Having traveled around the world, I have seen firsthand the inequities women can face. Documentaries like Honor Diaries attempt to bring that truth to others who might not ever been exposed to different cultures. During my time in Africa, I visited a Maasai village and was treated to beautiful displays of their dance, culture, and handiwork. As I perused one of many displays of earrings and necklaces, I turned to praise the craftswoman and discovered she was only just a young teenaged girl. Her husband walked over, ready to bargain with me, and I was struck at how limited her life’s options were.
In Africa, it’s not just cultural norms that keep women from reaching their potential, but also the challenges of daily living. Water is a precious resource. Women and children can spend hours trekking fresh water back and forth, and thereby miss out on opportunities to earn a living or get an education. After I returned from my trip to Tanzania, I featured a charity Save The Rain that aids women and children by making water more readily obtainable. The Panty Project is another organized effort by Koru-Kenya staffer Morgan Richards that helps young women in Africa avoid missing school. More than anything else, education is the key to elevating the status of any group living under oppression.
Daniel Quay of the 501st Star Garrison contacted me about a new patch to support the project. It seems fitting that Mara is the champion on this patch. For more about the project and to donate, go to SKGaleana’s The Panty Project page.
Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.
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