Stop ‘fixing’ your bodies and start fixing the world – Eve Ensler
The Rebel Diva Foundation:
I will donate 10% of sales proceeds from my novels to a girl empowerment or education charity that you, my dear readers, will decide. The back of each of my books will have a link to an annual poll to capture everyone’s responses. Then every year on 31 December, I will send that year’s donations to the charity you chose, on all of our behalf. I will be switching these organisations every year so as many of these grassroots groups that work in the field have an opportunity to gain from our collective generosity.
But this is just one small step. I want to use as much of my remaining resources to empower more girls and women in need around the world. I believe entrepreneurship is the path to freedom not just for myself but for young women in the dark corners of our planet. Yes, starting a new business is difficult, scary and can come with pitfalls, but the upside is far greater, and I believe is part of the solution to emancipating women in the developing world.
I am exploring the potential for a collaborative global platform on entrepreneurship, where women in this part of the world can become role models and business partners to help our more marginalised sisters across the planet. I don’t know exactly what this will look like or even how to make it happen yet, but I’m looking for fellow heart-based entrepreneurs and community leaders to brainstorm solutions on what we can do to support our little sisters and empower our fellow women folk in the harshest parts of our planet. If you’re interested in working with me, drop me a line below.
Did you know that girls are the last and greatest untapped potential on this planet?
Here are just a few statistics from the United Nations, World Bank and other reputable international organizations that attest to the power of the girl and the benefits to our world when we treat girls and women as equals to men.
- Child mortality decreases by 9.5% for every one additional year of education given to women of reproductive age.
- Educated women are more likely to resist abuses such as domestic violence, female genital mutilation and discrimination at home, the workplace or in the society.
- When girls over 16 and women earn an income, they reinvest 90% of it in their families, compared to men who only reinvest 30-40%. In contrast, most of men’s incomes go to entertainment and personal use.
- Every year of primary school boosts a girl’s eventual wages by 10-20%. An extra year of secondary school increases her wages by 15-25%.
- Every 1% increase in the proportion of women with secondary education boosts a country’s per capita income growth by 0.3 percentage points.
- If the employment participation gap and the wage gap between women and men were closed around the world, it would translate to a global value of $17 Trillion USD. That’s Trillions folks!
If you’re wondering why I care, here are some more statistics. WARNING: This may make you queasy.
Did you also know that girls are most vulnerable population in our world, the most abused on our planet?
- 65 million girls around the world are missing from school
- In 2012, 70 million women 20-24 around the world had been married off before the age of 18
- Over 2 million children trafficked every year are sold an average 15 times each day. 80% of sex trafficked victims are female
- The average age of entry into prostitution is 13
- 75% of HIV-infected youth between the ages of 15-24 are girls
- 50% of all sexual assaults worldwide are against girls 15 or younger
It’s high time to turn this around. It’s high time to eliminate these horrific abuses. It’s time to say no to harmful, regressive traditions. It’s time for us to work together to nurture the millions of our little sisters and daughters around the world to create strong, courageous, smart young women who can stand proud and become happy contributing members of our communities, our societies, our world. Yes, it’s time to stand up and rebel. It’s time for Rebel Divas in every continent of this planet.
Girl Talk – Coming soon!
I plan to post videos of inspirational girls from around the world shortly. Please pass on the names of girls of any age, who you think have made a difference in your community, wherever in the world. I’ll do my best to reach out to them, have a chat with them, record the interviews and share their stories, challenges, and advice by posting it here. Remember, it’s the everyday heroes who change the world and every positive change helps, however small or large. And these heroes could be your sister, your daughter, your classmate or your next door neighbour. So if you have a name you’d like to share or you’d like to share your own story with the rest of the world, just drop me an email. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Meet some friends who are helping to give girls a voice around the world. Do you know of others?
“I raise my voice not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard.”
Youngest Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala