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Around the world women are catalysts for positive change. Research shows that when women are fully included, society is more peaceful and stable. As the great Egyptian poet Hafez Ibrahim said, “When you educate a woman, you create a nation.”
I see this in the women I meet through our work at the Bush Institute – from young African women who travel long distances to be screened and treated for cervical cancer through our Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon program, to Egyptian and Tunisian women who participate in our Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program. With access to education, health care, and economic opportunity, women are improving lives and building stronger societies.
In Egypt, Hadeer Maher found a simple way to educate children and illiterate women. Girls and boys in rural Egypt often have no access to school or a public library. So Hadeer created mobile libraries to provide books and establish a culture of reading.
In Tunisia, Dalal Ep Krichen is dedicating herself to ensuring greater representation of women in politics. She helped field over 120 female political candidates for the Tunisian national elections and worked with them to develop skills for governing. Her motto: “Don’t let anyone take away your dream.”
Ten years ago, I made my first trip to Afghanistan and announced the opening of the American University in Afghanistan. The University started in a war-torn building with 53 students: 52 men and one woman. What I remember most from that visit is the determination of Afghan women to change their lives and their country. Today, there are more than 2,000 students at the University, and its incoming class is 52 percent women. Last month, I was presented with an honorary degree by the 2014 valedictorian, a woman from Kabul named Onaba Payab. Onaba works now to promote education and economic rights for all Afghan women and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health.
I’m proud of Onaba, Dalal, Hadeer, and many women like them around the world. When women everywhere have access to education, better health care, and growing opportunities, every boy and every girl will know that they have a bright future.
Be The Change
There’s no doubt that the world has made a lot of progress in the last several years, but for girls and women, there’s still work to do.
Check out our great partners below who are doing important work on this issue.
the amount that household earnings would increase by if rates of female participation in the labor force increased in the Middle East and North Africa
the amount of earnings women invest in their families and children’s education. Men only invest 40%.
Educated girls in Africa
earn 25 percent more than those who are not schooled
See who's making a difference
The mission of the USAWC is to convene committed and capable stakeholders; identify and mobilize public and private sector resources;...
Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon® builds on existing healthcare programs to integrate cervical cancer prevention—including increased access to HPV vaccinations—screenings, and...
Our mission is to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity. We are...
#ONEderWoman of the Week: Rose January
Last week, our #ONEHeifer team of writers met Rose January, a farmer from Thoylo, Malawi who is the embodiment of a #ONEderWoman. Rose has two cows, both of which she received through Heifer International and has paid them forward by giving 11 of her calves to other farmers in the community. Because of her kind heart and Heifer’s programs, many lives in her village in Malawi have been positively impacted and she is contributing to the growth and development of her community. The cows provide income for the families and allow their children to attend school. Passing along 11 of her calves to other farmers in need has enabled her community to flourish and reap the benefits of sustainable agriculture. Rose is absolutely lit from within by pride in her accomplishments and in her giving—a true #ONEderWoman.
Help tell the stories of the girls and women all over the world doing amazing things. Be sure to include a link to their story in your nomination!
Nominate Your Own #ONEderWoman
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