"If I were president, I would help the most vulnerable."
The Guardian interviewed eight girls from around the world, asking them about their hopes and dreams for the future. One girl, Ana from Peru, aspires to be a psychologist; another, Caro from Kenya, dreams of becoming a journalist. Many of the girls also revealed deep-seated desires to create positive change in society. Muskan from Pakistan promises to “wipe out terrorism” if she were to become president, while Cindy from Rwanda “would help the most vulnerable and marginalized, and people with HIV.”
On Wednesday, a group of Senators joined forces to present a bipartisan bill aimed at curbing on-campus rape and reforming sexual assault investigations.
“We should never accept the fact that women are at a greater risk of sexual assault as soon as they step onto a college campus. But today they are. And it has to end,” says New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who has been at the forefront of efforts to combat sexual assault.
The Campus Safety and Accountability Act would require not only a uniform process for disciplinary proceedings, it would also mandate colleges to coordinate with law enforcement throughout investigations. Under the proposed legislation, colleges would assign on-campus “Confidential Advisors” with the task of being a trusted resource for survivors of assault and ensuring that cases are not swept under the rug.
Six years ago, Angela Adeke couldn’t afford the uniforms needed to send her children to school. But with a $150 grant from Village Enterprise, Angela was able to sew her own uniforms — 4,000 of them, in fact. Her tailoring business now supplies the uniforms for four schools in her Uganda region, and with the business skills she learned from Village Enterprise, Angela has opened her own tailoring school, where she has trained 40 other women to sew.
In an area where many people live on under $2 a day, Angela has been able to send her children to boarding school, move into a bigger home, and build a house for her parents. “It gives me great joy to stand as a woman, not begging, but helping others and playing a role in changing the world in which I live,” she says. “Helping make that happen is my greatest pleasure.”
Village Enterprise, based in San Carlos, CA, offers business and financial training, small monetary grants and a savings program to people in Kenya and Uganda.
According to GirlUp, more than 40% of Liberian girls ages 10-14 have never gone to school. Unfortunately, young girls fall victim to the most frequently reported crime in Liberia, rape. Before the war in 1989, Liberia had over 2,400 schools. After 2003, Liberia only had about 480 remaining.An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
The More Than Me Academy is the first tuition-free, all girls school in Liberia. Not only do they give these girls an education, but they also provide them with two hearty meals a day, access to healthcare, access to a computer lab and library, and a robust afterschool program, ensuring the girls are off the street for the entire day from 7am to 5pm.
You can imagine how excited we are to have More Than Me’s founder/CEO, Katie Meyler as our guest for tomorrow’s givchat! Follow givology and @MoreThanMeORG on twitter as well as the #givchat hashtag WEDNESDAY July 30 (tomorrow!) at 7 PM EST to join in on the dialogue and ask questions about her organization and the causes they address! :)
Today marks the inaugural United Nations World Day Against Trafficking in Persons.
Every year, millions of women, men and children are enslaved and trafficked for profit. On this day, July 30, we want to raise our voices for the voiceless and give hope to the survivors of human trafficking.
All around the world, girls are pulled out of class to get married and denied an education and the opportunity to lead a healthy life. Rural Empowerment, a pilot project from Aura Freedom International, seeks to empower and educate the women and girls in rural areas in Nepal , specifically addressing the dangers of child marriage and early pregnancy, and highlighting the positive impacts of keeping girls in school longer.
Half the Sky Movement Global Engagement Initiative, in partnership with USAID, conducted a five-day training for all grant recipients in India and Kenya. The training was designed to support grantees in embedding transmedia tools into their existing gender-focused programs, strengthen messaging, and engage, as well as re-engage, with target populations toward fostering transformational change.
The training also included a rigorous monitoring and evaluation component, helping partner NGOs bolster their general ability to collect and analyze information, as well as develop the skills to successfully track efforts specific to this program.
Meet seven incredible young women, separated by thousands of miles and yet united by one cause. From places like Belize, Brazil, China and Cameroon, the girls came to the nation’s capital in June to lobby for issues having to do with women and girls and their work for Girl Up, a United Nations Foundation campaign founded in 2010. Girl Up has the manifesto of “uniting girls to change the world,” and that is exactly what they’re doing.
The girls are in their teens and early 20’s and are experts on issues affecting girls in the developing world. They lead clubs in their schools, speak out in public forums and raise money for the U.N. through fundraisers and programs. Since its founding in 2010, Girl Up has raised over $100,000 through their clubs across the country.
One of the leaders, Aklesiya Dejene, who emigrated two years ago from Ethiopa to Chicago explains just how important the work of Girl Up is: “Girls just don’t get as much resources and opportunities as men do,” she says. “I want to represent them.”
Carol Costelleo CNN anchor decided to speak out about the recent NFL controversy involving player Ray Rice (who knocked his wife unconscious), his coach John Harbaugh (who thinks “it’s not a big deal”), the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (who believes “justice” has been served by a two-game suspension), the Baltimore Ravens’ Twitter page (who claims that Janay Rice herself “deeply regrets the role she played the night of the incident”), and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith (who chose to focus on the “elements of provocation”).
Costello admitted to have been a victim of domestic violence herself, and found the need to address how the male-dominated sports world is downplaying the importance of Rice’s acts with not only a soft punishment, but also placing the blame on the domestic violence survivor.
She leaves us with the reminder that “one in four women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime,” and that “one-third of female homicide victims are killed by their current or former partner.”
The percentage of women in the United States who are working or want to work has declined — a drop that economists see as an impediment to economic recovery. One of the most powerful tools would be to mandate policies like paid leave, according to a report published this month by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
“It’s sort of a no-brainer to think about it: If you don’t have child care, you’re going to have fewer women in the labor force,” said Betsey Stevenson, a member of the Council of Economic Advisers.
The United States is the only developed country not to offer paid maternity leave as part of federal policy. Just 59 percent of workers say their employers offer them paid leave.
The debate over paid leave will only become more important in the coming decades, as the baby boomer generation ages and their adult children - women especially - become their primary caregivers.
In Bhubaneshwar, India, a 60 year-old-woman was beat, stripped naked, and tied to an electric pole after she was accused of killing an 18-year-old boy using witchcraft. Even though medical records show the boy died of malaria, villagers in Odisha state’s Mayurbhanj district left her tied up for around 12 hours. The woman was rescued and brought to a local hospital.
Despite there being a law against it, the practice of assaulting and killing women accused of being witches is common. “According to government statistics, there were 160 cases of murder linked to witch hunts in 2013, and 119 the previous year,” says Reuters author, Jatindra Dash.
Marina might not have bruises or scars from her abusive relationship with her ex-husband, but when you take a look at her finances, it’s clear that her ex ruined her life.
“My husband was in total control of the money,” she told The Huffington Post at a conference on financial abuse. “At times, he let me have a debit card but he would tell me where and when I could use it. Other times, he would borrow it and ‘lose’ it, leaving me with nothing. I couldn’t drive. I had no money to call a cab. I was stuck.”
Financial abuse is an often invisible and deeply insidious form of controlling one’s partner or spouse. Recently, the Rutgers University School of Social Work released a 14-month study that evaluated the Moving Ahead through Financial Management Curriculum, the nation’s most commonly used program to help survivors of abusive relationships.
These diagrams from the Women’s Media Center’s Women Under Siege project shows the ways in which sexual violence against women has been weaponized by armies in many conflicts around the world.
One of the more disturbing reasons soldiers engage in sexualized violence against women is to promote solidarity among the soldiers, or “unit cohesion.” “[Unit cohesion is] a kind of nasty socialization in which soldiers find something terrible they have now in common." writes Lauren Wolfe, director of the Women Under Siege project.
When Supriya Hobbs and Janna Eaves met at the engineering program at the University of Illinois Springfield, they both wondered, “Where are all the women?” Given the lack of women in STEM, they created Miss Possible, a series of dolls modeled after real trailblazing women that they hope will inspire girls to dream big.
Their first doll will be Nobel Prize-winning chemist and physicist Marie Curie. What’s more, the doll comes with an accompanying app that lets girls learn about Curie’s life and do experiments and activities.
Street harassment is a frightening and disempowering reality for many women and girls. From catcalls, to flashing, to inappropriate touching, many women are forced to navigate an “obstacle course of sexual menace” — as coined by The Daily Show — on a regular, if not daily, basis.
One woman, Lindsey from Minnesota, is determined to change that. She has created Cards Against Harassment, an online resource with printable PDFs of cards women can hand out to street harassers. The cards are brief and to the point, and provide a method for women to address the issue of verbal street harassment in a hopefully educational way.
"If you do not feel safe confronting street harassment, you should not put yourself at risk," Lindsey states on her FAQs page. “However, for many women, silence is frustrating and its own form of victimization.”