Actress Zosia Mamet recently wrote a stirring essay about what it means to be a woman. She recounted past boyfriends who were afraid of her career drive, discussed being called too this or too that to succeed. As she peeled away this emotional baggage, she discovered the root of such painful situations is the idea that women are somehow lesser than men. Today, dig deep to understand what it’s like to feel lesser than. And then speak up against such injustices. As Zosia says, if ever our voices as women were needed, it is now!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: None
Women and girls the world over face injustices every day. And some of these offenses are truly heartbreaking. When women in war-torn countries are abused, the lasting effects aren’t just physical. These women are stripped of essentials every human being requires: protection, freedom, having a voice. Those necessities completely disappear, and when women in countries at war are abused, they are forced into a downward spiral in which they have no way to earn money, no legal resources to fight for their own protection and no way to escape this cycle of oppression. These are tragic humanitarian crises. But today’s Woman to Watch is a testament that we no longer have to sit by and accept this fate; we can stand up, make our voices heard and fight to defend those who are too often silenced.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Dr. Samantha Nutt, Founder and Executive Director of War Child
Dr. Samantha Nutt, a medical doctor and hands-on humanitarian, has lived the kind of life we all should aspire to, and I hope her story inspires you, and further, that it empowers you to help right the injustices women and girls face throughout the world. Samantha is the founder and executive director of War Child, an international nonprofit that diligently works to help women and children in war-affected countries reclaim their lives through access to education, opportunity and justice.
Dedicated to empowering those who have endured incredible violence in war zones, Samantha founded War Child in 1999 with no resources other than a one-room office and a cellphone. Talk about ingenuity! To date, War Child has won countless humanitarian awards, now has a staff of more than 200 and has helped more than 250,000 struggling people in eight countries.
Working in places like Uganda, Jordan, Sudan and Afghanistan, War Child identifies the key needs of children, women and refugees, and addresses those concerns head-on. For instance, in South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of Congo—where more than 7.5 million children, 3.9 million of whom are girls, are not in school—War Child has rebuilt 38 schools that were destroyed during the conflict, providing teacher training and education kits for children. Additionally, War Child is piloting an innovative program for girls who don’t have access to formal schooling to learn via the radio. Through radio-based learning, these girls aren’t forced to encounter the risks associated with simply walking to school, and they get access to qualified teachers who help advance their learning.
Even though Samantha would be the first to say she’s not in it for the recognition, she’s definitely been the recipient of some major honors for her work. Time magazine called her one of Canada’s Five Leading Activists, and she was appointed to the Order of Canada, one of that country’s highest civilian honors.
This fearless woman does it all with a full heart and plenty of tenacity. She says she’s always been scrappy, and when she encounters cruelty, Samantha doesn’t hesitate to jump into defense mode, standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves.
If Samantha’s remarkable story has aroused an impassioned spark in you, consider getting involved with War Child on a fundraising or volunteer level. After all, as Samantha has proven, every single one of us can make a difference.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Today’s inspiring quote comes from singer and philanthropist Alicia Keys. She said:
“We are mothers. We are caregivers. We are artists. We are activists. We are entrepreneurs, doctors, leaders of industry and technology. Our potential is unlimited. We rise.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.
To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.