Saturday, September 5, 2009

Women in the headlines

Everyone is buzzing about the New York Time Sunday Magazine from August 23, which focused on women. I'd like to share the opening paragraphs of the lead article by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOFF and SHERYL WuDUNN, authors of a new book Half the Sky which will be released September 8:

IN THE 19TH CENTURY, the paramount moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th century, it was totalitarianism. In this century, it is the brutality inflicted on so many women and girls around the globe: sex trafficking, acid attacks, bride burnings and mass rape.

Yet if the injustices that women in poor countries suffer are of paramount importance, in an economic and geopolitical sense the opportunity they represent is even greater. “Women hold up half the sky,” in the words of a Chinese saying, yet that’s mostly an aspiration: in a large slice of the world, girls are uneducated and women marginalized, and it’s not an accident that those same countries are disproportionately mired in poverty and riven by fundamentalism and chaos. There’s a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women and girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That’s why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren’t the problem; they’re the solution.~

I have to acknowledge a deep feeling of relief to absorb this validation of the feminine - both for myself and on behalf of the women and girls of the world. I am profoundly grateful to be on this planet at exactly this time to catch this wave of women's leadership with my sisters.

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