Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The pages that follow tell stories—feature heroines—we women can be proud of. Chouchou Namegabe is here, honored for her radio documentation of an epidemic of rapes in Congo. Sharon Cooper, for her studies of the brain development of trafficked girls. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as Africa's first female head of state. Salma Hayek, for her worldwide travels on behalf of maternal health. Valerie Boyer, for her fight against eating disorders. Amy Gutmann, from my own University of Pennsylvania. Shakira for her Barefoot Foundation, started when she was just 18 (it says here) to open schools in Colombia, Haiti, and South Africa. Mia Farrow for not letting us forget Darfur. Elizabeth Smart, the kidnapping survivor who has become an advocate for victims. Rebecca Lolosoli of Kenya, who "persuaded women in her village to start a business selling their intricate traditional beadwork to tourists. Then she encouraged them to form a separate village as both a tourist attraction and a refuge for victims of domestic violence and girls fleeing female genital mutilation or forced marriage."
Get this issue, if you can. Look at what women can do—at what happens when they stand up on behalf of others and seek a greater, calming good. And then, if you have a moment, check out page 79. That's where my friend Caroline Leavitt's book, Pictures of You, is featured as a Jodi Picoult Pick.