For the past two months our Advocacy Group with RESULTS has been taking a deep dive on The READ Act Reauthorization (H.R.681, S.41), which supports basic education around the world with a focus on girls. This legislation focuses on enhanced strategies for the improvement of foundational literacy and numeracy, which are essential elements of a quality basic education. And we know that educating girls is one of the most important things we can do to advance gender equality!
In low- and middle-income countries, up to 70% of 10-year-olds are unable to read a simple text. The longer children remain out of school, the less likely they are to return, and the World Bank estimates that this generation of students will lose $17 trillion in lifetime earnings due to a lack of basic education. And quality primary education isn’t the only challenge. Around 200 million youth ages 12-17 are currently out of secondary school, and 80 percent of children in low-income countries lack access to preschool. But within these numbers, the harsh reality is that girls are the most severely impacted and the most likely to be left out of school or fail to return due to child marriage or pregnancy.
By Ellen Weiss, Transformation Partnerships Writer
Imagine a world where women have equal footing. A world where the power offered by secure rights to land is shared by women and men. A world where that power is used to strengthen the livelihoods of women, their families, and their communities.
This vision propels Landesa’s work with local, grassroots organizations in more than 50 countries.
Founded in 1981,Landesa is a non-governmental organization that partners with governments and civil society to extend and strengthen land rights for women experiencing poverty. Stronger rights to land have the power to reduce poverty and conflict, increase economic activity, empower women, strengthen food security, and improve environmental stewardship.
Landesa is one of Together Women Rise’s Transformation Partners. Our support of $200,000 over two years is furthering Landesa’s critical work, including Stand for Her Land — a global advocacy campaign spearheaded by Landesa to secure women’s rights to the homes they live in and the resources they care for and to engage men on the journey to equality.
“Together Women Rise is proud to be partnering with Landesa, a trailblazing organization that is fighting to change the systems that hold women back from achieving land rights and gender justice,” says Beverley Francis-Gibson, Rise’s CEO. “Landesa has a proven track record in securing property rights for women – having worked in over 50 countries where women still encounter persistent barriers to their land rights. Land rights are part of women’s human rights and a key component of gender equality.”
Although their paths to central New York were a bit different, both Debbie and Ruth now enjoy having family nearby as they enter retirement – or almost retirement. Debbie works in HR/Accounting, and her hobbies include reading and birdwatching. Ruth passed along her passion for engineering to her daughter, and now loves to help other women in need.
The cuisine of Honduras is a delightful fusion of Central American, Mesoamerican (Lenca), Spanish, Caribbean, African, and Garifuna cuisines; a product of its own roots and a marriage of cuisines that it came in historic or geographic proximity with. The dishes, whether savory or sweet, are rich in flavor and use ingredients that are locally grown or sourced. This month’s dish, Honduran Yucca cake, features some quintessential Honduran ingredients, including yucca (cassava) and coconut milk. Somewhat reminiscent of a tres leches cake in that this recipe also uses three kinds of “milk,” coconut, evaporated and condensed, the yucca cake is vastly different in texture and taste as it uses grated yucca as the “flour.” It is almost less cake and more like a bread (zucchini bread comes to mind), if you will. Extremely flavorful, due to the mix of spices used, and somewhat decadent, a slice of this cake would be perfect with coffee as an evening snack or as dessert. Details
Meet Ellen Weiss – our new volunteer who will be writing articles and providing additional learning materials focused on our Transformation Partnerships. She has more than 30 years of international experience in research, programming, and communications, with a particular emphasis on gender equality. This includes working with the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), one of Rise’s Transformation Partners. Ellen is a member of Rise’s DC, Washington-4 chapter.Details
Born in England, Polly is no stranger to moving all over the world. She even spent her career as an International HR Manager for Johnson & Johnson. Now, however, she appreciates having her grandchildren only 10 houses away in San Jose, California. Introverted, yet passionate, Polly likes to jump in first and figure out the details later. Details
This month, two recipes combine for a delicious Ethiopian treat: a spiced butter (Niter Kibbeh) and a lightly sweetened and spiced bread (Himbasha). Note that spices commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine are featured here, including cardamom and fenugreek. Though you can certainly enjoy this Ethiopian sweet bread with spiced butter spread any time of day, it is generally eaten for breakfast or as a side to a meal, as desserts are not common in Ethiopian cuisine. Details
By Susan Wright, leader of the Together Women Rise CA, Oakland chapter and member of the Together Women Rise Advocacy Group with RESULTS. Susan is also a former Peace Corps volunteer and staff member with USAID.
International assistance accounts for less than 1% of the US federal budget, but it still represents an important proportion of all foreign aid. Over 20% of all US foreign aid supports health and education programs vital for women and girls, whether through global, multi-donor programs or through funding for country-specific activities. US funds provide critical inputs such as medications; training of doctors, educators, and nurses; and development of country-specific educational materials. Without US government support for these broader efforts, the work of grantees funded by Together Women Rise and the ability of women and girls to take advantage of their activities would be severely hampered. Details
Linda likes variety. She’s held a number of interesting jobs over the years. She’s been a nurse, CPA, director of surgical services, entrepreneur, and was the first women ski-lift operator at Aspen Ski Corp. Now she focuses on geographical variety – biking all around the world with her husband (over 3,000 miles in 2022)!Details
Malwaian cuisine has remained relatively unchanged from influences of other cuisines. It is thus very traditional, utilizing the produce, grains, and meat that are found in the region and that can be locally sourced. Most dishes are uncomplicated and composed of a few ingredients and involve fairly straightforward preparation. Zitumbuwa are a perfect example of this. Zitumbuwa are deep fried banana fritters that are made of just three ingredients: banana, fine cornmeal (more traditionally, maizemeal), and baking soda. Some more contemporary interpretations add milk and egg, but we are keeping to basics here. The Zitumbuwa come together in less than 15 minutes and are best eaten hot. Crunchy, sweet, and delicious, they would make for a perfect evening snack with tea on a warm April evening. Details
One of our goals for this Chapter Leader newsletter is to create a forum for chapter leaders to learn from each other and about each other. We’re calling this feature “A Rising Tide” because when one of our chapters succeeds, we all succeed – and we should share those strategies and successes with each other to lift all our boats, metaphorically speaking. This month, we are featuring one of the AZ, Tucson – 3 chapter’s four leaders, Jill Sobieszyk.
A “retired” teacher of 40 years, Jill now lives in Arizona and tutors students in many subjects, from math to reading. As an educator she finds the value of teaching so important, which is also why she remains a student herself, taking art lessons and researching our many grantees and their countries’ cultures. Details
Irio is another simple but delicious Kenyan week night dinner. There are many variations – from a simple mash of sweet potatoes, peas and corn seasoned with salt and pepper, to a spicier dish using a blend of sweet onions, smokey paprika and hot sauce. I preferred the spicier blend with white and red sweet potatoes roasted to maximize their sweetness. Details
Born in Maryland, Sheila grew up in a family that highly valued education. After hitting the glass ceiling in the healthcare field, she started her own company, Quality America, Inc. Now retired, Sheila enjoys edible landscaping and looks down when she hikes so she can forage for mushrooms. Details
Guatemalan cuisine is a mix of culinary traditions of the aborginal population that inhabited the land and of those of her later colonizers. This mix of Mayan and Spanish culinary traditions is reflective of cuisince of another country: Mexico. There are thus dishes with similar sounding names but different interpretations (like the enchilidas) as well as dishes with different names in the two cultures but that have a similar culinary composition. The Atolillo Guatemalteco or Guatemalan Atolillo is very similar to the Mexican Atole, a sweet drink that is consumed warm. While Mexican Atole is made with masa harina, the Atolillo Guatemalteco is made with rice milk. Requiring just a handful of ingredients that most would have in the pantry, the drink comes together very quickly (does require overnight soaking of the rice). A comforting drink with the warmth of cinnamon and vanilla and the taste of arroz con leche, the Atolillo Guatemalteco is perfect for a cold evening in Feburary. Details
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