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Women Hold Up Half The Sky

8 Mar

Today, as many of you will know, is International Women’s Day, it is, in fact, the 100th anniversary It is also Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday and my husbands birthday!

Women hold up half the sky is a phrase which I first came across in 2000, when Tearfund, a UK-based NGO, ran a campaign with this as the title. The campaign focused on, that at that time, women made up just over half of the world’s population yet only earned ten per cent of the world’s income. More recently I’ve come across this phrase again from the book Half the Sky This is an eye-opening book which focuses on the three major abuses of women 1) Sex trafficking and forced prostitution 2) Gender based violence 3) Maternal mortality. Women hold up half the sky is actually part of a Chinese proverb. In its entirety it reads “Women hold up half the sky, but it’s the heavier half” Isn’t that true?

What is the best way to empower women around the world, especially in developing countries? Education.

Education is one of the best investments which developing countries can make, particularly in women. If a woman receives an education then she has the potential to transform her community. Knowledge gives women authority. Research has shown that educating women and girls results in a reduction in infant and maternal mortality, family health and nutrition improves, there is a reduction in the number of cases of HIV and AIDS and women get better jobs, which means an increased salary thus helping to improve the economy.

Sadly, there are still too many girls in the world who do not receive an education. Some of this is because poorer families need girls at home helping with the younger siblings, so that their mother can work, or indeed they have to work themselves. In other situations girls live in societies in the world where women are oppressed and refused the right of an education, or it is considered more important to educate sons in a family and not daughters.

International Women’s Day 2011 theme is “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women” So, how do we see that even more women and girls in the years to come receive an equal education to their male counterparts? Many international organizations are working to make a difference so that women and girls are no longer discriminated against in their societies. They do this by providing aid, vocational training and education programs. Some international governments are including policy on girls education in their overseas aid programs. Organizations such as Compassion and World Vision have child sponsorship programs. These programs not only see that a child gets an education, investments are also made in the community that the child lives in.

How else can educating women and girls in the world be improved? What support is lacking?

“Educate a boy and you educate one person. Educate a girl and you educate a nation.”
A. Ibn Badis, Algerian Muslim Reformist.(1889-1940)

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Stations of the Cost

15 Feb

I must admit that I love the winter Olympics, it’s probably my favourite sporting event. I’ve never spent much time thinking about the implications of hosting it before though. Thanks to Bill, I’ve come across Stations of the Cost which John Santic has produced. It’s a collection of art, photos and poems reflecting on the real cost of hosting the olympic games. The twelve stations help people to recognize that many are suffering as a result of the Olympics as low cost housing disappears, government debt increases, the environment erodes, and the poor are criminalized.

Thanksgiving

12 Oct

It’s Thanksgiving Day today in Canada and I find myself thankful for so many things this year, to start with the fact that we get to have Thanksgiving here! Just five months ago we found ourselves wondering what the future held for us as our move to Canada seemed like it was closing down. We were in a state of confusion and devastation. We were questioning whether all of the things God had said and shown us were right, had we heard a thing? Why wasn’t the door opening? Four months ago all that changed and now as I write this I can see how God moved so perfectly in our situation at precisely the right time. I’m thankful to be on the other side and thankful that we survived those dark, stressful unknowing days which literally took everything we had out of us and more. We were stripped away, but I’m thankful for that.

I’m thankful for my family. I have two children who are blossoming and are so much fun to be with. I’m thankful for the sense of freedom they have. I’m thankful that Jonathan has a job, and that although it isn’t enough money to cover all of our outgoings, it’s a job nonetheless and there is food in our cupboards. I’m thankful that he works so hard, 9-5 at work and then on web design in the evenings and weekends, so that I can stay home and school the kids.

I’m thankful that I’m living and breathing. More than anything I’m so so thankful to God, for the way he moves in my life, in your life, in the world and for sending his son to bring redemption.

What are you thankful for?

World Population Map

26 Feb

I was looking for an image of the world this morning for the kids to plot some things on for school. Whilst looking I came across this image  which is a map of the world’s population. I thought it was really interesting. I’m obviously familiar with where the highest and lowest populated places are in the world, but I’ve never seen it in form of a map image before. H/T Resilience Science. You will need to click the image to view it in a larger size!

World population map

World population map

Sad news

25 Feb

Our thoughts and prayers are with you

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