Ela Bhatt, former WWB Board Chair and founder of WWB network member Self-Employed Women’s Association, addressed the opening session of the United Nations High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals. She called on governments to recognize the working poor as the “backbone of every nation,” who must be active decision makers and participants in ending poverty.
Women’s World Banking honored Ela Bhatt, one of the original co-founders and chairperson from 1988 to 1998 at the second Annual Celebration held last month at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City. The theme for the evening, which drew 300 guests worldwide, was the celebration of women’s leadership. WWB also paid tribute to Duane Wall, Partner at White and Case, for his longtime pro bono support.
Ela Bhatt, one of the visionary leaders of microfinance and a founding member of Women's World Banking as well as of SEWA, India, has been chosen as one of "The Elders", an historic group of world leaders and visionary thinkers convened by Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Other founding members include Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Li Zhaoxing, Mary Robinson and Muhammad Yunus. The formation of the group was announced by Nelson Mandela on the occasion of his 89th birthday, July 18, in South Africa.