24 February 2020
“Grit & Grace: Women at Work,” The Empowerment of Women at Work in Global Communities opening at Brattleboro Museum, Vermont March 14-June 14, 2020
Opening: March 14, Saturday, 3-5 pm
“Grit and Grace,” Photo lecture” March 14, Saturday, 7:30 pm
“When you empower a woman, you empower a nation”
“Grit and Grace: Women at Work”
From India to Africa, tea fields to technology, women are the resilient hard-working backbones of their communities. These images showcase the inspirational stories of remarkable women at work in developing countries whose perseverance is often overlooked. Many of these women live in post-conflict or hard-to-reach areas, yet these images illuminate their shared determination to create better sustainable futures for their families through their creativity, ingenuity, and drive. These women from Africa, Asia, and Latin America share experiences of how they have risen above their circumstances to empower themselves through their tenacity and resiliency. This project also celebrates the individuals and grassroots organizations that are committed to finding creative solutions to the challenges that these women face through all aspects of work in their global communities.
These are more than images of women just toiling in the fields in rural areas. On average, women make up just over 40 percent of the global agricultural labor force, yet they own less than 20 percent of the land. Many have joined co-ops to learn the skills of building their business from kitchen garden to profitable business. Microloans and mobile money are taking women to another level. By starting their own businesses, women are able to open bank accounts and take control of their own money. In many of these war-torn countries—especially the Congo, where a women is raped each minute of every day—nearly every woman has suffered some unspeakable atrocity. The numeracy, literacy, and job training programs offered to these women gives them usable work skills. This in turn offers them not only a sense of financial stability but a sense of self worth through like-minded community. Ask any of them why they do these jobs, and they will say it’s for the education and betterment of their children. Women in these countries are always going to be the ones to figure it out for their families.
By creating awareness of the struggles and successes of these women, we can not only help better their circumstances but learn and be inspired by their determination and inner strength. Empowering women not only benefits their immediate family—it benefits their whole village, their nation, and our world.