Happy International Women’s Day!
International Women’s Day is a holiday, originally developed in the Soviet Union, that commemorates the economic, political, and social achievements of women. This year, All Our Kin is very excited to be participating in Gender Across Border’s Blog For International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures.” The question: How can we, as a culture and as members of the global community, involve, educate, and inspire girls in a positive way?
There are many things girls need in order to thrive. Safe spaces free of violence; access to clean water and nutritional food; housing; health care and mental health services; and strong, smart, positive role-models.
But one of the things girls need most is education. And that education has to begin early. A high-quality early education gives girls the cognitive, emotional, and social skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Yet, all too frequently around the world, boys get sent off to school while girls are left at home. The education of girls isn’t as valued as the education of boys. The result: a worldwide gender-based achievement gap.
We envision a world where all girls have access to safe, loving, high-quality early learning experiences. And, in addition to giving girls the early education they deserve, we can support and inspire girls by showing them that they don’t have to choose between motherhood and work; that their care taking has value.
Globally, women account for 58% of the world’s unpaid labor and women are responsible for 60-80% of care work. Many women stay home and care for their children because they are denied access to employment, or because they cannot find safe, affordable, educational child care.
At All Our Kin, many of the women we work with don’t want to choose between their families’ economic survival and the well-being of their children. They are excited about the possibility of earning a living while raising their children. They feel empowered and encouraged by the idea that mothers aren’t just babysitters, but children’s first teachers.
We believe that no woman should have to choose between her families’ economic well-being and her children’s safe, healthy development. We believe that care taking has tremendous value and is necessary for our next generation of children to learn, grow, and succeed. We know that supporting women as child care professionals helps not only women themselves, but their daughters as well.