Women Wednesday #24
Posted on 12 April 2017
Mabel Suglo is the founder of Eco-Shoes, a Ghana based social enterprise that reinvests in the environment and in people. Mabel is passionate about poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on empowering people with disabilities with relevant skill sets unique to their needs as well as providing formal employment. EcoShoes was inspired by a long term observation of how society disregards the disabled. Mabel stated that this starts and is reinforced by family members who see them as burdensome and incapable people who are not able to contribute to society. She approached a friend (who is passionate about design and fashion) and together they conceptualised the innovative and inspiring Business model of Eco Shoes. The EcoShoes Project is an initiative that supports artisans with disabilities where she provides advice on product development, mentoring, financial and business literacy. It’s an absolutely incredible and inspiring venture which we hope will provide work and beautiful recycled shoes for everyone!
Khanim Latif is the director of AS UDA , an Iraqi women’s rights organisation, and opened the first independent women’s shelter in Iraqi Kurdistan. She remembers the roots of her passion for women’s rights; “My big sister was 14, and I was 12, when she was married off and forced to leave the family home. The decision was my father’s and I remember thinking then, ‘Why is it the man who has the final word?’” Running the shelter is dangerous work. They are often standing between the woman who has come to them and the furious brother, father or husband who wants her back. Once a man broke into the shelter and shot his wife. The woman survived but the police refused to press charges. A couple of years ago, an extremist Islamic cleric published a pamphlet denouncing me and five other activists as ‘bad women’, encouraging people to attack them. The threats have never materialised into physical attacks, but having that threat hanging over you can’t be easy. Women are becoming increasingly involved in Iraqi politics and this is crucial for change. Protecting women in the short-term is one thing, but changing our society’s mentality is the only way to ensure safety and freedom in the long-term. We salute this amazing but unfortunately crucial work that Khanim Latif is doing.
Ifeoma White-Thorpe, a senior at New Jersey's Morris Hills High School, has now been accepted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Brown, Dartmouth and Stanford. We’re lost for words already. She said she was "shaking" when she clicked on her final acceptance letter, and must now decide which of these illustrious institutions she'll attend. As if it’s not hard enough picking what ice cream to have. But she’s said she'd give preference to schools that offered merit scholarships and financial aid. Listen up, Ivies. Wherever she winds up, White-Thorpe plans to study biology and pursue a career in public health. White-Thorpe ranks high in her advanced placement classes and serves as president of her high school's student government, but she thinks her poetry and writing got her noticed. In 2015, when she was a sophomore, White-Thorpe was named one of two winners in the National Liberty Museum's Selma Speech and Essay Contest, her entry having been selected from a pool of over 800 applications. Her essay covered equal educational access, freedom and racial justice. "In order to advance my rights, I will continue to dismiss the stereotypes of the black female," she wrote, "and assist in creating a new mold in which we are viewed as atypical of what we once were. I will be outstanding. I will be ravishing in the way that I sew my words together to create a beautiful, unmitigated harmony." This lady is an absolute trailblazer and is going to make huge waves in whatever college she picks. We wish her good luck but, frankly, she doesn’t seem to really need it.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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