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International Women’s Day: Celebrating Women’s Efforts in Mali and Beyond

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If I could honor anyone this year, it would be Cissť and other women leaders I’ve met through my work at Oxfam. Their stories taught me something important: Although gender inequalities make women and girls more vulnerable to poverty and hunger, it’s a mistake to think of women as victims. In the US and worldwide, women are leading organizations, building networks, and working tirelessly against injustice. We can’t solve the world’s problems without an investment in their efforts.

For example, if women farmers had the same level of access to resources that men have, they could increase yields on their farms by 20 to 30 percent–vital gains at a time when about one in seven people goes hungry. No wonder the UN declared the theme of International Women’s Day 2012 “Empower rural women–end hunger and poverty.”

Today, with Mali among the West African countries at risk of a serious food crisis, Cissť’s work seems more essential than ever. No doubt she and other women will play an important role in helping families weather tough times ahead. After all, as Cissť put it: “If women are successful in their efforts, everyone benefits. It brings about development for the whole household and the whole community.”

To join Oxfam’s International Women’s Day celebration, go to www.oxfamamerica.org/iwd.

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org.

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Photo courtesy of Oxfam America.

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13 comments

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3:00PM PDT on Mar 24, 2012

I sure don't see any support for women in the US.

9:41AM PST on Mar 9, 2012

:) sweet!

9:08PM PST on Mar 8, 2012

It takes a Woman - who doesn't want to see her children starve, or her son, her father, or her husband go off to war... It takes a Woman.

9:24AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

Como cidadão da Europa e como humano e homem desejo que no futuro proximo todas as mulheres Africanas tenham os diretos fudamentais

4:27AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

We really need more women in power all over the world to bring some sanity to this planet. When I see some of the krap that goes on ( look no further than the current teapublican war on women) it make me ashamed to be a man

4:26AM PST on Mar 8, 2012

And in a Muslim country too, this progress is happening. Great news.

10:52PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Great story. Thank you Emily.

12:28PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

Bravo for these brave women!

12:24PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

ty

12:01PM PST on Mar 7, 2012

3 CHEERS FOR WOMEN.......WITHOUT THEM WE WOULDN'T BE HERE

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