I didn’t expect to be able to update the blog this week. We’re in Vancouver visiting my parents and I probably shouldn’t admit that I’m ‘borrowing’ internet from a neighbour! It’s a very weak connection so I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish and post this or not but I really do want to comment on the fact that today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
What does that mean to those of us who had the good fortune to be born in a time and place where women’s lives are relatively easy? Hopefully, it’s a time to reflect on the progress that has been made over the past century that brought us to this point as well as a time to consider the plight of sisters worldwide whose lives are not as easy; women like those in Afghanistan. Though there have been many important improvements in that country in the last decade, Afghan girls and women continue to have vastly disproportionate access to education, justice and health services. They also have the worst maternal and newborn health outcomes in the world.
What can we do to help women in Afghanistan and other developing countries achieve a better life? According to CARE Canada, “women are the poorest and most vulnerable, yet greatest agents of change.” When women are empowered, conditions improve for their families and their communities. When mothers are given the resources to provide for their families, children go to school and when children go to school, great things happen.
This is why I’m a Kiva lender. I choose to contribute to loans that give women hope and enable them to climb out of abject poverty. For more information about how you can do the same, visit the Kiva website or click on the banner in the margin to the right. For other ideas, visit the Care Canada website. That’s what I’m going to do as soon as I have a better internet connection!