Does Helping Women Matter Most?

The key to lasting community development could look different than you think.

When Thoeun was a little girl, a terrifying measles outbreak swept
through her village and there was no escape. Mothers clutched their
dying children, powerless to act. “I remember [thinking] that I would
die too,” Thoeun recalls.

Mercifully, Thoeun survived the
measles, yet she grew up with the understanding that the measles and
other afflictions—including pneumonia and chronic diarrhea—were the work
of evil spirits or bad karma. She prayed to her idols, anxiously
petitioned her dead ancestors and begged the witchdoctor to protect her.

It
would have stayed that way if it wasn’t for the day when health
teachers came to Kampong Cham, Cambodia’s most populated province. It
was the first time Thoeun and her neighbors had heard of germs, viruses,
the concept of preventing disease and the importance of early medical
intervention.

Armed with this new knowledge, Thoeun began to
share the teachings with other women in her community. Soon she was
training women from other villages to teach their neighbors the warning
signs of potentially deadly illnesses so they’d seek help before it was
too late. Today she’s a trainer for World Relief’s Care Group project,
spreading life-saving health messages in hundreds of villages the most
effective way—woman to woman, mother to mother.

Thoeun
exemplifies the power of women to change their world. She’s proof that
when you empower one woman, you can transform a whole community ...

Read more about the importance of empowering women on the all-new RejectApathy.com. You can find the entire article here.

3 Comments

84,088

Jo commented…

I worked 9 years with women and yes, they changed their world as none of their husbands did when the same NGO devoted all their resources to men.

84,088

Crossman commented…

I'm no expert on social change or foreign missions, but does it have to be one or the other? Wouldn't it make sense to reach out to both men and women at the same time? I'm just wondering.

84,088

Scaramouche commented…

Crossman - Yes. It would make sense to reach out to both simultaneously. Not only would it make sense, it's Biblical. Jesus never discriminated or played favorites. However, I can see how some women can be marginalized or forgotten. But this should be corrected, not overcompensated for.
"Does helping women matter 'MOST'"?
No.
Everyone.
All the time.
Without bias.

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