Women Wednesday #31
Posted on 31 May 2017
Steph is an international cheerleader on the England squad. She’s also blind. Team England Paracheer is a team made up of both able bodies and disabled people. They make adaptions for every disability on the team, not just Steph’s blindness which is overcome by using reflective materials which Steph can detect using the contract of light and dark. The Paracheer team competes on a world stage with the competition is scored on how successfully the disabled members are integrated into the routines. Steph isn’t quiet about how proud she is of herself and her team, deservedly shouting that they’re doing something no one’s ever done before from the rooftops. Watching the team tumble, flip and parade around is honestly an amazing experience and the way all the team work as one and accommodate each-others needs is inspiring. We hope these trailblazers continue doing amazing routines and that more teams, not just in cheerleading, follow in their footsteps.
(Whiz Kids Workshop)
Africa's biggest social issues and taboos are no match for these girls.A revolutionary new cartoon series called Tibeb Girls features a group of three young superheroes, who unite to make rural Ethiopian communities safer for girls experiencing gender-based violence and discrimination. The show tackles some of the country's most pervasive problems, including stigma around menstruation, child marriage, female genital mutilation, and access to education. Tibeb Girls shatters the silence around these issues in fun and engaging ways, hoping to create a better understanding of the needs and concerns of Ethiopian girls. The superheroes all have different powers, which help them fight inequality as a team. There's Power Girl, who has superhuman strength and speed; Whiz Kid Girl, who can see the future; and Empathy Girl, who has the power to feel others' feelings. Their superpowers highlight essential qualities for real girls in Ethiopia — self-empowerment, education, and compassion. Can we get a ‘Hell Yes’ for all of this?! The first season of Tibeb Girls is currently only available through screenings at schools and events around Ethiopia. But Whiz Kids Workshop is currently pitching the series to broadcasters around the country and across Africa to gain a wider audience. Tibeb Girls is also published as a comic and radio series, which children and families can read and listen to at home. A second season of Tibeb Girls is already planned, with 13 TV episodes and 13 radio episodes. We can’t wait until we can get our hands on it!
(Hannah McNeish/Al Jazeera)
A Malawi chief has annulled over 850 child marriages over the past three years and sent the children back to school! Senior Chief Inkosi Kachindamoto of Dedza applied Malawi’s new laws against underage marriage to the marriages, stating “I don’t want youthful marriages, they must go to school. No child should be found loitering at home or doing household chores during school time.” She has faced resistance in her quest to abolish the traditional practice, including death threats, but Kachindamoto is committed to her vision of ending Malawi’s cycle of poverty through education. “I don't care, I don't mind [about the threats,]” she says. “We can talk, but these girls will go back to school.” Malawi has one of the highest child marriage rates in the world, with half of all girls married before they turn 18, putting all those girls at immeasurable risk. In addition to fighting child marriage, Kachindamoto has also banned the practice of sending girls to sexual initiation camps to prepare them for marriage. Girls have been sent to these camps which claim to "cleanse" the girls through initiation rites. In seeking to put an end to the practice, Kahindamoto says, "I said to the chiefs that this must stop, or I will dismiss them." When parents can't afford to send their daughters to school, she often pays for girls' school fees out of pocket or finds sponsors to cover the costs. She's also focused on providing role models to show local girls why they should stay in school. As Kachindamoto asserts, “If they are educated, they can be and have whatever they want." The work Kachindamoto is doing is utterly incredible and we salute her. Keep kicking the patriarchy’s ass.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x