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Putting women in the driver’s seat – Guest post from ActionAid

This is a guest post from ActionAid. I have not received payment for this post

Women in developing countries face many challenges – low social status, poverty, and little to no formal education to name a few. Even today, women in those countries do not enjoy the rights that we take for granted. Charities like ActionAid aim not only to give them a voice, but also to let them take charge of their lives.

Fighting sexual violence

The difference in physical power between men and women, traditional cultural roles and sometimes legislation make women vulnerable to sexual violence. Women often find it hard to resist unwanted sexual demands, to demand protected sex in order to protect themselves from HIV infections and to fight traditional practices such as Female Genital Mutilation.

To address these issues, ActionAid provides safe and supportive forums for girls to discuss sensitive issues such as instances of violence that are committed against them. The organisation also fights legislation that further victimises the victim of sexual assault, such as the Hudood Ordinance in Pakistan. ActionAid also makes religious and traditional leaders aware of the dangers of practising Female Genital Mutilation.

The right to an education

Around 517 million women around the world are illiterate. As a result, they are often confined to low-skill and low-paying jobs and are denied the ability and the right to demand a better life. Families often do not consider sending daughters to school a worthy investment, as the quality of the education is often poor, or their daughters will soon be married off.

ActionAid realises that the quality of education is the first step in raising the education level among women, and is constantly working with locals to make sure governments are adequately managing the quality of education in terms of the qualifications of the teachers and the amount of resources dedicated to the education system.

Representation in the public sphere

Women are often excluded from the decision making process – whether at the household level or at the community level. In some communities, women simply assume that men will not permit them to participate in community activities which are beyond their domestic and reproductive duties. The need for women to be included in any decision-making process is particularly important, because current policies often neglect their rights and needs.
ActionAid has made recommendations to relevant governments and organisations to dedicate resources to build capacity for local women to be involved in decision making processes. The organisation has also helped communities to strengthen their local governance structure to increase women’s participation in leadership.

What you can do to help

ActionAid runs a number of campaigns and appeals year round that address the needs and rights of women. Whether you want to learn more or volunteer your time, there are a number of ways that you can help the important causes and the rights of women they champion. You can also sponsor a child to make sure they have the resources to learn and succeed – remember, every dollar makes a difference.

Author bio: Alex Smith is a freelance writer and women’s rights activist who believes that everyone can make a difference to women’s rights around the world – whether they sponsor a child or make a small one-off donation.

You can Follow ActionAid on Twitter or Facebook.

Maybe I go back to study?

This post is brought to you by ICS


So, I’ve been out of work awhile, and while I’ve been mostly thinking about things like looking for a job, or getting myself mentally to a point where I can take on the world, I’ve also been thinking about other options. Study, of course. wit my over-thinking brain, is always an option. Perhaps I enroll at a TAFE, or community college for something. Perhaps another masters. Or, maybe distance courses are a good option. No face to face, lots of reading, discussion through moodle. I loved that format through the masters I did, so I should continue it. Whether formally, through a uni or TAFE course, or informally, through a skeptic/atheist bookclub!

Maybe child behaviour is an area for study for me? I did several behaviour subjects through uni both under an post- grad… plus all my work with kids with a language disorder. Or Autism. Or kids with “just” a mild intellectual disability. So much we could do for those kids language wise, if we know how, and we had the backing from our “benefactors” (private, taxes and so on) to go ahead and help these boys to make their way through both the justice system and society when we throw them back into it.

Perhaps I have a passion for social justice issues, and should channel that instead? Surely that’s better to blog about than soy lattes? :p

What do you think?

Have you ever manage to study, for study or pleasure’s sake only?

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