Focus on Women

Girl Up — A Great Way for Girls to Help Other Girls

February 24th, 2011 . by Cathy Standiford

The UN Foundation has started a campaign to inspire teenage girls in America to help their peers in developing countries.  The “Girl Up Capaign” asks teenage girls to learn about how girls in developing countries live, share their wealth (such as by contributing a “high five” dollars), and spread the word to other teens.   It’s a remarkably simple approach that uses the power of social media in a pretty effective way.

To find out more (and perhaps get involved yourself), visit

SI Launches New Website and SoroptiVoice Blog

February 22nd, 2011 . by Cathy Standiford

Soroptimist International has recently upgraded its website with some new, dynamic features.  In addition to the traditional information about who we are and what we do, there’s a monthly “Global Voice” newsletter.  The SI Programme Blog has been renamed and redesigned into the SoroptiVoice Blog.   I’m sure that there will be posts this week as the SI delegation gathers in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meetings.

To see the new SI website visit:

To read the SoroptiVoice Blog visit:  www.soroptimistinternational/blog   or just access it from the SI website.

The Clock Is Ticking for the World’s Girls

February 21st, 2011 . by Cathy Standiford

I am a huge fan of and the cool videos they produce to raise awareness about how educating the world’s girls is the key to improving our world.   Here’s the latest one.  Watch it, then ask what you’re willing to do to help the 50 million girls living in poverty around the world live their dreams for a beautiful and healthy life.

Now Let’s Revolutionize How Egyptian Women Are Treated

February 17th, 2011 . by Cathy Standiford

A revolution for the people of Egypt may have occurred, but there’s still more work to be done to revolutionize how women are treated there.  The sexual assault of CBS reporter Lara Logan is just one example of the harassment that has been directed at women in Egypt–public and privately–for decades.  The world is horrified because it happened to a journalist, and an American one at that.  Why isn’t the world more horrified that violent assaults on women are so common there?

I applaud Logan’s willingness to speak out about what happened.  Now we need to applaud the women who continue publicly raise their voices in a culture that would rather have them be silent and invisible, not only in Egypt, but elsewhere in the Middle East.

Read more about Egyptian women and the harrassment they face here:

Giving Abused Girls a Voice

February 12th, 2011 . by Cathy Standiford

The story is all too familiar.  Divorced mother meets the “man of her dreams” and marries him.  New husband starts molesting her daughter.  Mother has no idea.  Once the truth surfaces, she has to choose whether to believe her daughter or the man of her dreams.

But this story from the Orange County Register has a different ending.  This particular mother not only listened to and believed her daughter, she made it a crusade to help her daughter and other abused girls use their voices to move past their abuse.