While some of you may just be getting out of bed, for others International Women’s Day is well underway, and bloggers and organizations from all over the world have taken the opportunity to share their thoughts regarding this year’s theme “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures“. Be sure to check out our entire list of participants and our Roundup #1, for more posts!
Here are some suggestions for inspiring reads:
Michele at Women Under Siege reminds us, that International Women’s Day is not just a day for celebration but also reflection. Certainly good advice for the humanitarian organisations that tend to ignore the particular needs of women and girls in conflict areas:
By not including women and their needs and those of their daughters in the consultative process, humanitarian groups are not only guessing blindly at what half the community needs, they are also automatically cutting down girls’ and women’s agency. [...] In the longer term, as these outside groups disproportionately give power to men in the area, and those men fill roles that women had held before the war, girls grow up with fewer female role models and fewer opportunities to lead. When the community comes out on the other side of conflict, it will have taken a step backward.
Life on the Margins talks about gender and human rights issues in Cambodia:
Opening dialogue about issues directly impacting women and girls in Cambodia is a necessary first step to affecting successful change in behaviors and attitudes concerning gender. It has been my experience that Cambodian girls and women want to discuss these issues, but there are very few safe and open contexts in which they can do so.
The Achilles Effect focuses on the impact of education and the media on very young children, boys and girls:
Making more stories about females available to children would weaken the stereotype of the male as the supposedly more interesting, heroic, and capable sex. That is a change that would benefit both girls and boys. [...] Instead of making girls feel that they are not part of the story, our culture should be welcoming them. In the process, we will help girls see themselves as truly equal in value to boys, and show boys that girls and women are people they can be inspired by, learn from, and share experiences with.
And finally, also relevant for every educational process is the concept of ‘mentorship’. Progress 4 Women emphasizes its significance for the growth of women, and how we can all make a difference:
Often when the word mentorship is used, everyone looks around for some famous person - someone of public stature with a perfect resume. We are under the impression that to be a mentor, you must be blemish-free but au contraire – it is our blemishes that have made us who we are. The capacity to mentor is something we all possess and can do.
If you crave more food for thought, check back on Gender Across Borders today or follow the hashtag #blogforiwd on Twitter.