An Artist's Quest

How to make a drop in the bucket into a tidal wave of change

I encourage you to read Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s,  Half the Sky – Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. In it they describe in detail the oppression of women throughout the developing world and it’s global consequences: “Consider the cost of allowing half a country’s human resources to go untapped.  Women and girls cloistered in huts, uneducated, unemployed and unable to contribute significantly to the world represent a vast seam of human gold that is never mined.  The consequence of failing to educate girls is a capacity gap not only in billion of dollars of GNP but also in billions of IQ points.”  They make the point that educating girls has an huge effect from raising industry to lowering birthrate and infant mortality.  Many of us find it all too daunting to address and so women’s issues are marginalized, Kristof and WuDunn contend that mass rape and sex trafficking, and oppression of women is not a “Women’s Issue” any more than the Holocaust was a “Jewish Issue” or slavery a “Black Issue” but should be seen as a humanitarian crisis.  They also contend that helping one girl, one woman at a time can make a difference.  Making a micro loan to help a woman start a small business not only helps her but helps her children and can have a ripple effect of helping a whole village. They have done all the research for us and suggest www.globalgiving.org and www.kiva.org as sites that can directly link you to a women in need as a great way to dip your toe into giving.  They also encourage us to sponsor a girl or woman through Plan International http://plan-international.org/ , Women for Women International http://www.womenforwomen.org/, World Vision http://www.worldvision.org, Heifer International http://www.heifer.org .

This week, to honor of my niece Francesca’s efforts toward her Bat Mitvah, our family gave a micro loan through Global Giving, and a flock of chicks through Heifer International.  Consider doing the same for the special women and girls in your life, we really can turn the ripple from our drop in the bucket into a wave to raise up everyone’s boat.

To learn more about Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s efforts go to http://www.halftheskymovement.org/stories

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