It's International Women's Day, one of those holidays, like International Sandwich Day, National Hug Your Dog Day and others, that is basically made up. Maybe it gets used for marketing, maybe it's all about the warm fuzzies, but I have grown to really appreciate it. Fact is, women are amazing and women are, in fact, at a disadvantage most everywhere in the world. But the world is trying to fix it. LOTS of people in the world. So many it's hard to know who to support.
So here are three organizations I know about, and a link to a bigger list of bigger organizations.
1. Women for Afghan Women
I'm reading a book right now called The Lovers by Rod Nordland. It's about a star-crossed couple in Afghanistan who are on the run from the woman's family's threats of honor killing her for running off with and marrying the man. Throughout the book, the author highlights a number of stories of basically how screwed women are in Afghanistan (I know, no surprise) and how there are a number of women's shelters that have popped up to protect them. Women for Afghan Women is an organization he worked with extensively and recommends. They operate shelters, transitional housing and mediation for families in conflict, as well as advocacy and training on the ground to improve the situation of women in the country. So they don't get acid thrown on their faces for BS reasons. (PS, There's no good reason to throw acid)
2. Days for Girls
My aunt is currently doing and awesome drive for supplies to head to support Syrian Refugees, and the local chapter of Days for Girls made so many kits for her she couldn't fit them all in her car, so I'm taking another full load for her this weekend. Days for Girls provides feminine hygiene solutions for women in the developing world. Periods basically mess with girls all over the world, and more than just cramps and crankiness. Girls are often pulled out of school and they often have to deal with periods in a very unhygienic way. Days for Girls not only collects supplies to be distributed around the world but also does training in local communities that help provide kits and jobs (read: stability) to local women.
3. ANEW - Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Employment for Women
We worked with this group when I worked at Habitat for Humanity and they are AWESOME. Simple, they train women in trades and help them get jobs. It's an inspiring community and a successful mission. They do great work.
More ideas here
And some more
Here's a video I saw almost 10 years ago that I think literally made my heart stop. I've thought about it a lot over the last decade. How the impact a girl can make on herself, her family, her community, and the world is incalculable.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5kxysX4MmOU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>