Today is one of the most important days on the calendar: International Women’s Day. As a huge supporter of women’s rights around the world, I wanted to share with you two of my favorite organizations for empowering girls and women.
The first is the Half the Sky movement, which was started by Nicholas Kristof and his book Half the Sky. Kristof, a New York Times writer, co-wrote the book with Sheryl Wudunn, and it is based on the Chinese proverb “Women hold up half the sky.” The stories shared within the book are both heart-breaking and inspiring. They give a picture of what life can be like for women in other places in the world. From sex slavery to maternal mortality, the oppression of women is brought to life in this book, which is soon to be televised as a special on PBS. And, while Kristof and Wudunn decided not to create their own charitable organization, their book and website does share reputable companies to volunteer or donate to. This book changed my view of the world, which is why I encourage you to read it to fully understand the issues at hand for women.
The second organization is The Girl Effect, which is sponsored by Nike. This organization is about empowering women by giving them an education and healthcare. This will ensure that at 12 years old, young girls are not married, pregnant, and possibly infected with HIV from selling their bodies for money. The attitude of the company is infectious and their videos put the facts together in short simple videos. I’ve used them several times with my students to show what is going on in the world around them. These are the two I’ve shown to my classes:
With a little awareness and information about how girls and women are treated in many places in the world, we can slowly begin to improve and rebuild their lives. And together, we can all make the world a better place.