Tag Archives: widows

International Women’s Day 2015

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International Women’s Day is all about celebrating achievements for gender equality and encouraging continued persistence in equality for the future.

Although gender equality is imperfect everywhere, many steps have been taken towards equality. However, it is of utmost importance to remember that in many countries (specifically developing countries) gender equality is still only an unattainable dream to many.

In her speech to the UN, Emma Watson painted a clear picture of what gender equality is: “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”. She also made it clear that feminism is not “anti-men” because, quite simply, that would not be equality of the sexes would it?

In India many forms of gender inequality are strong. This mindset of inequality affects women’s health, education, and social and economic wellbeing. This also leads to many women being married very young, becoming young mothers, being malnourished and often they cannot afford medical attention. If a woman in India is employed she is often making 30% less than a man, even if they work in the same position.[1]

thisvillage believes in the empowerment, health, and education of women as the key to alleviation of poverty. We want to see the women of India treated as equals.

Join us in supporting the women of India. Invite your friends and attend our fundraiser for the widows of Bandanpally!
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“Every literate woman marks a victory over poverty.” – Ban Ki-moon[2]

— Julia Kutyn


Exciting News!

403123_10151223783530192_70022161_nWe have been preparing for something big here at thisvillage. Something you are not going to want to miss.

thisvillage is hosting our first ever Indian Dinner Event!!

Get ready for an evening of chai, henna, and (of course) delicious, authentic Indian food.

Why are we doing this?

In the state of Telangana, where most people are farmers, almost 90% of households are in debt. Debt is one of the biggest reasons that farmers commit suicide. Currently, Bandanpally is home to 42 widows as a result of farmer suicide. Thought of as cursed, these widows are punished and ostracized by society for no other reason than the death of their husbands.

We want to take this time to focus on the needs of these widows; most of them do not have any source of income. (Read more about all our projects in Bandanpally at http://thisvillage.org/about/)

When and where is the event happening?

On March 26th from 5:30 – 9:30, at the Hub, located at 71 Bank street Ottawa on the 6th floor, Take a peek at our venue here!

P.S (Parking on the Bank street is free after 5:30, or take your pick of lots near by. http://en.parkopedia.ca/parking/71_bank_street/)

You don’t want to miss this event!

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Inspiration from widowed women

Widows' Meeting

Yesterday, we had the privilege of attending one of our partner organization’s widows’ meetings in a nearby village. As part of their women’s empowerment program, Bala Vikasa provides what are essentially support groups for widows. 

Unlike most western cultures, to be a widow in India means that you are nothing. Widows are ostracized by their in-laws, harassed by their community members, and are largely abandoned. Widows are considered bad luck, and are blamed for the deaths of their husbands.

Practically speaking, widows often cannot work because they are illiterate, and thus cannot care for their children. They are faced with innumerable obstacles, which is remarkably different from western experience wherein grief is a widow’s only concern.

The women we met yesterday–though justifiably tearful–were a great inspiration. With the help of Bala Vikasa, many of them have relatively stable work, and some are even entrepreneurs in their respective villages.  Moreover, these women develop courage and independence by sharing their stories in a group setting. 

Attending the widows’ meeting was an immensely helpful introduction to one of many issues thisvillage will be faced with. 

— Christie Esau