by Gwen Meyer, co-founder
Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife
Karunga Women's Group
When my husband John and I accepted an invitation for a three-week trip to Kenya in 2002, Africa was not even on our list of places we wanted to go. Nine years later, our NGO, Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife (FKSW), whose seeds were planted during that first visit, has transferred more than $200,000 in donations to support community development in six rural communities in Kenya.
With our Kenyan partner NGO, Network for EcoFarming in Africa (NECOFA), FKSW focuses on activities designed to help achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals: alleviating poverty and hunger, providing access to nursery and primary education for girls and boys, helping to prevent and treat diseases, and providing access to clean water. In each community, residents participate in identifying priorities, making decisions, and implementing projects to improve the quality of their lives. As part of every project, a training component results in new knowledge and skills for participants, and ensures maintenance of the outcomes. The process endeavors to create community among participants and often is transformative in relationships and ways of working together. (more…)
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Basket detail, WoW event
Just about a year ago, I picked up a copy of Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity Worldwide, mainly because the amount of advance publicity (including a feature article in the New York Times magazine) suggested that the book was going to make a splash. Like many feminists, I’m suspicious of the language of opportunity used to discuss what used to be called women’s rights, which often means that global corporations have recognized that women somewhere or another have become a market for their consumer goods. At the same time, I’m no longer idealist enough to think that we can wish away the circumstances that have made the very idea of state-sponsored support for women and their families unthinkable. And I wish that Kristoff and WuDunn were as tough on religious organizations as they are on feminists. Not that I don’t think that feminists in the U.S. academy in particular could use a healthy dose of self-reflection, but I get the sense that Kristoff in particular is uncomfortable with feminist critiques of protectionism and paternalism (and here I’d urge people to read philosopher Claudia Card’s “Rape as a Weapon of War” and her addendum to that essay). (more…)
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CSWS Initiates the Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties with a Series of Lectures, Workshops and Symposia Focused on Women’s Rights
Organized by the Center for the Study of Women in Society at the University of Oregon, the inaugural Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties explores the topic of “Women’s Rights in a Global World” through a yearlong series of lectures, symposia, workshops and related events featuring world-class activists, scholars, and writers. Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn will cap the Lorwin series with her lecture on May 11. A bequest from the University of Oregon’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Law, the Lorwin Lectureship on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties was established through a generous gift from the estate of Val and Madge Lorwin. Val Lorwin was a labor activist and professor of history at the University of Oregon who died in 1982.*
Events for the 2010-11 Lorwin series are aimed at generating attention to international disparities in the rights of women, as well as research possibilities based on collaborations on this theme across departments, schools, and activist communities. To get the broadest possible global representation of issues regarding women’s rights, speakers have been selected with the assistance of an interdisciplinary advisory board of feminist scholars.
The Lorwin series will centrally involve students with interests in women’s rights. CSWS intends to make related research materials, lectures, podcasts, and related links and multimodal materials available on the CSWS website.
Events include: (more…)
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