Dr. Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist from Kenya who deeply cared for others through environmental and social activism. In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement which planted more than 10 million trees over the course of time to combat soil erosion and provide firewood for cooking. Previous to the Green Belt Movement, only 9 out of 100 trees were replanted in Kenya causing wide-spread deforestation, inadequate soil drainage, and water pollution. The women of Kenya were the driving force behind the movement as they gained employment for planting new trees in the deforested regions of Kenya due to logging. With the wages earned, Kenyan women were able to find income generating investments and provide for their families.
The Green Belt Movement expanded internationally and helped many countries around the world. This week we are celebrating Dr. Wangari Maathai for her undying passion to help people and the environment. Because of her efforts, many generations will benefit from her dream of planting “just one tree”.
We have a new blog section titled “Meaningful Mondays”. The reason is that we at times tend to forget what is most important to us as human beings, which is community, cooperation and compassion. In this article, I address the current economic state of women as a whole in the global arena.
Currently, there are 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty on less than $1 per day. Of the 1.3 billion people, 70 percent are women. Approximately 910 million women cannot afford basic necessities such as water, food and shelter for themselves and their children. (World Revolution) Fortunately, there is a way to gradually reduce poverty through Fair Trade.
For those who are not familiar with Fair Trade, it is the promotion of economic sustainably to communities in developing countries through proper working conditions, fair exchange of commodities and environmental preservation. With Fair Trade, people are able to connect and help women in desperate need.
In developed countries, women hold more purchasing power than realized and are the gateway to fighting poverty in developing nations. Primarily in the United States, women control 80 percent of the total spending. They buy groceries, household items, health care and are the key people in making large purchases for their families. Collectively, women have more purchasing power than most foreign markets. (She-conomy) Why not use this power to help deserving women in distressed countries attain these same privileges?
Women hold the power.
It has been my life’s passion to help women in impoverished countries rise above their current circumstances through their own talents and abilities. Providing jobs gives women a chance to earn a solid income and raise self-esteem. The trickle down effect begins as the families of the women are improved economically and are able to receive adequate health care, education and other life necessities. I hope to offer that gateway that connects women globally. Women helping women.
Below is a video on women in India:
“The state of the world.” The World Revolution. worldrevolution.org, n.d. Web. 5 Feb. 2012. <www.worldrevolution.org/projects/globalissuesoverview/overview2/BriefOverview.htm>.