In this section:
See the home page of the Monitor website for information on why and how to host a World Savvy Salon – the book club for the 21st Century! See also the Classroom Companion Guide in this edition for original articles and discussion ideas for lifelong learning across all disciplines.
- The issues facing women in developed and developing countries diverge; yet there is also a fair amount of common ground. Consider the concept of solidarity among women’s movements and how progress made in different areas affects progress in others. How can this common ground be highlighted and inclusivity enhanced?
- Discuss the two primary motivators behind the imperative to empower women – the human rights component and the pragmatic/utilitarian angle emphasizing the untapped potential of women in development and global problem solving. How can these approaches be better integrated in policy and messaging? How do they appeal to different constituents?
- Among the 12 Critical Areas of Concern contained in the UN Beijing Platform examined here, how would you prioritize them? Can they even be separated from each other?
- Consider the statistics you read throughout this edition of the Monitor. What surprised you the most; what do you feel is underreported in the mainstream media? What are the shortcomings of using numbers to illustrate the status of women in the world? What types of information are not captured in quantitative data?
- What has happened to the concept of feminism – why do many young women believe in gender equality yet not identify themselves as feminists? What about men and boys? Think generationally and consider the “branding issues” of women’s movements.
- What can individuals do in the context of their own families, as well as their workplaces, schools, and communities to advance gender equality? How can you help to address both de facto (subtle, attitudinal) and de jure (legal, policy-based) gender discrimination?
Muslim Women Through Time
No country, culture, or group stays the same indefinitely. National origin, family background, economic levels, and historical context all help determine opportunities people have in life. Muslim women are subject to these factors as well. This PBS resource explores what factors determine the changing roles of women in the Middle East and Muslim Countries.
A Woman Among Warlords
This PBS Wide Angle episode profiles 27 year-old Malalai Joya, one of Afghanistan’s most famous (and controversial) women since 2003 when she challenged the power of warlords in national politics. Great background for the case study on the current status of women in Afghanistan in this edition of the Monitor.
Iron Ladies of Liberia
After 14 years of a brutal civil war, Liberia elects its first female president – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, nicknamed the Iron Lady. This film follows her first year in office, as she struggles to rebuild a war-ravaged country, fight rampant corruption and prevent a descent back into war, along with her predominately female cabinet.
Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai
This documentary tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights, and defend democracy – a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.
Ten years after the bloody genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 people in just 100 days, Rwanda’s women are leading their country’s healing process and taking their society forward into a different future. They are playing a remarkable role in politics and are also emerging as prominent figures in the business sector. Watch the full documentary, from PBS: WIDE ANGLE, online.
Time for School
One hundred and eighty-two nations have promised to provide access to free and compulsory education for every child in the world by 2015. To test the reality of this commitment, PBS: WIDE ANGLE profiles children in Japan, Kenya, Benin, Brazil, Romania, and India who have managed to enroll in the first year of primary school – in most cases despite great odds. Though not specifically about women’s issues, the stories that profile girls highlight some of the challenges the world’s girls face when they enroll in primary education. Also look for the follow-up film, Back to School, which follows the seven students two years after they first began going to school.
Not For Ourselves Alone
This documentary, from the acclaimed director Ken Burns, focuses on the struggles of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony as they strive to give birth to the women’s movement. Together they fought for women everywhere, and their strong willpower and sheer determination still ripples through contemporary society.
The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World, Joni Seager
This reference book presents global statistics on women alongside colorful thematic maps illustrating women’s lives across the world today, including the size of family households, education issues, the global sex trade, migrant workers, poverty, women’s political participation, and much more.
Unbowed: My Autobiography, Wangari Maathai
Maathai’s memoir of her childhood, her academic career, her marriage and children, and her life’s work leading the Green Belt Movement to fight for environmental and human rights in Kenya.
From Outrage to Courage: Women Taking Action for Health and Justice, Anne Firth Murray
In this book, Murray tackles health issues from prenatal care to challenges faced by aging women. Looking at how gender inequality affects basic nutrition, Murray makes clear the issues are political more than they are medical. From Outrage to Courage shows how women are organizing the world over. Women’s courage to transform their situations and communities provides inspiration and models for change, from China to India, from Indonesia to Kenya.
Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
This book tells the story of Mortenson, a mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built 55 schools – especially for girls – that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. A new version of this book for youth is now available as well.
Global Women: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy, Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Russel Hochschild
The editors have gathered some 15 essays on aspects of “the female underside of globalization” – e.g., Filipina housekeepers in Hong Kong, Latina domestic workers in Los Angeles, sexual slaves in Thailand, Vietnamese contract brides. They are mostly written by academics working in the field, but are largely jargon-free. While one small book can’t say everything about a major global phenomenon, Ehrenreich and Hochschild have at least brought attention to these women’s plight.
The Global Women’s Movement: Issues and Strategies for the New Century, by Peggy Antrobus
This overview of the international women’s movement by the well-known feminist activist Peggy Antrobus asks where are women now – particularly in the Third World – in the struggle against gender inequality? What are the issues – from poverty to sexual and reproductive health to the environment – that they face in different parts of the world? What challenges confront the women’s movement and what strategies are needed?
International Museum of Women
IMOW is a groundbreaking social change museum that inspires global action and amplifies the voices of women worldwide through global online exhibitions, history, the arts and cultural programs that educate, create dialogue and build community. The website includes excellent online exhibitions and podcasts.
Global Fund For Women
The Global Fund for Women is an international network of women and men committed to a world of equality and social justice. They advocate for and defend women’s human rights by making grants to support women’s groups around the world. Find out more about the issues and grantees on their website.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty, which places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. Find out more about the issues, CARE’s work, and ways that you can get involved.
Amnesty International Violence against Women Campaign
Campaign from USA chapter of Amnesty International contains background information and ways to take action to stop violence against women. Subtopics include violence against Native and Alaskan women, international violence against women, and women’s human rights defenders.
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights; one of their primary areas of concern is women’s rights. By focusing international attention where human rights are violated, HRW gives voice to the oppressed and hold oppressors accountable for their crimes. Their rigorous, objective investigations and strategic, targeted advocacy build intense pressure for action and raise the cost of human rights abuse.
Press Institute for Women in the Developing World
The Press Institute is a non-profit organization that trains women in the developing world to be citizen journalists. The Press Institute emphasizes reporting on six core issues that most affect women in their communities: HIV/AIDS, violence against women, poverty, reproductive rights, political oppression, and community development. The Press Institute currently operates two Global Training Sites: Chiapas, Mexico and Kathmandu, Nepal.
Your On Ramp
An online resource for women in career transition with information on networking and job opportunities.
Not For Sale
This site with accompanying book and documentary film addresses the issue of human trafficking affecting vulnerable people around the world, 80% of them women and girls.