Powerful women. Images of Oprah Winfrey, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama instantly come to mind. But power is not solely defined by bank balance and influence. Powerful women also show courage, rising against insurmountable odds to come out on top when not a soul on this earth expected them to do so.
The book, Half the Sky, which inspired the creation of 100 Women, reports that women in developing countries are by nature hard working, gentle and less set in their ways than their male counterparts. Given the chance, women show more entrepreneurial ability and can change the outlook of the community they live in.
This is facilitated by many women and even young girls around the world thanks to organisations like 100 Women,who give meaningful grants to groups that bring light to women who would otherwise starve or perish from illness or neglect.
Imagine, a woman leading a country like Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq or Syria. War will not stop, as it never does. But greater efforts for peace and cultural change could become realised if these countries provided women with access to superior education, health care systems that catered to all classes and meaningful employment.
Panchratni of Jamodhi in India was relying on the sole income of her husband, not enough to feed her family each day and often went without basic necessities like food, as well as education, which everyone deserves to have in this modern world.
By using a small grant from the group, Opportunity International (a 2014 100 Women grant recipient), Panchratni was able to purchase some livestock, using them in the local fields to farm rice and wheat. By also selling the milk, her family now has the ability to feed themselves, educate the children and start a savings account. Not only has she helped her family, she is contributing to the economy of the village and, in a small way, India as a whole.
If more women in developing countries had the opportunity to not only help themselves, but have a fundamental role in the economic development of their local community, whole villages, provinces and countries would see the benefits. And there are a lot of women in these countries under repressive cultures who have the potential to achieve great things for their community and country.
100 Women grants make a real difference to the lives of thousands of poor, repressed and damaged women each year. But to unlock the full potential of these women requires donations from people like you and me, who want to change the world one small step at a time to rid us of famine and atrocities most of us never even hear about, but know they exist.
Article by Jason Findlay,
One of our valued male supporters and contributors
Our definition of women includes transgender and cisgender, all those who experience or have experienced oppression as women, including non-binary and gender non-conforming people and all those who identify as women.
We would also like to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of this land, the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Island People. We would like to acknowledge their continued connection to this Country and recognise that their culture is alive, and their connections continue as they have before we were here, and will continue as one of the oldest cultures in the world.
We pay our respects to the Elders both past and present and their special place in the community together with the emerging youth coming through.