Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Share the wealth episode 3

This ADORABLE scarf does have something to do with today's post, but you'll have to read to the bottom to find out how to get this little treat. oh also it's from Kate Spade. Wait, did I give it all away? Whoopsy Tootsie. Read on please...

Today I want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. Women. You know, girls, moms, daughters, and grannies. I love men. But I can love men, because I was fortunate enough to be born to a place that values me as a woman. I'm so fortunate to have a father and a husband who support me in the most positive ways possible. (and of course a son who ADORES me) I'm so fortunate to have been born in a place that never questioned if I should be educated, or vaccinated or fed, because I'm a woman. If you are reading this, so are you.

I've been thinking I wanted to talk about one specific organization for the last few weeks now, but I haven't been able to narrow it down. Then today Oprah, who I swear I don't watch, (SWEAR!)  had Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn on talking about their book and organization "Half The Sky", and I wanted to mention that. You can also read a portion of the book in the NYTimes. They have a list of great organizations that you can look into on their site as well. Oprah, wise woman that she is put a handy little registry up on her site where you can help all kinds of women in all kinds of ways. Many of the donations are so small but can make such big difference in a woman or girl's life. So I'm going to mention a few organizations. Hopefully they will get you all thinking about these numbers, and urge you to do something, however small to help women and girls, who, as you and I know, make all the good shit happen. 

The first one I want to mention is the Fistula Foundation. I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of what a obstetric fistula is here, because some of you maybe reading this over breakfast, but you can read about it here on their site. Basically it is a hole. It is a common complication with obstructed labor. It is a very common, and very curable problem that effects so many women all over the world. With surgery and antibiotics these women can go on to have very normal lives. But in many parts of the world, they have no access to the health care they need. They end up being shunned due to the embarrassing nature of the injury and many women die unnecessarily because of it. You can learn more about fistula on the Fistula Foundation website. You can also donate to their cause here

The next one, I know a lot of you already know about, because it's so family friendly. They do a great job, of making their donations giftable, which is great this time of year. It's Heifer International. For those of you who don't know, Heifer gives the gift of something like a goat, or a cow, or a flock of geese, or honeybees, even bunny rabbits. These animals can take a family and eventually a whole community from terribly impoverished conditions to having a dependable source of food and income. This year my mother is buying all the grandkids a goat or a small flock of something as a christmas gift. It's a great way to teach kids about something that is very hard to understand in our world where food comes from the grocery store. 

The last one I'm going to include is Women For Women. This organization helps women in war torn areas get back on their feet and become empowered through education and work skills. You can simply donate, or you can sponsor a woman, in one of many war torn countries. I think this org is pretty incredible. I probably should have put this one first, because I'm going to use some of the statistics from their site. Here are some facts that should move you to action:

Why Women?

Around the world, women face some of the greatest obstacles yet also represent tremendous opportunity for lasting social and economic development. Globally, women face the following challenges:
  • They bear a disproportionate burden of the world’s poverty (They represent 70 percent of the world’s poor)
  • Their ability to have a decent life is limited (they perform 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food but they only earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property)
  • Investment in women is inadequate (recent data shows that only 3.6% of overseas development assistance was earmarked for gender equality (UNIFEM). And for every dollar of development assistance, two cents goes to girls (Girl Effect).
  • During and after conflict, women are particularly vulnerable to violence and exploitation (About 70% of casualties in recent conflicts are women and children (UNIFEM) and the forms of violence they experience include torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution and mutilation (UN)
An average Women for Women International participant faces the following challenges:
  • She has limited access to electricity and water (99% of participants in Sudan)
  • She is not educated (96% of participants in Afghanistan)
  • She is not engaged in productive work (90% of participants in Iraq)
  • She is not able to pay for medical care (66% of participants in Afghanistan)
  • She is not able to change customs and traditions that are not fair to her
  • (94% of participants in the DRC)

And for you fashion mavens out there who want to buy something cute, cute, cute, Kate Spade has been partnered with Women For Women since 2005. This year they are selling the most adorable hats, and mittens, dog sweaters, (attention Auntie Swing, Lola needs a Kate Spade sweater) and scarves for the holidays. The knits were all made by women in Bosnia and Herzegovina who are graduates of the program. Dudes... cute, AND good for women! You know you want some. How virtuous would you feel giving your mother in law * something that you could lord over her all year long. "Remember that hat we gave you for christmas? Yeah, I single handedly helped a woman in a war torn country with the purchase of that hat. What did you get me last year? Oh that's right Prell."

If you still need inspiration check out this little video:


"It's no big deal, just the future of humanity..."

*the above statements in no way reflect the relationship I have with MY mother in law, who loves me and always know exactly the perfect thing that will make me squeal with delight on birthdays and Christmas. Meems, you are THE BEST and I love you! 

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