Celebrate Women All Year Long!
Monday of this week was International Women’s Day, and I spent a large part of the day checking out a number of female-focused causes and organizations and reading stories from women around the world celebrating their designated day. I didn’t really know about International Women’s Day until I lived in France during college.
People filled the streets with pro-women related signs that voiced their opinions on everything from education policy to reproductive rights. Pictures from celebrations around the world covered the front page of the newspapers. It seemed like the whole world was brought together for one big party, all focused on the global rights of women. Inspiring.
Unfortunately, I’ve never seen anything quite the same in the U.S., which is not to say that Americans aren’t supportive of women-related causes, but I have never experienced such a uniting event as I have in Europe. Fortunately, there’s the internet, and yesterday the web was swamped with stories, photos and videos of women all around the world. Again, inspiring. So inspiring that I kept thinking about all the cool initiatives and projects I could take part of in order to do my part to promote empowered women around the world.
Which got me thinking: why did it take one day to get me inspired and motivated to get active with some of these causes?
Having a day specifically devoted to a cause is a wonderful thing, because it allows for global targeted action that’s organized, which in turn makes the message stronger. But that energy needs to be rolled into everyday policy. Focusing on girls and women in both developing and developed societies is an integral part of creating healthy communities. Girls need to have the chance to be educated, healthy, empowered individuals no matter where they live; the results of which are felt the world round.
Did you know that an extra year of secondary school boosts girls’ future wages by 15-25%? And that when a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children. When we’re talking about big global issues like economic development and over population, these are important statistics.
Celebrating and empowering women needs to, therefore, be an everyday act, no matter how big or small. It’s our future we’re talking about.
Here are some causes and organizations (pulled from my post over on Under Solen) that are all focused on empowering women and making society a better place for everyone; causes that we should be concerned with on a daily basis. They’ll all help you celebrate women all year long!
I love this cause, and have already posted about it, but it’s very worth mentioning again.
In collaboration with the United Nations Foundation and other key partners, The Nike Foundation created The Girl Effect, with the ultimate goal of ending poverty by focusing on girls. That means education, health initiatives and work opportunities. Learn more here.
Camfed’s goal is straight and to the point: to improve the lives of two million children by 2013. But it’s a lofty one, and they could certainly use support in getting there. The organization fights poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women to become leaders of change, and there are several ways that you can take part from donating money to hosting an event in support of the organization. Learn how by going here.
Women’s Rights is a great place to take action on a variety of women’s issues around the world, from reproductive rights to women in politics. Currently the organization is asking visitors to take action by signing a petition that asks members of Congress to sponsor the Global Resources and Opportunities for Women to Thrive Act, an act that is intended to lift millions of women globally out of poverty.
If you’re a believer in the power of women as well as independent media, you need to check out World Pulse. A media enterprise that covers global issues through the eyes of women, World Pulse published World Pulse Magazine as well as Pulse Wire, an interactive community newswire where women can speak for themselves to the world and connect to solve global problems. As founder Jensine Larsen puts it, “As a global media source we tackle difficult issues; as World Pulse, we never leave our readers without a solution that is working somewhere in the world, and we tell these stories from the perspective of powerful, leading women.”
Bookmark the site, subscribe to the magazine and get informed from a fresh perspective.
[Photo via: jankie]