January 29, 2018
We started out 2018 reading stories of women from Los Angeles to Kenya moving into leadership roles, as outspoken advocates for women of color within America’s
MeToo movement, as advocates helping girls escape female genital mutilation, and as newly minted candidates for public office.
We also were reminded through a story from Nepal of the importance of education of women themselves on the long road to equality. Changes in laws must be supported by education for a society to change norms and behavior. Finally, in India, through our work in alcohol de-addiction with Consortium Member DHAN Foundation, we have seen first-hand the direct relationship between drinking and domestic violence. A study we read in Global Mental Health confirms the relationship and points to new ways to reduce violence against women. So much progress, yet so much to do in the year ahead.
Viola Davis Makes Powerful Demand On Behalf Of Women Of Color At Women’s March
Actress Viola Davis gave a powerful speech at the Los Angeles Women’s March earlier this month about including women of color in the
MeToo movement. She stressed the importance of including women who don’t have the money or constitution to “break their silence that is rooted in the shame of assault, that’s rooted in the stigma of assault.” Here at WomenStrong, we couldn’t agree more — all women deserve a voice.
She Ran From the Cut, and Helped Thousands of Other Girls Escape, Too
The New York Times
After a childhood spent avoiding the cutting ritual, Nice Leng’ete dedicated her life to helping over 15,000 girls in Kenya avoid female genital mutilation. Working with Women Deliver’s partner Amref Health Africa, Leng’ete created a unique solution to the popular coming-of-age ritual: a three-day program that included education and an alternative rite-of-passage ceremony. This inspiring photo essay follows a day in the life of several girls participating in the program.
A Year Ago, They Marched. Now a Record Number of Women Are Running for Office
Ever since Trump was elected president, there’s been a grassroots movement erupting across America leading to an unprecedented number of first-time female political candidates. From governor to city supervisor, thousands of women have launched political campaigns, leaving us to ask, will 2018 be the year America elects a record number of women into office?
Zainab’s rape, murder sparks child sexual abuse debate
A child’s rape and murder in Pakistan has provoked outraged protests led by celebrities and ordinary citizens alike. As public voices grew, the government in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, announced plans to introduce “Child Abuse Awareness” into its curriculum. And while this might be an important first step, greater effort is needed to fight the abuse effectively.
Alcohol use and intimate partner violence among women and their partners in sub-Saharan Africa
Global Mental Health
A recent study focusing on women and their partners in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa found that partner alcohol use was strongly correlated with domestic violence. These important findings could warrant further research to determine if alcohol abuse prevention and treatment could reduce domestic violence in places like sub-Saharan Africa.
Why menstrual stigma continues to claim lives in Nepal
Despite its recent criminalization, women are still practicing chauupadi, a dangerous Hindu ritual wherein menstruating women are banished to huts during their periods. While the practice is usually enforced by the village’s religious leaders, women continue to practice chauupadi themselves, believing they are protecting their family. Aid groups are working hard to educate village shamans and create a national dialogue about menstrual stigma.