This blog started out as a marketing to women online blog - my intent was to help companies reach the women's market. To that end, we were pretty successful from the get-go. Over time, this blog has evolved into much more than a marketing advice column. You, the reader, have taken it to new levels - creating attention to women all over the world, and to the issues all women, here and there, struggle with on a daily basis. After all, those of us who are entrepreneurs aren't sitting in a corner trying to run our businesses by ignoring our personal lives. We're embracing all - bringing the personal together with the business, focused on making the world a better place - and that's what I'm going to talk about today.
If you're a regular reader, you've seen Mary Schmidt's posts urging us to Adopt a Village and make a difference in the lives of women in third world countries. It doesn't take much. A few pennies a day. A commitment to making a difference. A recognition that we're not alone in this world. That women everywhere count. I did it. I adopted a village. How could I not? I'm totally committed to helping - helping my fellow women, to helping children, to helping pets, and a million other things in between. For only $12/mo, I knew I had to take Mary up on her suggestion and adopt a village.
Today, on International Women's Day, I want to bring another issue to light. It's similar, but not the same. As I write this, I can hear my children telling me stories about their day at school, many years ago, "Yeah, Mom, it's exactly the same, but different."
Here's the bottom line, Sixty-six percent of the world's work falls on women's shoulders, yet they earn only 10% of the world's income. >>> Ask your political candidates why that is true and what they're going to do to change it.
If women were given the same access to resources that men are given, they could increase yields in their farms (yes, here and there and wherever women struggle to make due using the land beneath their bare feet), by 20-30%. No small bit, there.
As noted on the Oxfam site: When many Americans picture a farmer, they see a man, possibly in overalls, frequently on a tractor, often in Iowa (I’ve asked a lot of audiences this question—that is what I always get in response). But the truth is that every day, holiday or not, women work hard to feed their families—and the world. In sub-Saharan African countries, women constitute 75% of the agricultural workers. Across all developing countries, the average is 43%.
When it comes to hunger and poverty - much like everything else in the world, it's not about food or wealth as much as it's about... power and inequality. Women and girls face the biggest inequalities of all because of their gender. [here's where I insert: yes, Rick Santorum and Rush Limbaugh, women deserve to have birth control covered by insurance because in the end, when ALL is said and done, they
are responsible for the children born of consensual or non-consensual sex - not the men, who are fortunate enough to have their penis enhancers covered by insurance and are allowed to walk away from any responsibilities for children born of their 'good times'].
Today, on this most important day for us - women, everywhere - please send an IWD (international women's day) card to someone you love and admire. Thank her for being there for you. Join forces to support one effort to help women who need to stop being invisible.
Give a personalized Oxfam's IWD Award to her and all the women who inspire you. Mine is given to Shonali Burke, the women who asked if I would write about this, today. I believe in her, I admire her, and I hope I can live up to her wishes - sharing this message.
Don't forget that Adopt a Village is still open. We need your help - you can make this decision to sacrifice some small thing (that Starbucks coffee for one week a month; getting the newspaper every day - change to weekends only; use more cleaning rags, less paper towels; find the extra change in the bottom of your purse and commit to doubling it; all of these things are EASY to do and will create that $12/mo to help a village in a country that you may never visit, but that still exists in poverty) as a matter of pride.
Be proud to be a woman. Be proud to be living in this country at this time - and show that pride by sharing. It's what women do, isn't it?
If you do nothing else, please, as a favor to me, click the links (and images) in this post and visit the Oxfam America site - and the Adopt a Village site. Take a half an hour today and learn about women in need. Thank you! You make me proud to be a woman blogger.