Posted by: Staff | 04.23.2009

We Must Take Action!

MATT ROBBINS ’10

Over the past few weeks, section two of Ms. Lipson’s 11th grade Rhetorical English class has been studying human rights violations against women. Ms. Lipson split the section into several groups. Each group was assigned a certain region of the world to research women’s rights issues and how they are dealt with in that particular region. We quickly learned that women’s rights violations are widespread, and not just a problem in a certain section of the globe. For example, 46% of Ugandan women report regular physical abuse. In the United States, a woman is raped every six minutes, and a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds. Also, in Europe, domestic violence is a major cause of death and disability for women aged 16 to 44. Our class thought that statistics like these are heartbreaking and the problems revealed by the data must be immediately addressed. Therefore, we decided that we must take an active role in raising awareness, while offering suggestions to the Beaver community on how we can put an end to the horrible human rights violations against woman.
The easiest, and most effective, way to make change is to do so locally. Students or faculty can spread awareness by educating their peers about both local and international situations. Volunteering at nearby organizations such as the Elizabeth Stone House in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts is an excellent way to make a difference. The Elizabeth Stone House helps local women and families “get back on track” after dealing with physical abuse and/or trauma due to domestic violence. One can volunteer by helping with direct service, support groups, administration and development, and childcare. Students can also join local protests or rallies against domestic violence.
If one is inspired to make a difference on an international level then there are a large number of outlets for such efforts. Donating resources to an organization like the Naban Centre for Street and Working Children in Southern India is an excellent choice. Naban caters primarily to the needs of female children and teens from sexually abused backgrounds who have been disowned. Naban helps the girls develop skills that will further their success in life, while teaching the girls how to advocate for themselves in their respective communities (http://www.nanbanindia.org). Another excellent organization to look towards is the Global Fund for Women. The Global Fund for Women collects and distributes resources to women’s organizations who apply for grants in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia. Since 1987 the Global Fund for Women has awarded over $71 million to 3,800 women’s organizations in 167 countries. It is inspiring to think of all of the positive effects that have come from these donations (http://www.globalfundforwomen.org/cms/).

It is nearly impossible to not be enraged by the widespread injustices’ inflicted on women throughout the world. It is the hope of Ms. Lipson’s 11th grade class that everyone will take action and attempt to make at least a little difference. The Beaver community must take a stance to stop human rights violations against women.

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