Women in African countries continue the struggle to aspire to equality. With the reading I am doing to prepare for my adventure, I am learning more and more about the plight of girls in schools and women in general in African society. How is it that some of us in this world get to live is affluent luxury while others live in such abject poverty. While those of us born as women in North America have equal access and rights to safety and education, women in Africa struggle to support their families and it appears that even attending school is not safe for African girls. And yet, in North America we take the safety of our girls in schools for granted. When we send our girls off to school on the bus we do not worry about sexual assaults in a washroom that all in the school share (and by all I mean boys, girls and school staff) nor do we worry about the teachers picking out a girl to take home, nor do we worry about our daughters being suspended from school because of pregnancy. We are indeed lucky to live such worry free lives. Truth be told, no mother on this planet should have such worries, and yet they do.
A research paper I was reading yesterday speaks to how mothers will keep their girls at home to keep them safe. Perhaps we might do the same in similar circumstances. Unfortunately, as we know, avoidance of a problem is not an effective solution. Education is the most powerful weapon in effecting change. And so, I wanted to share this information with you and introduce you to the Her Challenge, Your Challenge program underway with Uniterra, WUSC and CECI, for those who would like to help
By making a donation to “Her Challenge, Your Challenge,” you will help to carry out projects that give women access to education and quality health services, and ensure that women are economically self-sufficient and their rights are recognized and respected.
As we educate girls and women, we change families and futures. Help with this cause to help change the world one girl, one family, one community at a time.
p.s. I am interested in knowing how many people this post encourages to take up this challenge. If you do, and you are willing to share, please add a comment to this post indicating your support for Her Challenge, Your Challenge.
From Sarah on June 5, 2011:
Maureen and others-
Your assessment of the plight of women and girls in West Africa is accurate. I volunteer with an NGO in Sierra Leone called cdpeace (www.cdpeace.org). We have launched a program of microbusiness support for women making traditional African textiles. In Canada, Fleming College where I work has senior International Trade and Marketing students working on the business, KOMBRA, for a whole semester each year to move the business and marketing of their products along and create a sustainable income for the women. The money goes back into the business, into the women’s immediate communities and helps support scholarships particularly for girl’s education – the daughters of the women in the business. It’s a win-win. We’re just beginning. Our website will be up this month but take a look at the website of cdpeace to see what other initiatives they are doing in the rural communities of Sierra Leone.