Monday, March 5, 2012

Celebrate International Women's Day with Oxfam on March 8

Rebecca Blackwell/Oxfam America

This Thursday, March 8, is International Women's Day and Oxfam America is celebrating women around the world who are hard at work in the fight against hunger and poverty. Women like those in this video:

Two lines from that video really resonated with me:
You may think hunger is about too many people and too little food. 
Hunger is about power. It's about inequality, and women and girls face the greatest inequality of all.  
If hunger can be framed as a problem of "too many people" and "too little food," we are able to dismiss it as an inevitable discomfort of life. It becomes a natural phenomenon, like a tornado or a hurricane. Sure, we are sad to see the victims in its wake and, yes, we work to comfort the survivors, but we don't see ourselves as responsible and thus we don't necessarily step into the role as agents of change.

But if we dismantle that rhetoric, if we recognize that it is possible to feed every man, woman, and child on the planet, we can no longer be reactive to the victims of famine. We must be proactive. Recognizing that governmental infrastructures, prejudicial hierarchies, and--above all--power often determine who does and does not eat means that hunger is not a natural phenomenon, but a human problem. 

Consider these facts:

·      66% of the world’s work falls on women’s shoulders, yet they earn only 10% of the world’s income.
·       Worldwide in 2008, nearly 800 million people over the age of 15 could neither read nor write – two-thirds of them were women.
·       Women make up 43% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries, yet they account for only 10-20% of landowners.

Oxfam's programs like Grow (pdf) are working to address these inequalities to food access. 

If you would like to help spread the word about International Women's Day and Oxfam's efforts, you can recognize a woman whose work you admire with an e-card. 

Email a card from here or create a personalized award you can share with the recipient here

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your post! I love the way you have framed what can be an overwhelming problem into something we do, in fact, have control over. Thank you for talking about Oxfam America's campaign and tools (ecard, award) to use this International Women's Day!