International Women’s Day 2019: Balance for Better

When we sat down to revisit the direction of Rural Health Collaborative a few years ago, we recommitted to our vision of ‘investing in women’ as foundational to our work. The avenue we have taken for this is through health, by providing opportunities for women to be community health promoters.

When the nursing students from Point Loma were in Ghana last spring, they met with some of the Kekeli Women and interviewed them about the impact that being a woman in the Kekeli Program has had on them as individuals. We have recently received the preliminary results of these interviews, which show first hand the value of investing in women. One Kekeli Woman reported that as a result of her work she is able to approach the chief in her community and offer recommendations, and that her voice matters. Many others reported improvements in self-esteem and a sense of empowerment through knowledge. They also reported camaraderie and support through relationships with other Kekeli Women, identifying themselves as a collective of sisters who organize, eat together, support each other and have become a family.

We are thrilled to see captured through interviews (and hopefully soon a publication!) the tangible benefits to the lives of the Kekeli Women. It is from this foundation that the women work, providing education and improving the lives of those in their communities. Each element plays a role in creating a more gender-balanced world, where women are invested in as valuable individuals. Gender-balance is not a women’s issue; it is essential for economies and communities to thrive. Let’s keep creating a more gender-balanced world together, in Ghana, the U.S. and beyond.

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