not meet...and that is emergency relief needs. WomenAid supports UNIFEM’s long-term development focus, but also supports the other UN agencies working to provide women with immediate emergency relief programmes.”

Pida Ripley speaking at the Global Convention of Altrusa International, Inc. Dublin, July 1989.

“A vital role of the Fund (United Nations Development Fund) is to serve as a catalyst to stimulate and direct action by the other development funds towards women. The government has got to listen to the voice of concerned women in this country about the plight of women abroad.”

Ref: Everywoman, March 1986 article on the inaugural meeting, UK Committee for UN Development Fund for Women.

“I relinquished gaining my doctorate in the United States to raise funds for women in developing countries.  I could not pass up a supreme opportunity to promote their interests following the Decade for Women and the establishment of the UN Development Fund for Women.

Ref: Pida Ripley, Founder of WomenAid, interviewed by Jack Ensoll, Compass Press syndicated global news. Kuwait News; Jakarta Post, Daily Nation Kenya; The Nation Thailand; Arab News; etc. 11.05.1987.

“Picture a young, barefoot African woman with a baby strapped to her back. She is bent double, using her hands to plant, to weed and to harvest. For the rest of her short life she will work at least 16 back-breaking hours a day to enable her family to survive. Ninety per cent of subsistence farmers – the poorest farmers on earth – are women”

Pida Ripley speaking at the Women of the World Awards 1989, marking the United Nations World Food Day. 16.10.1989. Attended by HRH The Princess of Wales. Article syndicated globally by Compass Press.

“We women who are free have a moral imperative to do all we can for those who are suffering so badly. We want women to pass the message on, to become a voice for those women who risk death if they use their own voices. We want women to be angry…because the situation, quite simply, is outrageous.”

Ref: Living Shadows Campaign on behalf of Afghan Women. 1998

“We have the trucks to get food to those who need it but nothing to give them. It is a tragedy that refugees who have escaped into the arms of humanitarian agencies find we cannot help them.”

Pida Ripley, Founder WomenAid. FOOD AID FOR BOSNIA a WomenAid/UNHCR/Sunday Express Urgent Appeal, 18.04.1993.