16 January, 2013

Poverty, Women and Changing the World.

The Salvation Army has a long-standing commitment ministering to the marginalized and oppressed of this world. Our history is flowing with stories in which individual’s challenged the status quo, petitioned for the rights of the persecuted and sought equality for those who had been disregarded. Today, this is a mission the Salvation Army still seeks to fulfill.

Women represent the majority of the poor and oppressed; in fact, 70 percent of the world’s poor are women (UN Women, n.d.). Due to systemic discrimination, women are more likely to experience poverty. This experience manifests as consistent challenges in acquiring healthcare, employment and assets. The consequences of these challenges mean that women struggle to ascertain sanitation, clean drinking water, medical care and fair employment (UN Women, n.d.). They are also at higher risk of violence and human trafficking (ILO, 2012; UN Women, n.d.).

Here is the good news: despite the struggles millions of women face in poverty, they play a key role in eliminating poverty.

Think about the role women play in your society, the particular gender roles they assume allow a unique and influential contribution to humanity. The same can be said for women all over the world – among other things, women educate their children and provide healthcare; they engage with communities and families in distinct ways, and therefore have the opportunity to engage in development and social change in distinct and unique ways (Myers, 1999).

The simple fact is this: when we empower and educate women, we stop poverty.

The strength in an organisation like The Salvation Army is in its people - its soldiers, adherents, volunteers, officers, employees and friends. As collective individuals, what are some practical steps we can take to empower women and eliminate poverty?

Just Salvos wants to draw your attention to two events aimed at increasing awareness about poverty and its impact on women.

Freedom Sunday
Women are at higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking (ILO, 2012). Join the Salvation Army in praying for victims of human trafficking on February 17th. For more information visit www.stopthetraffik.org.

Half the Sky
The Salvation Army Camberwell is hosting a screening of the documentary, ‘Half the Sky’. Originally a book written by Nicholas D.Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn, Half the Sky shares the experience of women in Africa and Asia who have overcome poverty. Attend the screening of the inspiring documentary Half the Sky to learn more about the importance of empowering women and eliminating poverty.

Event details: The screening is being held over two nights, 25th January and 1st February
7.30pm at The Salvation Army Camberwell 7 Bowen Street, Camberwell.
Event details are also available on Facebook

  • UN Women, (no date). Women, Poverty & Economics. Retreived 13.01.2013 from http://www.unifem.org/gender_issues/women_poverty_economics/
  • International Labor Office (2012). Global estimate of forced labour Executive summary. Retrieved 15.01.2013 from http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_norm/---declaration/documents/publication/wcms_181953.pdf
  • Myers, B. L. (1999). Walking with the Poor. New York: World Vision International

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