Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

March is Women's History Month, and today, March 8, is International Women's Day!

When we signed up to take part in Blog for International Women's Day, I immediately thought of one of the first things I see when I go to EPN's website: "Eliminate Poverty Now promotes economic development and educational opportunity in Africa, especially for women."

One of the questions bloggers are asked to consider on this day is: "how can we, as a culture and members of the global community, involve, educate, and inspire girls in a positive way?" While there is no single answer to this question, we believe education is at the heart of the issue, and the heart of many EPN projects. And getting involved in some of these projects is a step that almost anyone can take.

Of course, Judy and John are busy in Africa, seeing the project sites, meeting with the wonderful people involved, and making fantastic plans for the futures of these projects. I won't go into great detail here, as Judy has some great blogs planned, but I do want to let you all know (if you don't already) which EPN projects involve women specifically.
Women gathered for a Pads for Peace meeting, 2011

There's the work being done with Pads for Peace, and RockPads, which not only is providing sanitary kits to girls, but also education. Lunapads tweeted, "Women can't take control of unless they understand their cycles/menstruation " and that is exactly why the education piece of the project is so crucial.

There are the Women's Sewing Centers, which provide training and economic opportunities, and also the Little Rock ECD, which will send the top-scoring girl (and boy) to secondary school. And don't forget the Women's Cooperative Garden and the Women's Elevage project!

We live in a time where it is easy to share knowledge and opportunities, and so educating our girls and women, and encouraging them pay it forward, is the place to start. This is one of the reasons we ask you to share EPN's news with your family and friends!
Mawa, head of the Women's Cooperative, 2010

The second question posed to bloggers is "Describe a particular organization, person, group or moment in history that helped to inspire a positive future and impact the minds and aspirations for girls." At EPN, we don't need to look far out of our own community to find people who inspire and impact girls every day. What about Little Rock's Lilly Oyare? Here is a woman of grace and passion, changing lives and futures. And the same can be said for Mawa, the head of the Women's Cooperative.

Lilly, with EPN's own Judy (another woman helping to inspire and educate!) 2009

We're so glad you took some time to read this today, and hope it's gotten you thinking about women: whether about how you can help, or what women inspire you, or even just about women's issue in general. This post is part of a day, a month, that are all part of a larger conversation. So have the conversation with us! Comment here, or on Twitter and Facebook. We'd love to hear what you think!


  1. Judy, You are amazing!

  2. You are too kind! Internet access was pretty bad, so I only just saw your comment. The truth is, the women we are working with are the really amazing people. They are working to feed, educate and care for their families against extraordinary challenges. Would I be as capable and strong in their situation? I doubt it.