BOOKS 2018


Event Includes the Transfer of Leadership from Brobeck to Gillis and a Presentation by Senator Ed Markey

At a dinner at the Capital Hilton on Wednesday, June 20th, the Consumer Federation of America will celebrate 50 years of research, advocacy and consumer protection. Joining CFA at the event will be many of its 275 member organizations, supporters and Senator Ed Markey.

In 1968, Esther Peterson, consumer advisor to two presidents, called for the formation of the Consumer Federation of America as a broad-based organization that would give consumers a stronger voice before Congress and the Executive Branch. Consumers Union (Consumer Reports), other consumer groups, consumer cooperatives, and trade unions responded by organizing a federation to champion needed protections for consumer pocketbooks, health and safety.

In addition to this 50 year celebration, CFA will be honoring retiring Executive Director Steve Brobeck and welcoming Jack Gillis as the new Executive Director.

For the past 38 years CFA has been led by Steve Brobeck, an academic and community activist from Cleveland. During his tenure, Brobeck unified a diverse set of consumer and co-op organizations, built a strong financial base, recruited leading advocates as staff, and took the lead in developing various advocacy campaigns. He also proposed and helped establish new organizations including Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and programs including America Saves and Consumer Lobby Day. He has served on numerous boards including that of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Jack Gillis has been CFA’s Director of Public Affairs since 1983 and is a long-time consumer advocate and author, co-author and editor of 74 consumer books including The Car Book.  He served as a contributing consumer correspondent for NBC’s Today Show representing CFA, was Good Housekeeping’s personal finance columnist, and product safety columnist at Child Magazine. Gillis’ advocacy has been responsible for major changes in the automobile industry, including significantly improved vehicle safety, better warranties, and increased fuel efficiency.

CFA is a strong consumer voice in Washington, whose effectiveness is the result of an extraordinary staff of expert advocates and the participation of a broad range of national, state, and local organizations – including consumer advocacy and education groups, consumer cooperatives, trade unions, community organizations, social justice groups, and state and local protection agencies.

The Consumer Federation of America is a nonprofit association of more than 250 consumer groups that was founded in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.

The Role of Women Empowerment and Gender Equality for Achieving Sustainable Development

By Sabyasachi Garai 

One of the major agendas in the social system across the globe is to empower women and achieve the gender equality which would eventually result in the sustainable upliftment of the economic status of the women. In order to feasibly achieve this, there have been several initiatives by the governments of different developing countries. Several surveys have already been conducted with the goal of determining the role of women in the several developing countries in fetching the sustainable development. This has been found that the utilization of the women labor force is still very negligible in the overall economic development of several developing countries. Also, this has been concluded that the women still have a place in the society where they have very fewer opportunities in contributing to the social development of the county. This goes without saying that though there are several special rights and privileges which have been introduced for the women but there are several instances of abysmal violations to these rights which are affecting the balance of the society. This is obvious that until the time the women are completely empowered and we achieve the gender equality in the society, women would not optimally be able to play crucial roles in the social, economic, environmental and political areas.

Empowerment is a social multi-dimensional process which helps the individuals and the communities in gaining the desired control over their lives. This process primarily fosters the right power in the individuals which they would use in the right manner in their lives, communities and societies for doing away with the various issues. When this empowerment is targeted for the uplifting of the women community, then this is referred to as the women empowerment. Women empowerment for the purpose of achieving gender equality is certainly a top priority amongst the several agendas across most of the countries around the world. This is also an obvious fact that the gender disparity in the developing countries is majorly rampant as compared to the various developed countries.

The term "sustainable development" arises as there is a continual change is a human perception regarding the definition of development. This has been noticed that the development perspectives have gradually shifted to a point where we perceive it as the sustainable development. The major focus of development in the 1950s and 60s was to develop the productive capacity and economic growth of the country. In the 1970s, the focus to a large extent shifted to the various equity matters like the income distribution and social development. The increase in the awareness regarding the considerably large gap in between the poor and the rich was one of the major agendas to be resolved. In the subsequent decades, the focus shifted majorly to the environment protection along with several other agendas. Thus, sustainable development can be termed as the developments which have the ability to meet the requirements of present times without compromising any of the abilities of the future generations for meeting their own needs. So, in a nutshell, the concept of sustainable development demands comprehensive, all-rounded & integrated development.

There have been several studies conducted which reveals that the sustainable development cannot be made possible without the women empowerment. The women empowerment would eventually result into economic growth, good governance, political development and social development.

The women in several rural areas still lack proper opportunities for receiving the adequate access to the proper training, modern technology and financial support. Also, most women in the rural areas in several developing nations do not have access to proper education and thus the women could not successfully develop their skill sets. All these circumstances result in the women remaining passive observers and are unable to contribute to the economic sector. So, more emphasis is to be given to imparting proper education to the women in the nooks & corners of the country.

Finally, we can conclude that the empowerment of the women and then extending the right representation across the law-enforcing and law-making organs would help in promoting the sustainable development in the developing nations. The major recommendations should include the following measures.

- Promoting the empowerment of the women and then making the right use of the labor force which eventually would boost the economic growth.

- Imparting proper education and maintenance of the women's health in order to enhance the productivity as well as the social development.

- Empowering the women community & then providing them with the adequately fair representation in various levels of decision-making in various responsibilities.

- Protection of the women's rights in order to make the women community the active participants in the social, economic, cultural and political arenas in the developing nations which would, in turn, bring in sustainable development.