Empowering women

by Khushboo on October 16, 2014

As advanced as India is, one rule that continues to shock me is the country’s ban on prenatal sex discernment i.e. prenatal testing for determining the sex of a fetus before birth. Due to cultural norms valuing male children over female children, it is believed that such testing will likely increase rates of sex-selective abortion. Unfortunately India is just one of the few countries where men continue to maintain somewhat of an upperhand.

equal sex

Source

I’m blessed that I have personally not experienced any extreme form of gender inequality, but that doesn’t mean I can turn a blind eye to it. It exists: women across the world are still reliant on men to provide for them. Women are being robbed of opportunities in the workplace because of the idea that family commitments will eventually take over. In rural areas of some countries, the idea of women doing working beyond household chores is unheard of. While attending university and driving a car are common for most of us, certain countries ban their women from doing.

Like most of you, I hope that eventually all women across the globe will be able to break through these gender-based limitations and truly have control over their lives. By having the free will to make decisions of their lives & opportunities opened up in their directions, that financial & emotional reliance can slowly cease over time. When my friend Rashlin reached out to me about guest posting about an amazing initiative centered on women’s empowerment in Kenya that she is currently working on, I was more than happy for her to:

Thank you Khushboo for letting me feature on your blog !

Rashlin

Hi readers! My name is Rashlin. Having known Khushboo for a few years now, I knew her blog would be the perfect place to share my post today.

Although this post isn’t health- & fitness-related, I hope it is something that you will find interesting. I was born and brought up in Kenya, and have been closely involved with a charity called The Hawkers Market Girls Centre for the past three years. The charity helps girls, aged 16-22 from slum developments around Kenya, with free education, food, medical checks and counseling. With this education and help, the girls go onto university, medical school and even open their own small businesses.

What I personally love about the centre is that it gives the girls confidence, a voice, and the freedom to empower themselves, brought about purely through education. For example, when Carolyne, who was taken in by the centre after the loss of her parents was asked what her dream is, she replied: “To get a good job to help my family and give back to the community. That’s why I have asked Mrs Keshavjee (the founder of the centre) to support me, since she is the mother and father in my life.”

One of the Hawkers Market girls making hand make bags and scarves on the new machine.

One of the Hawkers Market girls making hand make bags and scarves on the new machine.

This little introduction brings us to the reason for this post today. The Hawkers Market recently launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise money for 10 girls going to medical school and university. Given Khushboo’s fantastic reach, I wanted to spread awareness about this campaign through the blogging world. Donating a small sum, or even spreading the message via your own social media networks would make a huge difference to the campaign and ultimately the future of the girls of the Hawkers Market. Please find the link for the campaign below:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-educate-our-girls/x/8595655

Shariffa and the girls planting a tree after their inaugraition into the Kenya Girl Guides Association

Shariffa and the girls planting a tree after their inaugraition into the Kenya Girl Guides Association

Thank you so much for your time, and I really hope you have all found this a worthwhile and interesting cause. As Shariffa, the founder of the centre once told me: “To know how to do something isn’t enough – these women who have previously been overlooked now need confidence.”

educate girl

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me:


Email: rashlin.bhachu@gmail.com

Twitter: @GirlsCentre / @RashlinBhachu

Instagram: @RashlinBhachu

Have a great day!

I would love to hear your thoughts on women empowerment…  

Ladies, have you ever experienced any kind of gender inequality?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness October 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

What a great cause!! Even in the US, you’d think we’re all equal but we’re not. Unequal pay for equal work is a big one. Even recently the CEO of microsoft said “women shouldnt ask for promotions, they should just wait patiently” Discrimination exists everywhere. Thanks for talking about this and providing the link- I’d love to help!

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Rashlin October 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Thanks Charlotte! I agree -you would think in Western countries men and women would be paid equally. Have you read Lean In? Sheryl Sandberg really highlights this in the book

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Shashi @ RunninSrilankan October 16, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Rashlin – what an amazing cause you are supporting! Khushboo – thanks for introducing Rashlin! I have been fortunate in that I don’t ever recall any sort of gender inequality personally. Here in Atlanta, there’s an organization called Street Grace that helps minors get out o their life of sexual slavery – a lot o their victims are girls. The numbers and stories are staggering – so yup, I will definitely contribute to campaign Indiegogo -good luck Rashlin!

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Rashlin October 17, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Thanks Shashi! I will definitely look up the organization -sounds like a great cause. Lovely to meet you virtually.

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Jen @ Bagels to Broccoli October 16, 2014 at 5:54 pm

What a wonderful cause! Thanks for sharing, Khushboo and Rashlin!

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rashlin October 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Thanks Jen!

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Alyssa @ The Healthy RD October 16, 2014 at 7:30 pm

A wonderful cause and great read. It is so sad how gender inequality still exists in the 21st century. I think causes like this are a great way to keep fighting for inequality. We women will never stop until we are ALL equal!

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rashlin October 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Thanks Alyssa! Agreed 🙂

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Parita @ myinnershakti October 17, 2014 at 3:37 am

What an inspiring cause! You should be so proud of yourself, Rashlin!

While I haven’t experienced gender inequality, I know there are a number of women (and sometimes even men) who have. Will definitely be donating!

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rashlin October 18, 2014 at 2:03 pm

Thank you Parita for your kind words! Much appreciated.

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Kaylin@EnticingHealthyEating October 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

Beautiful and inspiring post. I like that you brought up this topic. As a Southern girl born and raised, I have actually seen many instances of gender inequality in the area I live in as well as other close cities and small towns. Women from here tend to get married very young, and then many seem to have babies right after and become stay at home moms, which doesn’t gain them much respect in the business world. It’s always bothered me that it is still somewhat “expected” as a norm here in the South for women to be stay at home moms and have lots of kids. I am the exact opposite and I think that has thrown some of my friends and family off!

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rashlin October 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Kaylin for your comment. I understand what you mean, as a few Southern friends I have say the same thing. The culture is similar in India, so I guess women always have that much more to prove!

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Liz @ I Heart Vegetables October 18, 2014 at 2:01 am

Wow, what a cool charity! Such a great mission. I think I take it for granted that women in the states have a pretty decent standard for equality!

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rashlin October 18, 2014 at 2:05 pm

Thanks Liz 🙂

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets October 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

What an incredible and worthwhile cause. From one woman to another, it’s important to provide support whenever possible. I really love this.

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