Posts Tagged ‘women’s rights’
“To rebuild the spirit of a woman is to rebuild the spirit of a country.” That’s part of the mission statement of Rebuild Women’s Hope, an organization based in Bukavu, on the edge of Lake Kivu in the Eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was started by a local Congolese woman and the organization works to empower local women coffee farmers. It’s one of many initiatives around the world focused on empowering women coffee farmers.
I wrote an article all about the topic that was published this week on Sprudge. Here’s a short snippet:
As part of that agricultural web, coffee is an industry dependent on the work of women around the globe, making gender equity an essential part of the sustainable coffee supply chain. “Most of the obstacles faced by women coffee farmers are the same as those found across the agriculture sector,” says Nick Watson, a coffee-sector adviser with the International Trade Centre, who has an initiative focused on women in coffee. “Social norms often discriminate against women in rural areas leading to disproportionate land and asset ownership; household and income decision making; time and labour distribution; access to information and training; and participation and leadership in rural organisations or as registered suppliers to agribusinesses.”
Despite these obstacles, it’s often thanks to women that the coffee production happens in the first place. “Women are on the front lines when it comes to our beloved cup of coffee. They serve as the primary labor force on roles that most affect quality, from picking the ripe coffee cherries off the tree to sorting beans throughout processing. Despite their significant role, most earnings go to men who own the property and manage commercial deals,” says Phyllis Johnson, president of BD Imports.
You can read the full article here.
Image: Glenna Gordon courtesy ITC
Stars, Stripes and Uterus, 5.5″x 8″ papercut © Anna Brones, 2016.
I made the above papercut in honor of women’s rights around the world, and if you are interested in showing your support of women’s rights, you can snag it as a coffee mug, t-shirt or print over on Society6.
What if you were told you couldn’t ride a bicycle?
Would you give up the joy of two wheels or would you accept the risks and pedal anyway?
For women in Afghanistan, riding a bicycle is taboo. But there are women doing it regardless of those taboos and cultural expectations, and their story is inspiring, the topic of the upcoming film Afghan Cycles.
I have found myself constantly inspired in the last year by the story of the Afghan Women’s National Cycling team, pushing the boundaries in a country where cycling is considered taboo.
I recently wrote about them and a new film being made about their story on GOOD:
What if you were told you could not ride a bike because you’re a woman? What if your younger sister wasn’t allowed to ride? What if every single woman in your family was kept away from bicycles simply because riding them was seen as immoral?
While most of us have the luxury of being able to head out on two wheels whenever we want to, for the women of Afghanistan, the world of two wheels is reserved for men. Riding a bicycle is a taboo and a sign of immorality. Something so simple—a means of transportation that so many of us take for granted—is off-limits if you’re a female.
But that is changing.
Despite the cultural taboo of females on bicycles, there is an Afghan Women’s National Cycling Team in Kabul. These women who challenge their country’s gender expectations by riding are the subjects of an upcoming film called Afghan Cycles (Let Media). Earlier this year, co-directors Sarah Menzies and Whitney Connor Clapper travelled with Mountain2Mountain Executive Director Shannon Galpin to Afghanistan with a stash of cameras and more than 350 pounds of bike gear. The goal was to document these amazing, courageous women, but also to provide support for what is hopefully a growing movement.
You can read the full article here. And to support the team, Mountain2Mountain is currently doing a 100 Bikes by Christmas campaign – to help in the launch of a new women’s mountain biking team in Bamiyan – as well as a bike gear drive. To take part and support these women visit mountain2mountain.org/donation or email info[at]mountain2mountain[dot]org.
To learn more about the documentary, check out the Afghan Cycles website. Want to support? Mountain2Mountain is collecting bike donations so that they can launch a women’s mountain biking team in Bamiyan.
After traveling to Afghanistan last fall, I was asked to write a piece for my college’s alumni magazine. I was honored to contribute to the Lewis & Clark Chronicle, and it was a good chance to dig deeper into a subject that continues to be at the forefront of my mind: women’s rights.
“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 said out of love, in an effort to remind me that I should be aware of my surroundings and behavior. Just because I was a strong, independent woman, I should be sure to remember to respect local culture. But it was also coming from someone who had never traveled to Afghanistan.
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.
“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.