A tough row to hoe...

Chelsea Clinton's curated blog posts for the ONE Campaign shed light on problems & progress

Last month was an overly dramatic crapshoot around here. As a result I’m sharing a couple of big moments well outside of real time, and I’m pretty okay with that because the message is just as important on March 31 as it was March 10. Hopefully I won’t have to type out a similar phrase on March 15, 2030.*

I recently came across an interesting Garrison Keillor quote while thumbing through a parenting book:

Girls…were allowed to play in the house… and boys were sent outdoors…Boys ran around in the yard with toy guns going kksshh-kksshh, fighting wars for made-up reasons and arguing about who was dead, while girls stayed inside and played with dolls, creating complex family groups and learning how to solve problems through negotiation and role-playing.
— Garrison Keillor

Considering the invisible status in which many of the world’s girls and women dwell, Keillor’s use of irony is particularly striking. Girls and boys are often trained—consciously and unconsciously—to fill certain roles that were prescribed by male-dominated governance reaching far back into the recesses of ancestral memory. Yet somehow it’s the girls—the ones who have been practicing the complexities of empathy, diplomacy and the perpetuation of social infrastructure—who are most often kept from putting those skills to use in a setting where a large impact is possible. 

As we celebrated International Women’s Month, the ONE Campaign was thrilled to welcome Chelsea Clinton as a guest and curator on its blog. In her guest post, Clinton shares a report that was put together through a partnership between the Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, entitled No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project. The report is an analysis of 20 years’-worth of accumulated data from more than 190 countries, showing us where the status of women and girls has improved, and where more work needs to be done. 

There’s no doubt that women have more freedoms in 2015 than in any other time in written history, yet we still deal with the following problems around the world:

  • Around the world, only about 23% of parliamentarians are female, presenting a major problem when it comes to representing a population’s needs and demographics.

  • Globally, women aded 15 - 24 are more at risk of HIV infection than men of the same age.

  • In developing countries, 200 million fewer women have access to the internet (and therefore job listings, competitive pricing of staples and supplies, etc) than men.

  • Between 2005 and 2013, 1 in 4 girls was married before her 18th birthday, violating her basic human rights, robbing her of her childhood, and denying there control over her health, education and future.

  • Two-thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate citizens are women.

Throughout March, Clinton shared some staggering statistics, shined a light upon organizations and partnerships that are actively working to improve the lives of women, and revealed what parts of our own society need some work. Over the next few days I’ll post some snippets here on the blog and on my Twitter and Facebook pages. Keep an eye out, and I hope you’ll find creative ways to take action, whether they’re large and global or small and locally-focused. Stay tuned!

*The year 2030 is the goal set by the ONE Campaign, the United Nations, and other global leaders to end extreme poverty.