A wife of noble character, who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her life….She sets about her word vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable and her lame does not go out at night…She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy..She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come…. (Proverbs 31: 10-25)
Welcome to my new blog. I hope to use this space to write about global women’s empowerment, and in particular, women of color in so called “developing” nations. Above is a verse from the book of Proverbs in the Bible describing the worth of a woman of noble character to be “worth more than rubies”. I wanted to use this verse to illustrate the fact that the worth of a woman who is educated, charitable, helps to provide for her family, and works outside the home is immeasurable to the well being of the community at large.
In the Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Foreign Affairs, Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations penned a review of Nick D. Kristof’s and Sheryl WuDunn’s new book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity Worldwide. With the self assured title of “The Better Half: Helping Women Help the World”, Coleman notes that every year, “at least two million girls in the world ‘disappear’ due to gender discrimination….girls are not vaccinated, not treated when they are sick, not educated and often not even fed.” Another staggering statistic in the article not only tugged at, but had my heartstrings in a vice grip: “ Women between the ages of 15 and 44 are more likely to be maimed or killed by male violence than by war, cancer, malaria or traffic accidents combined. More women have been killed by neglect and violence in the last 50 years than men have by all the wars in the twentieth century.”
So funny. And we thought men went to war to protect the faithful women and children at home.
Female empowerment is human empowerment. Women who are more educated and economically empowered tend to reinvest in the health, nutrition, and education of their own families, thereby reducing cyclical poverty in communities.
I hope to highlight examples of women around the world who are helping their communities. Female entrepreneurs and business owners are of interest to me. I also have a special interest in women’s issues being covered in the media, as well as tracking women who work in professional media in other countries help empower other women.
Women are more than sex objects, more than fragile flowers, or overly emotional creatures devoid of analytical thought. Women are more than walking uteruses. Women of color are more than “mammys” or “jezebels”. They are more than the hot-blooded-sexy-Latina stereotypes. More than the passive-China-doll Asian stereotypes. Women must be allowed to fully participate in moving humanity forward, because after all, we ARE human.
Women hold up ‘half the sky’. We are strong rocks, but made of the kind that is worth far more than any ol’ ruby.