Last week, CARE counted down the days to International Women’s Day with a week dedicated to the many reasons we Walk In Her Shoes.
The Walk In Her Shoes challenge is most commonly associated with women and girls in developing countries who are forced to walk an average of six kilometers per day or 8,000 steps to access basic necessities like food and water.
A new focus
This year we wanted to expand this focus. We wanted the Walk In Her Shoes challenge to represent a nationwide stance against the MANY challenges that women and girls face around the world and the actions needed to solve them.
Unequal access to safe health care, increased vulnerability in emergencies, unequal wages, lack of access to education, sexual violence and rape, child marriage, all of these issues affect the livelihoods of women and girls and are all reasons we need to Walk In Her Shoes.
This is how the #whywewalk tagline was born.
Last week was extremely successful in raising awareness about the many issues that face women and girls around the world. In case you missed it, here’s a look at what happened:
Monday: We walk because women and girls are disproportionately affected and vulnerable in emergencies.
We heard from Jessie Thomson, CARE’s emergency director, about her recent trip to South Sudan in her latest blog.
Tuesday: We walk because empowered women mean empowered communities.
As mothers, nurturers and caregivers, women are at the heart of every community. When they have the chance to earn an income, they’ll invest in their families, ensuring their children are happy, healthy and educated. As their children grow up, they’ll have increased opportunities to earn incomes, raise healthy families and break the cycle of poverty.
On Tuesday, we also heard from Sarah Taylor Peace as she reflected on her own life and how the life of a woman in the developing world might compare.
Wednesday: We walk to end violence against women.
Alarming statistics indicate that one out of four women around the world has experience some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime.
We explored some important facts about violence against women and what CARE was doing to fight this violence. Our blog came from Suniti in CARE India who talked about her experience working with men and women to discuss the social norms that lead to violence against women.
Thursday: We walk because healthy mothers lead to healthy babies and healthy futures.
Having a baby in the developing world puts thousands of women’s lives at risk every year. At the same time 6.5 million children under five die every year. CARE works extensively with mothers, fathers, and children around the world to change this reality. This infographic demonstrates CARE’s approach to improving mother, newborn and child health.
Thursday’s blog about walking with women worldwide was also featured in the Regina Leader Post.
Do you read the Toronto Star? You might have caught this insert dedicated to International Women’s Day. Check out page 5 where CARE’s work with mother, newborn and child health is featured, along with quotes from Canadian women’s hockey superstar and CARE Ambassador of Change Cassie Campbell-Pascall.
Friday: International Women’s Day!
Friday was a day to celebrate the many successes of women around the world, while also reflecting on the challenges that they still face. To reiterate all the reasons that we Walk In Her Shoes to empower women, we shared the infographic to the left.
On Friday morning, our Walk In Her Shoes team met with Algonquin College’s School of Hospitality and Tourism and spent the day on campus celebrating International Women’s Day (IWD). Students were given CARE pedometers and the School of Hospitality and Tourism donated 10 per cent of proceeds from their on-campus gourmet food shop, Savoir Fare, to the Walk In Her Shoes challenge. CBC Ottawa also joined in the fun. Watch their coverage here.
In Calgary, Premier Alison Redford joined CARE Canada’s I Am Powerful Calgary for a special event to celebrate International Women’s Day.
With her daughter Sarah at her side, Premier Alison Redford and CARE Canada staff and volunteers wear Walk In Her Shoes t-shirts for a picture in Calgary, on International Women’s Day.
A powerful letter, signed by Louise Fréchette and Michèle Leduc was featured in le Journal de Montreal. We were also really excited to see one of our Walk In Her Shoes participants, Kaila Mintz, featured in this awesome article by the Western Star in Corner Brook, Newfoundland for her involvement with Walk In Her Shoes.
Now that IWD is over…
International Women’s Day has passed, but the Walk In Her Shoes campaign continues. While many walkers have started their walks already, new participants can join, walk and raise money anytime between now and May 31st. You can also help spread awareness for these issues by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter and sharing our #whywewalk material .
If you’re inspired to take a stand against the many challenges that affect women and girls and are eager to be part of the solution, we urge you to join the Walk In Her Shoes challenge.
We’re not going to let women and girls walk alone.