Thanks for hanging in there with me over the summer while my postings were, well, non-existent. I used those hours instead for a contract that helped pay some bills, and swimming – sometimes literally but more often, swimming to keep one step ahead of a busy schedule of children’s activities.
But now that the contract is done, the pool is closed, school is in session and the rains have driven me indoors, I’m ready to take up the adventure of this web site once again.
I left off last spring with an update about Esther Instebo, the 99 year-old crusader for social justice. Before she died, Esther gave me the book Half the Sky; Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide which, through the stories of amazing women, makes the case that the most pressing foreign policy issue is not nuclear nonproliferation or terrorism, but the oppression of women.
“The global statistics on the abuse of girls are numbing. It appears that more girls have been killed in the last 50 years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the 20th century.
“In the 19th century, the central moral challenge was slavery. In the 20th century, it was the battle against totalitarianism. We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality around the world.”
Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn travel to the poorest places on the globe to tell the stories of courageous women who are transforming their villages and sometimes their governments by standing up for others. They encourage us in comfortable western countries to do what we can to support these international efforts. And they find reason for optimism in this upcoming American generation who have a greater world view and who are committing themselves to working for social justice abroad.
So, the thread Esther started by giving me this book (click the ad on this site to order it from Amazon and support this web site in the process) made me seek out a young woman doing some of this work. Meg Tremblay, niece of my good friend Shelly Yapp, just returned from three years in Zambia – working first in a small village (below with her Health Center Committee) and then in the capital city Lusaka. She kindly agreed to meet me and share her story, which I hope to post soon.
In the meantime, keep in mind that I deliberately chose an interactive format to share these stories. I appreciate reading your reactions, getting your suggestions for whom to interview, and seeing how you do it. That’s what the red ‘comments’ link is for at the end of this and all stories. When you add your words there, you help broaden the conversation and even more importantly, you lend your support directly to the women about whom I write. The personal emails to me are always nice, but I’ll be the only one who reads them.
So, thanks for staying on this journey with me. Thanks for your support and thanks for spreading the word.
- Janet Pelz