All posts filed under: Powered by Fenton

In this section you will find posts by Fenton and their partners! This is a creative partnership to highlight stories on the rights and health of women and girls around the world.

Hearing the Women of Kyrgyzstan: One Story at a Time

Written by: Lena Shareef We had a few more questions left in the interview. My friend, Olivia, and I were sitting on the floor of a three-room house in At-Bashy village, which is in the middle of Naryn, a rural province of Kyrgyzstan. I zoomed the camera lens in slightly on Vineira, a young Kyrgyz woman we met through our translator, while Olivia sat to my left conducting the interview. This was our second time visiting Kyrgyzstan and our second time interviewing Vineira at her home. In addition to telling stories of change at Fenton, I run a non-profit media organization called GIRLWITHABOOK Movement, which advocates for girls’ education and gender equality. My team and I are working on producing a documentary series about what it means to be a girl in Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, India, and Nepal. In October 2015, we embarked on a four-month trip, a month in each country, to identify and interview girls and women of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds about what being a girl personally means to them. Because the …

Left Behind: Education Equity as Key to Poverty Alleviation

Written by: Rose Frullani-Bacon Poverty is far from a 21st century issue. People around the world have been struggling to make ends meet for centuries. All the while, leaders, governments, faith groups, non-profits and other organizations have been tackling poverty head on. Today, many argue that education is the closest thing that exists to a silver bullet for breaking the cycle of poverty. Not only can a formal education provide people with the tools they need to attain financial stability, it can also empower those who break out of poverty to “pay it forward” and give back to their communities by becoming teachers, advocates and leaders. Though many non-profits and foundations have made it their mission to ensure that people in developing countries have access to quality education, there still remains an incredible and unacceptable gender gap in opportunities to go to school and ability to stay in school. Globally, a third of countries have more boys enrolled in primary school than girls. In some parts of the world, gender equity gaps in education are vast. …

A Vote Against Self-Interest: Trump and Internalized Misogyny

Written by: Cesar Lopez “Woman must not accept; she must challenge. She must not be awed by that which has been built up around her; she must reverence that woman in her which struggles for expression.” — Margaret Sanger In the aftermath of a turbulent and anxiety-filled election season, many of us are left to ponder, how and why did the United States elect Trump as president? This is especially puzzling, considering a major portion of Trump’s voter turnout were women. Although race and class are all specific categories which differentiate who voted for who, the fact remains, a significant portion of women casted their ballots for Trump. A man who on numerous occasions has: Tied women’s worth to their desirability and appearance, Criticized women for having a voice, Freely objectified women in public forums and Fat shamed and belittled women’s bodies, to name a few. So, why did such a large number of women vote for what seems to be blatantly against their own self-interest? What’s at work? While many of us are familiar …

Sisterhood Unfulfilled: Liberated from Grief

This is the final blog post of a three part series written by Abby Tseggai. Moments before Fana landed at JFK airport, in New York City, she made her mind up that she would cut her hair in the days to follow; just like the two black women sitting right in front of her. Their Afros resembled liberation in her eyes. It had been a long flight, and for the first half, Fana struggled to accept that she was actually leaving the safety and security of her parents and homeland. The burden of her family’s suffering combined with the pressure she felt to make her parents proud was intense, to say the least. But as she neared the final destination, Fana finally made an agreement with herself. She promised herself that no matter what it took, she would triumph all the tragedies she had experienced in her short 18-years of life. She was determined to adapt to a whole new world and all the things that come with it. In that moment, she found the confidence she …

Womaning Up by 2030

This post was written by Alicia Weigel. Here at Mashable’s Social Good Summit (SGS), girls and women have taken the spotlight as we discuss how to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by year 2030. As we collaborate to develop concrete solutions to global issues in gender inequality, among others, many speakers have led us to step back and re-examine gender roles we consider to be fundamental. Panelist Preity Zinta, Indian actress and women’s rights activist, spoke to the huge strides she has made for women in her country through Bollywood. Cinema has allowed her to reach a huge audience via a popular yet informal medium, portraying strong women as a counterbalance to the more common “damsel in distress” role. The accomplishment Preity was most proud to relay to the audience, however, lies in a different field – a field of grass. Preity has excelled in the sport of cricket since childhood. She once dreamed of being a professional player but was told time and again it is a “man’s sport.” She found film to be a more promising career path for a female in …

Sisterhood Unfulfilled: How all the Eggs Ended up in Her Basket

This is the second blog post of a three part series: Written by Abby Tseggai It was a beautiful summer morning as Fana and her older brother, Kifle, skipped to their neighboring town, happy, emitting a love that siblings who suffered together feel. It was now two years since the stillbirth of the little sister Fana wanted so badly. On a brighter side, it was two years that solidified an unbreakable bond between Fana and her big brother. They were getting ready for another big change –Kifle would soon be moving to America to complete his senior year of high school with the hope of attending college there too. Fana and Kifle did not have any immediate blood-cousins, and since Kifle was the only living boy, their parents put all their eggs in his basket, to use a popular expression. They expected him to nurture their family name and legacy, and therefore encouraged his quest to attain a better education, far away from their homeland, Eritrea. It was always Kifle’s responsibility to pick up fresh …

Liberty and Justice for All

Post written by: Alicia Weigel I believe all people should feel empowered to make their own decisions. I believe all people should have access to health and safety as basic human rights. I believe all women have a right to life. I believe all women must be treated as full members of society. Most feminists would agree with the above statements. Replace “women” with a more specific subgroup, however, and the statements become problematic. I believe all sex workers should feel empowered to make their own decisions. I believe all sex workers should have access to health and safety as basic human rights. I believe all sex workers have a right to life. I believe all sex workers must be treated as full members of society. Although not all sex workers are women, this community includes some of the most marginalized women on our planet. Many face legal repercussions for their line of work in places where it is defined as criminal behavior. They all face stigma in their daily lives, preventing them from accessing sufficient healthcare. Regardless …

A Look at Women in Politics in 2016

Post Written by Ophelia Overton Picture a young girl, about 10 or 11 years old. She’s lying on the living room floor watching television. She sees a commercial for Hillary Clinton running for president and thinks, ‘That could be me,’ but does she realize the barriers standing between her and the presidency, let alone between her and the polling booth? In 2016, when breaking through the glass ceiling seems closer than ever, women are forced to jump over a number of hurdles before they can even think about stepping foot in the political process. From social to structural barriers, it’s important to understand the political climate women face in 2016. Social Women face immense social barriers to exercising their agency in the political sphere. From deeply entrenched sexism, to outright laughter at women with political aspirations, contemporary culture is not conducive to women participating in the political process. Although laws forbidding women from voting or running for office are long gone, the social stigma remains. Women who are interested in politics are often categorized as …

Why “Eating Local” Isn’t Enough: Violence Against Female Farmworkers

This post is written by Adrienne Lloyd Farm to table, cage-free, local, organic, sustainably-sourced, humanely-raised. As someone who does my best to be intentional about what I eat and where it comes from, I find myself gravitating towards food label trends and buzzwords such as these. And, they are, of course, not trends without reason: just a quick scan of the Netflix documentary section reveals that you will not be hard-pressed to find films revealing the problematic nature of corporate food chains worldwide. However, with each conversation I have or engage in about ethical and sustainable food systems, it becomes more and more clear that in our discussion about the farm to table journey of our food, we consistently fail to consider a crucial player in this supply chain: the farm workers themselves. According to a white paper sponsored by the Kresge Foundation, Health-related Inequities Among Hired Farm Workers and the Resurgence of Labor-intensive Agriculture, “America’s 1.8 million hired farm laborers are among the nation’s most vulnerable employees.” Although a majority of hired farm workers …

The Responsibility of Storytellers

This post is written by: Trish Garrity At the heart of communities there is always a story and a trusted individual carrying it forward. Spanning generations, stories have the power to inspire us, change us, and educate us beyond what we know to where we must go. For the storyteller, crafting the right tone and narrative can take time to build because one must always be aware of the responsibility of carrying the words of another. In my line of storytelling, there is a double responsibility—to the subject who trusts us with their words, and to what end will we apply them. Storytelling for change is a theory proven by organizers around the world—empowering individuals to share their stories as an entry point to creating and uniting us in a shared voice. At Fenton, we take our stories one step further—to action. Carrying another’s words was never more real to me then when I visited Mabopane Township, South Africa in August 2015. Traveling for Johnson & Johnson’s Worldwide Corporate Contributions division, I visited clinics interviewing participants …