anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘female

Women’s Rights: Thoughts from Afghanistan

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Thanks to a project with Mountain2Mountain I had the opportunity to travel to Afghanistan to help produce a series of public art exhibits. Afghanistan certainly isn’t the top pick destination for most people, and before my departure the mention of it would inevitable spur a handful of emotions and comments, somewhere along the lines of “are you sure that’s safe?” One of the common reactions also had to do with women’s rights, reminding me that the state of affairs in the far off country was different than the one I had at home. During the two week trip I had a lot of time to think about women and women’s rights, and I came up with the following essay, reprinted from the Moutain2Mountain blog. Hopefully it spurs some thought.

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“Remember that being a woman is different in Afghanistan.”

I was getting yet another opinion on my decision to travel to Afghanistan. The statement was made out of love, wanting to remind me that I should be aware of my surroundings and behavior, that just because I was a strong, independent woman, I should remember to respect local culture. But it was also coming from someone that had never traveled to Afghanistan.

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Written by Anna Brones

November 8, 2012 at 08:10

Celebrate Women All Year Long!

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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.

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