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Transforming women’s lives: Atlanta part of Carter Center’s global initiative

By David Pendered

The lack of information about government services is a theme shared by women in Atlanta and 12 other cities around the world that have launched the Carter Center’s “Inform Women, Transform Lives” outreach program.

A woman seated outside a church in Downtown Atlanta may be able to benefit from a partnership of the city and Carter Center that aims to help women get information about services such as housing and mental health care that could improve their quality of life. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Women can be held back from safe, secure and financially stable lives without access to information about programs offered by their local governments. The information can include where a woman battered by a partner can find safe shelter; where to find mental health care; and where to find food for their young children. However, this information isn’t always readily available to the women who need it.

‘Inform Women, Transform Lives” aims to help women who are challenged in learning about government services that could improve their quality of life.

Laura Neuman describes the campaign in story posted on the Carter Center’s website. On Thursday morning, Neuman is to moderate a panel discussion on the subject. Neuman serves as director of the center’s Rule and Law Program and led the team that developed “Inform Women, Transform Lives.”

Paige Alexander, the Carter Center’s CEO, offered this observation about the initiative in a statement:

  • “We want to encourage a global conversation about women’s right to information and all the ways that information can benefit not only women, but entire families and communities. One of the best ways to demonstrate that is at the city level, because cities offer so many crucial services and make decisions that have a major impact on people’s everyday lives.”
Inform Women, Transform Lives, mayors

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (top, right) is among the 13 ‘innovative leaders’ of cities around the world with whom the Carter Center is coordinating the ‘Inform Women, Transform Lives’ initiative. Credit: cartercenter.org

The new initiative focuses on connecting women with basic governmental services. Atlanta has activated its hotline and its One Atlanta Office to help women find the city services they need to improve their situation. The blurb on the city’s website states:

  • “Atlanta is promoting the hotline ATL311 and orgto connect women with city services, such as economic mobility resources, housing assistance, food access programs, intimate partner violence support, and mental health services.”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms observed in a statement:

  • “Atlanta’s efforts will focus on increasing access to information among women of color, whose health and economic vulnerabilities have increased due to COVID 19. Through this campaign, our One Atlanta Office will increase awareness of and access to resources for women by connecting them to existing services that provide COVID-19 relief.”

Some women in Atlanta may benefit from learning about city services that can help improve their lives. The city has partnered with the Carter Center on “Inform Women, Transform Lives” outreach program to offer such help. Credit: Kelly Jordan

In the type of services being highlighted, the Atlanta program share much in common with those in the dozen other cities, where a few examples include:

Cape Town, South Africa

  • “Cape Town is promoting its Smart Cape program and encouraging women’s use of municipal libraries to connect women to city services.”

Guatemala City, Guatemala

  • “Guatemala City is promoting its municipal women centers, which offer legal and psychological services, nutritional classes, and more.”

Amman, Jordan

  • “Amman is promoting training to help women develop in-home businesses making food or crafts, get licenses for those businesses, and find market space to sell their wares.”

Chicago is the only U.S. city in the program other than Atlanta

  • “Chicago is promoting its City Key, a free government ID that works as a public library card, a Chicago Transit Authority Ventra Card, and a prescription drug discount card.”

Note to readers: To connect with Atlanta’s programs for the “Inform Women, Transform Lives” campaign, visit atlstrong.org or ATL311.com.


David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.


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