October 3, 2022

Ways to Empower Women

Part of the struggle to overcome cultural oppression and to advocate change is to recognize and help victims.  I am constantly struck by society’s  ability to ignore them and focus on getting ahead.  That being said, progress is being made. With the internet’s wide  availablility and media attention, more and more ways to help are coming forward.

Personally, I am compelled to continue writing in order to reveal the subtleties of cultural bias.  As I did in Human Bridges, and as I am doing in my current novel- in- progress, Farmville, I intend  to undress stereotypes, support individuals’ efforts, and advocate revolution. As many as join this cause add strength to it.

We all know that Oprah is doing her part to advocate empowering women. Here is a snippet from her post  “3 Ways to Empower Women” Try one of these ways and then pass it on. It will make you feel good.

In their new book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (Knopf),  Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn argue that the key to economic progress in the world lies in unleashing women’s potential.  I like this.  Their suggestions for how you can help are practical and simple enough:

For example:
Make girls smarter. Many pregnant women living in poverty don’t get enough iodine, so their fetuses’ brains do not develop properly. Their children routinely lose ten to 15 IQ points—particularly the girls, for reasons not fully understood. The solution: Iodize salt, at the cost of a couple of pennies per person per year. To contribute, go to Helen Keller International (HKI.org).

Support a woman’s business. With a microloan of $50, a woman can start a business, producing income she can use to feed her children and send them to school. To make a loan, go to Mercy Corps (MercyCorps.org) or BRAC (BRACUSA.org), two groups helping women around the world.

Keep a girl in school. A girl who gets an education will have fewer children, earn more money, and be able to help her younger siblings. One excellent support program operates in Cambodia, where uneducated girls are at great risk of being trafficked into brothels. For $10 a month, you can keep a girl in school through American Assistance for Cambodia (CambodiaSchools.com), or for $13,000, you can build an entire school that will revolutionize life in a village forever.

The list is long and the actions are many. As more and more of us adopt the challenge and unwrap ourselves, we find that by helping others, we help ourselves. Listen to the Wise Woman inside of you.