I think that creating a sense of civic responsibility on the local and global level is an extremely important value to instill in people. Especially in times of economic hardship, it is important that people feel useful and engaged with their communities and the world at large. As an activist who has volunteered much of my time over the years to causes I believe in, I know that creating change and working with others to do so is a really powerful thing. However, I also think that the especially in a situation like Alanna suggests, with a woman-to-woman kind of exchange, it’s important to think about the impact volunteering has on the value of women’s labor.
The theme of the 53rd Commission on the Status of Women, which took place at the beginning of March at the United Nations, was, "the equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including caregiving in the context of HIV/AIDS.” It’s important to think about this when considering infrastructure and volunteer opportunities, especially for women. Part of equal sharing of responsibilities means establishing standards for compensation and other forms of support and recognition for women’s work, especially in the caretaking context.