“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.” Kofi Annan

Significant dates that are highlighted on my ical calendar this week are Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and Kartini Day.

The latter is a very special one for celebrating the empowerment of Indonesian women. This day celebrates the birth date of Raden Ajeng Kartini, a very influential leader who advocated for changing the social conditions for women, particularly native Indonesian women, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Kartini essentially wanted women to have the right to be educated when that particular right was denied to the majority of women in the then Dutch East Indies. In her famous ‘Letters of  a Javanese Princess’ she lobbied hard for the removal of cultural obstacles that hindered women’s freedom to learn and to study.

Women’s empowerment is the focus of Project Inspire – 5 minutes to change the world, an initiative jointly organized by UN Women Singapore and Mastercard.

This year long digital and social media driven initiative offers contestants a 5-minute platform to successfully pitch ideas to empower women in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa and earn a $25,000 grant by doing so.

Like good CAS, when you mix creativity, social media, advocacy, and service into an interesting and engaging project then you create an avid student base from which to work.

Georgette Tan, VP Communications for Mastercard, knows this too, “we believe that by tapping the energy and passion of today’s young people we can create meaningful, sustainable impact and inspire others to do the same.”