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Do something. » Women's Courage

Do something.

February 24th, 2011 by adakulen Leave a reply »

If you’ve been outraged by what you’ve read, what you’ve seen and what you know to be the sad reality for millions of women, then this is one post you need to read.

In light of all the problems I have focused on in my posts—rape as a tool, political conspiracy against gendercide, domestic violence in oppressed societies—I’d like to take up Anne’s call to turn toward the solutions, the stories of women’s courage amidst the outrage. The best way to do this, I believe is by highlighting a few organizations that are taking a new approach to change in the female empowerment movement. As we learn about all the critical issues facing women in the world, whether they are in war-time situation or in their own homes, we need to start asking ourselves how we can get involved. A revolutionary solution often starts with a very simple idea.

Women for Women International

• What they do: “Women for Women International provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies. We’re changing the world one woman at a time.” [1]
• How they do it: They help women move from victims to active citizens by providing financial aid, job training, rights awareness and leadership education. [1] Their work has reached countries such as Afghanistan, Bosnia, the Congo, Nigeria, and Sudan.
• What you can do:

  1. Host an Event
  2. Volunteer (though most immediate opportunities are in the D.C. office, you can e-mail volunteers@womenforwomen.org. to get more information about getting involved!)
  3. Intern (there are opportunities in policy, fundraising, executive office, advocacy, grassroots, marketing, etc.)


• What they do: CARE is a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. They work “ alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. CARE supports community-based efforts to “improve education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources.” They also deliver emergency aid in cases of war and disaster. [2]
• How they do it: They have teams set up for each of their initiatives (from Agriculture to Nutrition to Emergency Relief). The teams work with local policy makers and organizations to provide resources and solutions. They provide funding for clinics, push for research and international law reform, raise funds for relief efforts, and run hundreds of local projects. Check out some of their team efforts here.
• What you can do:

  1. Look into events to attend/get involved in with “CARE in your community
  2. Start a CARE profile or a blog (you’ve been dong in this class for a quarter, why not keep going?)

Feminist Majority Foundation (and Feminist Majority)

• What they do: FMF’s mission is to “develop bold, new strategies and programs to advance women’s equality, non-violence, economic development, and, most importantly, empowerment of women and girls in all sectors of society.”
• How they do it: They do research and policy development, public education and development programs, grassroots projects, and participates in and organizes forums on issues of women’s equality and empowerment. The sister organization, the Feminist Majority, engages in lobbying and other direct political action, pursuing equality through legislative avenues. [3]
• What you can do:

  1. Get involved in one of their campaigns (from Freeing Iranian feminists to fighting fake abortion Clinics!)
  2. Volunteer—either permanently in their D.C. or LA office or get in contact to launch a local campaign. To inquire e-mail volunteerdc@feminist.org or call 703-522-2214 (for DC) or volunteerla@feminist.org 310-556-2500 (for LA).
  3. Intern (DC or LA)

I call each of you who read this article to critically evaluate each of these organizations. Ask yourself:

Am I passionate about this solution? Should I get involved?
What are they doing right? What can they do better?
Who else is working on these issues?
What can I do?

First steps:

o Get on Twitter.
(Most of the above organizations have an account, start following., start posting…)
o Use that Facebook.
(Facebook gives you the option to step out onto the modern front lines. “Like” an organization, join an international women’s network, or check out a regional group.)

Get involved. Don’t just be another bystander with open ears, a wealth of knowledge, and a stagnant desire to do something—go do it.

According to a Newsweek/Gallup opinion poll 56% of women and over 66% of young women in the United States self-identified as feminists. [4] I would venture to say 100% of the women (and our male allies) in our class would self-identify as such. As feminists, it is our duty to not only know the issues, but to move forward…


[1] http://www.womenforwomen.org/about-women-for-women/we-support-women-survivors-globally.php

[2] http://www.care.org/about/index.asp

[3] http://feminist.org/welcome/index.html

[4] http://feminist.org/welcome/index.html


1 comment

  1. csendax says:

    I found this post to be very enlightening as to how the idea of easing women’s poverty in the third world goes from concept to reality. I was taken by not just the incentive for action and grounds upon the idea is being realized, that also how important and crucial CARE and Women for Women International are towards securing women’s rights worldwide. The trend of the organizations you mention of ensuring that the women become their own agents of change is very comforting.

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