And when we strip all the press releases and polished responses away we know what is really needed – an actual revolution for our daughters, a world transformed into a place where Love prevails, a work that actually requires we not even worry about rolling up our sleeves. We just hold hands and hold hearts and worry about the laundry later. –AB
Did you know there are an estimated 250 million girls living in poverty? And that a girl living in poverty is at risk to become a child bride? And that a child bride is at greater risk of becoming a teenage mother? And that a teenage mother needing to feed her babies is at greater risk of being sexually and physically exploited, even sold or traded as a commodity? And that of course makes her more susceptible for HIV? And with little to no access to health care the cycle of poverty just continues?
There are a lot of bleak statistics in the world, but beyond the statistics there is also hope.
Did you also know that with just seven years of education (statistically) she will get married four years later (imagine the difference between marriage at fourteen and marriage at eighteen) and have 2.2 fewer children? Did you know that those same seven years of education also decrease a nation’s incidence of HIV and decrease malnutrition by 43%? Did you know that an educated girl reinvests 90% of her income into her family… compared to 35% of a boy?
Over the next 31 days I’ll be spending time focusing on ways women can empower women. Some of the issues I’ll explore have to do with girls, some with grown women or mothers. Some will focus on the developing world and reaching into poverty. Others will focus on reaching across suburban neighborhoods and MOPS groups and twitter streams. There will be personal stories, highlights from organizations working for change, interviews, and suggestions for reaching out and making a difference.
This is not about a political agenda or a man-bashing agenda or about a pat-ourselves-on-the-back-let’s-feel-good-because-we’re-girls agenda.
This is not even about becoming an activist, fighting for rights, or jumping on a social change bandwagon that has more bark than bite.
This is about discovering our influence and then using it to serve one another.
This is about aligning our hearts with our words, and our words with our actions.
This is about empowering our sisters to be who they were created to be.
Because we know that empowered women change families. And empowered families change communities. And empowered communities change nations. And empowered nations change history.
Because all women need to be empowered sometimes.
And because all women have the ability to empower others.
The problems are hard, the statistics can be depressing, but the solutions are within our reach.
Empowering women starts with her:
It starts with remembering our daughters.
It starts with believing in a new generation.
“Invest in a girl. She will do the rest.” –The Girl Effect
I hope you’ll join me in investing in girls and women. Follow the entire 31 Days to Women Empowering Women Series here.