Saving the World, One Woman at a Time

Friday, October 16, 2009

I am taking a women's class right now, called the International Political Economy of Women. It is my favorite class-good curriculum, assignments, and professors. But I hate it. I hate it because everyday I walk away depressed. Depressed at the plight of 4/5 of the women in the world. Depressed at the little that I can do to help them. Depressed at the fact that I am lucky enough to have so many freedoms to be born in the US but so many others aren't as lucky as I am.

I think about this a lot. I am constantly reading articles and watching movies for this class. I recently started my paper on women and violence, and I have read about atrocities that my mind has never even imagined, that nevertheless occur all around the globe. Yet still I feel that my small voice can do nothing to aid all these struggling women wherever they are.

A few days ago I was thinking about how I know that I am not the only one in my class who walks away every day feeling the way I do--inspired, yet helpless. I was pondering this thought, when I felt suddenly inspired: my class should have a service requirement/recommendation to its students to reach out to the women around them. Our professors did ask us during the very first class to make "visible" the women in our lives, since the biggest problem for women in the world is INVISIBILITY.

So it hit me that I should offer my fellow students a way to see a little hope and do some good. It took some courage to approach my professor; she is amazingly bright (advisor to Bush administration, author of many books, and established largest database of women in entire world) and very well respected. I approached her in her office this week and suggested that I bring to light some opportunities for student to reach out to women and girls in our local community (and abroad but thats not really my focus). She loved the idea and is allowing me to give a presentation in class for 5-10 minutes on the 29th. I am ecstatic! I think it will really bring joy to the students in my class to see there are small things they can do to make a difference to women in Provo. I am going to tell them about mentoring girls, babysitting for children with disabilities so moms can have a break, volunteering at local women's shelters, answering a crisis hotline for women etc. I could really talk for hours about all the ways they can help, but I will take my ten minutes and run with it.

I know that I am very blessed to have so many rights as a woman here in the United States. I feel that this maybe something I want to pursue in my future through activism and any means possible, bringing rights to women around the world or just a voice to those around me. I hope all the men who read this respect and honor the women in their lives for all they are and all they do. I am grateful to the women in my life who have done and sacrificed so much for me. Both of my mothers and my grandmothers and so many good examples of intelligent, loving, and capable women from church, school, and around the world. I love each of you dearly.

I challenge each of you as well: Make VISIBLE the women in your life. Thank them. Love them. Call them. Do whatever it takes to let them know how much they mean to you.

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