Happy International Women’s Day to every single woman out there giving it her all, fighting her own battles both online and offline and holding it down. I’m proud to support my fellow sisters from around the globe, particularly those who are fighting the added battle of culturally diverse representation. Power to you.
This year, ONE is planning a global “walk-in” to Parliaments all over the world to raise awareness about the 130 million girls that are out of school – they are launching this education Campaign on International Women’s Day. They launched a global action that is being supported by celebrities including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, among others. Their volunteers will bring this letter to their representatives in different countries. You can find more information about the campaign here. Here is some of the wording from their letter:
In the poorest countries, girls are denied it more often than boys. Education is vital for moving out of poverty. Every additional year of school that a girl completes increases her future earnings, which is good for her family, her community, and her country. Your education helped you to get where you are today – and it is in your power to help millions of girls to get theirs. Please act now, with the right policies and the necessary funds. Show us that politics can work for the people – starting with the people who need it most.
I had the pleasure of e-interviewing 33 year old Selmor Mtukudzi, a Musician. This is what she had to say:
Q: Why does International Women’s Day matter to you?
International Women’s Day matters to me because it reminds people of the importance of women and their roles in society. I believe that women have greater responsibilities and so having a day that celebrates them is pretty special. It’s a day that also stands to show that women are capable leaders and can be great role models in the world.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish with the Global “walk-in” to Parliament?
I am hoping that I will be able to share my story with the government officials and shed some light on what’s really happening on the ground in terms of what 130 million girls out of school really does to a country and ultimately to the whole world. I want them to know some of the harsh conditions that these girls face in their lives and that giving them an education would not only save their own lives and also those of their families, extended families and it would even boost the economy of their countries. We are asking the Canadian government to double its contribution towards global education from 2 cents per Canadian per day to 4 cents. We can help lift 130million girls out of extreme poverty by giving them a chance to an education.
Q: Describe one instance/experience in your life when you knew something had to change? What was it?
I worked with an organization in Zimbabwe that helps rescue girls that are in dangerous situations. There was one 7 year old girl whose parents had died. She lived with her uncle who sexually abused her. She wasn’t going to school and was constantly being bitten. When I heard of her story and she was finally rescued from that I knew that this was not acceptable and that more needed to be done to raise awareness on these issues and make sure that those committing such terrible acts should be punished and that every girl should be in school. If she had been in school the abuse would most probably have not happened or in the very least it would have been realized earlier.
Q: Where do you go from here? What’s next?
After my meetings I go back home to Zimbabwe and continue to advocate for girls’ education. I plan on working closely with some organizations there to insure that funds are being directed where they are most needed.
Q: What message do you want to share with the world?
There are 130million girls all over the world that are being denied an education. This is unacceptable. We need to come together and put an end to this crisis. If we are to end extreme poverty by year 2030 we need to start now by giving an education to every girl. Education is a powerful tool to saving a lot of lives.
“I believe that when you empower a woman you empower the nation. Let’s empower these 130millions girls all over the world by allowing them to have an education today and we will all benefit from them!” -Selmor Mtukudzi