New York City Women of Vision

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Highlights from the Strong Women, Strong World Luncheon

A guest post from Marisol, a Women of Vision NYC participant

Women of Vision NYC was strong in attendance at the annual Strong Women, Strong World Luncheon hosted by World Vision. The event centered on sanitation and water needs that affect women's health and their ability to become educated and fully participate in society. 

Speakers included the United States Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, Melanne Verveer; Kathleen Treat of the Speranza Foundation; Mrs. Dana Dornsife, President of the Laserex Cancer Foundation; and actress/producer Patricia Heaton. Among the needs expressed that night were:

  • The need for clean water in rural villages. Two of the speakers addressed the lack of clean water in African villages and schools and the negative effects on women, men and children. In some villages, women wake up early in the morning and travel for miles to get contaminated water from dirty mud puddles, missing opportunities to work or educate themselves and their children. Furthermore, the contaminated water makes everyone sick.
  • The need for proper sanitation. In schools and rural communities, there is little access to clean bathrooms and disposable sanitary pads for women of low economic status. This makes them more vulnerable to disease and forces them to miss school several days a month, as they have to spend time at the river washing their sanitary cloths.
  • The need for women to be respected by men, and have a voice in society. In one village, women were afraid to speak with World Vision volunteers about the real reasons the village chief did not want them building a well- he did not want his credibility questioned if the volunteers failed to deliver! Teaching women about sanitation and giving them more power to influence these practices bodes well for all communities.

The event was well-attended and women had the opportunity to shop for a cause in a make-shift marketplace containing handcrafted jewelry, decorations and other items made by and for women in developing nations.

View more photos from the event here:

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