This evening we had the privilege of attending a screening of “Tapestries of Hope,” a powerful film made by Michealene Risley. The film tells the story of Betty Makoni who is the founder and leader of the “Girl Child Network” a multinational organization, started in Zimbabwe to champion the rights of girl children. There has been an epidemic of rape of young girls as traditonal healers have prescribed “rape of a young virgin” as a cure for HIV/AIDS. Girls as young as infants have been raped and killed outright and infected. During the discussion that ensued after the movie Michealene said an amazing statistic (which I verified at the site below) that more than 25% of girls in the US are sexually abused as children. I was blown away by this – we are a society of walking wounded. I found the approach GCN takes to healing – let it be child directed and encouraging communication, profoundly simple and something that can be applied anywhere in the world.
Michealene and Betty’s personal stories are fascinating and empowering, their bravery is admirable. More information on them and their organizations are on the websites listed below.
I suppose the lack of female high-tech C.E.O.’s seems like a less critical issue but it can’t help but cause me to think how deeply seated gender equality issues are in our society.
Rind, B; Tromovitch, P., & Bauserman, R. (1998). “A meta-analytic examination of assumed properties of child sexual abuse using college samples”. Psychological Bulletin 124 (1): 22–53. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.124.1.22. PMID 9670820.