10 March 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In celebration of International Women’s Day (8 March) and the Philippine Celebration of Women’s Month, the Philippine Embassy held an event entitled ‘A Conversation with Christine Nielsen’ on 9 March 2020 at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building.
Christine Nielsen is the founder and president of NEW Pathways to Enterprise, a social enterprise that guides women through the entrepreneurial process from business idea generation through start-ups. Currently they operate and help uplift communities in the Negros and Samar Islands in the Philippines.
The conversation was moderated by Joyce King, Esq., Chief Counsel at the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office and alumna of the Filipino Young Leaders Program (Batch 2019).
Dr. Nielsen spoke on NEW Pathways’ work with women in rural communities in the Philippines through the provision of livelihood training programs and establishment of micro-farming businesses that generate additional income for the women and their families.
“Numerous studies have shown that when women participate actively in the economy, on terms equal to those of the men, the rest of society stands to benefit; particularly in achieving good governance, economic growth, poverty eradication, and environment sustainability among others. Empowering women, therefore, is not only a moral conviction but a practical strategy to uplift the living conditions of an entire society”, the Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Renato Pedro Villa said in his opening remarks.
He added, “Social enterprises have a good track record in promoting gender equality and women empowerment.”
Dr. Nielsen’s advised those wanting to set up a social enterprise, “If you want to start your own business, practice by working for someone else first. Work for a business like the one you want to start and make all your mistakes through them”. She also invited members of the audience to volunteer with the organization.
The event was also live streamed via Facebook Live and can be rewatched on the Embassy’s Facebook page.
Earlier in the day, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Washington, D.C. held a Facebook Live event hosted by Labor Attaché Angela Trinidad and Welfare Officer Josephine Tobia with guests from AYUDA – Atty. Katie Soltis; POLARIS – Lilia Agbeyegbe; Migrant Heritage Commission – Jennifer Hona-Davis; and the Embassy’s Assistance-To-Nationals (ATN) Officer, Ryan Dasal; to discuss the rights of migrant women based in the US.
Parties that wish to make a donation or help NEW Pathways may visit the organization’s website at https://newpathwaystoenterprise.org and choose their preferred type of donation (i.e. money, vehicle, assets, gift cards or others) and amount.