SEATTLE, Washington — March marks Women’s History Month, which aims to honor, observe and celebrate the essential roles that women have played throughout U.S. history. The year 2022’s theme is “Women Providing Healing and Promoting Hope.” While American female changemakers deserve limitless acknowledgment, broadening this scope and recognizing women worldwide is infinitely important to diminishing eurocentrism and advancing gender equality.
The Relationship between Gender Equality and World poverty
The recognition of women providing healing and promoting hope has an impact on the world’s poverty struggle. The effect of gender equality on world poverty is far greater than it appears because when the world empowers women, women receive the tools to better their communities and the world in general.
Wage discrepancies, skewed distribution of power and exclusion from participation in important decision-making are just a few of the circumstances impacting the advancement of women. Highlighting the severity of global gender inequity, CNN reported that, in 2019, women had equal rights in only six countries. Gender inequality exacerbates global poverty, hindering the ability of women to pull themselves and their families out of poverty.
In 2020, the World Bank published estimates from U.N. Women predicting that about “121 women per 100 men” will live in conditions of extreme impoverishment, surviving on $1.90 or less, by the year 2030. These statistics highlight the fact that poverty disproportionately impacts women.
It is not sustainable to live in a world where women do not have equal opportunities. In honor of Women’s History Month, and the necessary recognition of women worldwide, this article celebrates three women providing healing and promoting hope globally.
3 Women Providing Healing And Promoting Hope Globally
- Ann Hui, China. A film director, producer, screenwriter and actress from Hong Kong, Ann Hui is 74 years old and is known as one of Hong Kong’s most critically acclaimed filmmakers. Hui’s career began in 1979 as a film director, and over the years, she became known for her films involving stories of women’s lives. In an interview from China.org, Hui stated, “The reason that I so often tell women’s stories in my movies is because I find it very easy to put myself in their shoes.” At the 2020 Venice International Film Festival, Hui received the Honorary Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. In an industry that is primarily male-dominant, Hui’s lifetime of artistic achievement is noteworthy. Her storylines provide healing through her understanding as a woman and she promotes hope to creative women out there, inspiring them to be unafraid of stepping into a male-dominated industry.
- Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, India. As an Indian pediatrician and a globally recognized researcher, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has more than 30 years of clinical experience under her belt. She is best known for her tuberculosis research — she was a lead investigator in the NIH-funded study on tuberculosis meningitis. One year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Dr. Swaminathan as chief scientist. Ever since, she has been a consistent advocate for equal vaccine distribution throughout the world. In her research studies and advocacy, Dr. Swaminathan promotes global healing and well-being. Furthermore, in her successes, she inspires hope in all young women and disadvantaged communities.
- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa. As Africa’s first democratically elected female president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf led Liberia from 2006 to 2018. Her presidency involved repair and reunion in the aftermath of a decade-long civil war. She faced the struggles that came as a consequence of the civil unrest, striving to cultivate peace and social/economic development with each passing day. She even led Liberia through the 2014-15 Ebola crisis that devastated Africa. During her leadership, “Liberia’s per capita income went from $80 to $700” and “life expectancy increased by eight years.” Her administration saw significant success, earning her international acclaim for her political achievements that led to the country’s social and economic growth. In 2011, Sirleaf received the Nobel Peace Prize for her dedication to women’s empowerment. As part of her continued commitment to empowering women following her presidency, Sirleaf is now an advocate for women’s necessary involvement in politics. In a TED Talk she stated that “Increasingly, there is recognition that full gender equity will ensure a stronger economy, a more developed nation, a more peaceful nation. And that is why we must continue to work.”
Women’s Empowerment Contributes to Poverty Reduction
Due to a systemic disadvantage, women and other marginalized groups face distinct barriers that make the emergence of poverty more difficult. The world’s poverty struggle requires all the helping hands it can get, which is why women must receive a quality education, fair wages, adequate health care and general access to equal opportunities. These three women of the world providing healing and promoting hope shed light on the incredible ventures and undertakings of women. These stories of success are inspiring, but there are countless others on a smaller scale. For example, women who are owners of small businesses or mothers are just a few everyday examples. This kind of recognition is vital to the promotion of gender equality and the diminishment of world poverty.
– Madeline Ehlert