The Artemis-effect: How Women are Changing the World

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535147179248{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1535147172892{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147425428{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]It’s a crisp fall morning in 1974, the auditorium of the New York Hilton is packed and I am about to convene a national conference on equal opportunity for women in the workplace. The television crews are already in place, and I take a deep breath as I walk to the podium, knowing we are about to make history. For the next four hours, I introduce pioneers who have broken gender barriers to joining the U.S. space program, attend White House briefings and report from the world’s hot spots and battle zones. At the end of the day, there is a networking frenzy, as members of the audience trade business cards and quick embraces, repeating a mantra that will support their activism for years to come: “Together we can accomplish anything.”
A generation later, the movement has grown more inclusive and our stories more diverse. No longer about breaking the glass ceiling, third-wave feminism is about bringing everyone along. The focus is not on one woman’s triumph and success but on global organizing and development. Think of these grassroots women’s movements as the human version of the Internet—the grapevine by which hopes and dreams go viral. Today, hundreds of thousands—maybe even more than a million—of small, local efforts, by, for and on behalf of women, allow us to stabilize local economies, feed the poor, deal with the devastating effects of war and disease, and make the world a safer place for all.
Psychiatrist and best-selling author Jean Shinoda Bolen calls this The Artemis Effect, after an ancient Greek goddess with a strong sense of sisterhood. With bow and arrow, and usually in the company of the forest nymphs, Artemis was a protector of women and young girls. As guardian of animals and the wilderness, she was also the first environmentalist.
In Bolen’s book, Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman, she casts Artemis as the prototype for the next wave of female activists. Artemis heroines have already captured the popular imagination, she notes, citing Disney’s bow-wielding princess Merida in Brave, Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and the fiery Danys in Game of Thrones.
Real-life role models include Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg, who is urging women to “lean in,” aim carefully and stay focused on their goals, as well as millions of lesser-known women who are standing up and speaking out, refusing to be marginalized or silenced by their governments. Earlier this year, a handful of Iranian women were arrested for not wearing hijabs, or traditional head scarves, in public. Thousands of their sisters went on Facebook and posted photos of themselves without this garment, which hampers their movement and erases their identity. “I loathe the hijab,” one woman wrote. “I like the feel of the sun and the wind on my hair.”
The Artemis Effect can also be seen in the broad activism of Code Pink in the U.S., a women’s peace organization that wants to redirect spending toward schools, health care and green jobs; Women in Black, which has held candlelight vigils from Serbia to Gaza, protesting the effects of war on women and young girls; and One Billion Rising, which produced the largest global protest in a single day, in almost 200 countries, calling for an end to violence against women. The name of this organization reflects the chilling UN statistic that worldwide, a billion women, roughly one in three, will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
The Artemis Effect was also in play when Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former education minister in Nigeria launched an Internet campaign called Bring Back Our Girls. Earlier this year, a group of female boarding school students, aged 13 to 18, were kidnapped from their dormitories in the middle of the night by armed terrorists. These men called themselves Boko Haram, which translates, “Western education is a sin.” Concerned mothers around the world joined together on Facebook and on change.org to support teen-aged girls from Africa to Afghanistan who risk their lives to learn skills that will allow them to become independent and support their families.
Why do these campaigns spread like wildfire? Women have built-in empathy, says Bolen, and are easily moved by one another’s struggles. There’s even a biological explanation for this. While under stress, men experience a “fight-or-flight” response governed by adrenaline. This is mitigated in women by the bonding hormone oxytocin, which fosters a “tend-and-befriend” response to danger. “In a crisis, a woman’s first impulse is to share her story with her friends and exchange helpful information,” Bolen says. “That response is also the basis for grassroots networking.”
As a psychiatrist, Bolen has spent years empowering women and listening to their stories. In her 1984 best-seller, Goddesses in Everywoman, now in close to 100 translations, she explored a wide range of feminine archetypes found in Western mythology, showing how these energies are still active in a woman’s psyche. In Goddesses in Older Women, published in 2001, Bolen urged women over 50 to use their wisdom to give back and to mentor others. With her 2003 book, The Millionth Circle, she started a grassroots movement (millionthcircle.org), calling on women to gather in sacred circles and support the causes dearest to their hearts. Now she is lobbying for a Fifth UN Congress on the Status of Women that she hopes will be on the docket by the end of 2015.
In the last two decades, grassroots women’s advocacy has been on the rise. There are now more women-led NGOs (non-governmental organizations) than ever before. The grassroots phenomenon, however, is so broad and so new that no agency has been tracking it. According to the Huairou Commission (named for the small village near Beijing that hosted the NGO Forum alongside the last UN Women’s Conference in 1995), there are 2,200 grassroots women’s organizations in Kenya, 100,000 in India. “There are now probably over a million worldwide,” says Huairou’s chair, Jan Peterson. “Officials have found it easy to support these organizations because they are concerned with practical issues like growing food and building houses.”
In an age that features so many predictors of impending disaster (wars, earthquakes and tsunamis), grassroots women’s movements have become on-the-ground-indicators of impending good. They have been responsible for general prosperity, better food and housing, better health care and education, improved communication between men and women and more stable family lives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535147434890{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535146136457{margin-right: 0px !important;border-right-width: 0px !important;padding-right: 0px !important;}”]

“This is the beauty of the Artemis Effect,” says Bolen. “One study shows that there is no better indicator for a country’s general well-being than a strong grassroots women’s movement; no other factors have such a great effect on overall quality of life.” The OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Database supports this, noting that “with few exceptions, the greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success.”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1345174″ img_size=”300×429″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have shown in their best-seller, Half the Sky, microloans to women in poor regions often have a ripple effect: A woman will repay her loan and pour her profits back into the community. Some of the most wretched sufferings, Kristof and WuDunn write, is caused not just by low incomes but by the unwise spending of husbands and fathers addicted to alcohol. “It is not uncommon to stumble across a mother mourning a child who had just died of malaria for want of a $5 mosquito net and then finds the child’s father at a bar where he spends $5 a week,” they report. “Several studies suggest that when women gain control of spending, less family money is devoted to instant gratification and more for education and starting small businesses.” When I looked into this issue further, I discovered that women in India protested the policies of employers who handed out paychecks on a Friday night, in close proximity to a local bar. Once the system was changed, alcoholism was eradicated and more money set aside for food and family health.
Perhaps the most moving message of Half the Sky is that women not only pass on their earnings; they also pass on their resilience, courage, and commitment. The bottom line is this: Help a woman and the whole community will be better and stronger than before.
So is every woman an Artemis? “We all have the inclination to reach out. But the women we recognize as full-blown Artemis types,” Bolen says, “tend to follow through on a bigger scale. They have a talent for mobilizing others and the courage to speak up.”
Grassroots women have recently introduced some new causes into the mix—stopping the practice of child brides, human trafficking and systematic violence against women and providing much-needed information on contraception and reproductive health. Many governments view this platform as controversial, and some women in the development world fear a rollback of their gains if organizers push these concerns to the fore in 2015. Bolen believes that there is room for everyone and that the Artemis Effect may soon bring women’s issues to a tipping point.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

“Today, Western women, the wealthiest and most educated the world has ever seen, are reaching out to help those in developing countries who are fighting for basic survival,” she says, “Men have joined our ranks as well, hoping to encourage greater independence and autonomy in their daughters. This is a reason for great optimism.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Researching this article, I had the help of many friends and colleagues who have spent their lives working in international development. Thus, with a few phone calls, I was able to find an interview dedicated women who embody the key attributes of the goddess Artemis.

Here’s how these women are using those skills to make a difference along with some tips on how you, too, can help.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”1″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535146999133{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147074191{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Artemis was a skilled midwife who delivered her twin Apollo just minutes after her own arrival in the world. She is regarded as the patron of women giving birth. Artemisia, an herb that eases labor, is named for her.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”1345253″ img_size=”865×383″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535148984262{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]Twenty-eight-year-old Cecilia García is fulfilling Artemis’ role by helping young women with high-risk births and advancing women’s reproductive health. While still in college, García and her friends founded Espolea, a non-profit organization that helps teen mothers in poor urban areas of Mexico. “These young women are at greater risk for bleeding and complications, and a worsening of other health problems,” she says. “The situation is even worse among the homeless.”
The first thing García and her colleagues did was to start talking to pregnant teens and asking for their stories. “These girls are told they’re not mature enough to deal with their sexuality, but they aren’t given any information on contraceptives until after they conceive. They also face a good deal of judgment and blame from the health-care system. They feel they are being punished, and their sexuality then becomes a source of shame.”
In the developing world, and in poor urban areas of other countries, teen-aged girls face childbirth with inadequate care and preparation. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women a day die in childbirth, most of them in developing countries. Further, an estimated 222 million women around the world have no access to information about family planning. When pregnancy is delayed, or even spaced out by two years, girls have more education and higher incomes, and their children fare better, too.
Teen mothers often come from complicated family situations or households rife with violence, García finds. “They are trying to get away from a difficult situation and the outcome isn’t what they hoped. We treat them with respect and tell them that information about their sexual and reproductive health is a basic human right.”
This dialogue led García and her friends to start the Adolescence and Youth Motherhood Project. “Our next goal is to teach these women how to advocate for themselves, and for their children as well.” Their message to young people is, “Be the change.”
There’s no age requirement for activism, García says. “After looking at the needs of people in our city, I thought, Why wait until I get my degree when I can do something now?”
What you can do:
Volunteer for an organization that educates teen-aged girls about
sexual and reproductive health. Support Women Deliver, a grassroots organization that supports Ceci García’s work and maternal health around the world through crowdfunding.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”2″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147963441{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147997983{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

In ancient Greece, Artemis gave sanctuary to young girls, taking them under her wing as they hit puberty. Known as “little bears,” these girls were free to roam the woods, developing their strengths until it was time to marry.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535148801263{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]In the United States, the Girl Scouts has long provided “dens,” regular meetings at which young girls explore nature, share their dreams and aspirations and earn “life skill” badges in areas from money management to first aid. In my hometown of Mill Valley, California, a psychologist has launched Artemis Circles, providing after-school programs and summer camps for adventurous young girls. Similar groups
are cropping up around the world. In Myanmar, Colorful Girls meets after school to consider
decision-making, self-confidence, friendship building, planning for the future and the dangers of human trafficking—a growing threat to this age group.
A sensational kidnapping in 2002 brought human trafficking to the attention of human-rights workers in Argentina. A young girl named Marita Verón was taken from her house in provincial Tucumán and forced into prostitution. When her parents went for help, the police claimed they had no paper to file a missing person’s report and no gas to initiate the search. The family’s own investigation revealed that Marita had been held captive in two local brothels. The kidnappers were indicted, then set free, and the three-judge tribunal was accused of corruption.
“Human trafficking turned out to be much more entrenched than we realized,” says Celeste Perosino, who is part of an all-female forensic anthropology team at ACCT (Acciones Coordinadas contra la Trata de Personas or Coordinated Actions Against Human Trafficking). This NGO, founded in 2012, works with the prosecutor’s office to identify abducted girls, educate the community and support families whose children have been stolen.
Perosino has helped secure convictions of brothel owners like Antonia Irala, who abducted 27 children, most of them girls between the ages of 11 and 18. “Life for these captives is grim and unrelenting,” she told me. “They are given no contraceptives so they are at high risk for repeated pregnancies, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases, but the most severe damage is psychological. Basic trust has been obliterated at an early age, and we can never replace what they have missed—a chance to grow up. We want to restore our country’s faith that we can begin to recover our lost girls and find ways to protect the rest.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]What you can do:
Start Artemis Circles for pre-teens in your town or
community. Volunteer to be a Big Sister and help one girl find her voice. Support organizations like Global Fund for Women’s Safe World For Girls. The Global Fund for Women (GFW) is also one of the chief supporters of Celeste Perosino’s work.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345257″ img_size=”500×325″ alignment=”right”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”3″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535149204009{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535149231707{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

A skilled huntress, Artemis is self-sufficient and lives off the land.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]In Africa, women provide 80 percent of the food, but 60 percent of them go hungry because they do not own the lots they farm. The GFW, Grassroots Organizations Operating Together (GROOTS) and the Landesa foundation are working together to solve this problem one woman, and one village, at a time.
Marcelina Mwaymuye lives in a region along the coast of Kenya, in Killifish County, where people used to make their living from the ocean. Then the waters became overfished, and the region was plunged into poverty. With the help of GROOTS, Mwaymuye has been learning to plant maize and raise farm animals, an important shift for the local economy. Last year, she started working with local fishery experts to dig a pond on her half-acre of land. She also learned how to place sacks of manure along the edges, providing enough nutrients for algae to grow and feed a school of fish. Mwaymuye is changing the lives of her neighbors as well as helping her own family. Her project has become a community resource, and she teaches other women to raise fish and adopt organic farming methods.
Foundations view women like Mwaymuye as a good investment. Once women have rights to their land, they have better access to microloans and a lot more say in household decision-making. Family nutrition and health improve, and their children stay in school longer.
Women like Mwaymuye also become healthier, stronger and more confident in their own abilities. The GFW notes that they are less likely to contract HIV or become victims of domestic violence and more likely to champion women’s rights.
“I’m not afraid to speak my mind,” said Mwaymuye, a retired teacher and volunteer district education officer. “I will keep speaking until everyone who needs to hear something has heard it.”
Her message of self-sufficiency for women has begun to spread throughout the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345261″ img_size=”500×377″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]What you can do:

Volunteer for your local food bank. Work with a CSA to provide healthy food to residents of inner cities. Support organizations like Landesa, GFW and GROOTS.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”4″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535149595319{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535149613855{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Artemis is a guardian of nature and animals. The mountains, springs and forests are her sacred precincts.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Women have long been leaders in the environmental movement.
Conservationist Rachel Carson first called attention to water pollution; primatologist Jane
Goodall introduced us to language of the apes; oceanographer Sylvia Earle catalogued our undersea resources; and Julia Butterfly Hill lived in a California redwood for 738 days to keep loggers from cutting down an old-growth forest. Like Artemis, these women tend the spirit of the Earth.
Today, Native American activist Eriel Deranger is standing up for her people’s way of life, as she challenges the massive Alberta Tars mining project in Canada, a commercial enterprise that is devastating her ancestral land. “Indigenous people are the last lines of defense for Mother Earth,” says Deranger, who speaks for the Athabasca Chippewa First Nation. Her people are suing Shell Oil and the Canadian government for breaking treaties, endangering lives and destroying fragile ecosystems.
Activism is in Deranger’s blood. Her parents were members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who met at Wounded Knee during the famous armed standoff on North Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation in 1973. Raised in a town that was taken over by mining companies, Deranger grew up making placards and banners for protests. Between being involved in sit-ins at Indian Affairs offices and the local legislature, she learned the fine points
of Native American treaties and indigenous law. After college, she worked for the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), then took over as the Sierra Club’s interim executive director in the Prairie office.
Deranger put her life on the line a few years later when she moved with her husband and two children to Fort Chippewa, a community 150 miles downstream from the Alberta Tar Sands, the world’s largest industrial project. In a David-and- Goliath battle, she is taking on the Shell corporation and the Canadian government, protesting the impact of this venture not only on the land but also on Native American beliefs and culture.
“Her whole life, Eriel has fought the largest corporations in the world,” says Native American activist Winona LaDuke. “She’s very smart and also very strong.”
Cancer rates in the Chippewa community have risen 30 percent in recent years. Deranger believes this is linked to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) released into the air and water by the mining process. Now on a speaking tour to bring attention to her cause, Deranger tearfully explained to an audience at Harvard University that she is being forced to choose between staying on her ancestral lands and protecting the health and safety of her family. “Our people and our mother Earth can no longer afford to be economic hostages in the race to industrialize our homelands. It’s time for our people to rise up and take back our role as caretakers and stewards of the land.”
I caught up with Deranger at the Bioneers conference, a worldwide gathering on the fate of the Earth in Marin County, California and asked her about the spirit of a place. “My people’s connection to the Earth is immediate because we are spiritually attuned to it,” she said. “When something happens to the land, we feel it is happening to us.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345263″ img_size=”304×799″ alignment=”right”][vc_column_text]What you can do:
Learn about your local resources and open space and ask how you can keep them safe. Join an environmental group or
conservation corps. Support alternative forms of energy that don’t deplete the Earth. Adopt and protect your own sacred place.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”5″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535150249342{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535150276349{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

As the twin of Apollo, Artemis has an egalitarian relationship with men—she knows how to partner with them to get things done.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Women activists are reaching out to men to gain support for their causes and help consolidate their gains. In Libya, Alaa Murabit, founder of Voice of Libyan Women, has started conducting seminars for men, citing passages in the Koran that denounce violence against women. A Pakistani woman, Humaira Bachal, founder of The Dream Foundation Trust, visits male elders to tell them how their girls will benefit from education and bring honor to the community. And Khalida Brohi, found of Sughar Women, holds cricket tournaments for men with messages delivered during the game, like “Educate girls” and “Honor killings are not okay.”
When Indian activist Mallika Dutt asked men to help her stop violence against women, the result was a Bollywood CD and a national media campaign that reached 130 million people via television, mass media and “video vans” around the country. The theme of violence against women was also picked up in India by three popular television soap operas. “A lot of men came up to us and said it’s the first time they’ve ever been invited into this conversation as part of the solution,” Dutt reports. Her new global initiative to keep women safe has gathered support from actor Patrick Stewart, entrepreneur Richard Branson and singer Michael Bolton. As Dutt told me, “When you come to the table with men and say, ‘We’ve got a problem. Let’s fix it together,’ it’s a different narrative than when you say, ‘You are a problem and we need to fix you.’”
Then there’s British actress Emma Watson who made a big splash in a speech at the UN. Watson spoke up for equality and launched He for She, enlisting male celebs from Prince Harry to actors Matt Damon, Forest Whitaker and Kiefer Sutherland to support women’s economic empowerment and their role in political processes. It takes strong partnerships to work for social change, she believes.
Some of the greatest champions of women’s causes are men, including South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, who has said that feminine skills of empathy and compassion will help us build a better world.
What you can do:
Whatever your cause, get the men on board. Men are eager to help with volunteer labor, materials, donations and political connections because they care about their wives, sisters and daughters—and the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”6″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535150482125{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535150521708{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

As the goddess of the moon, Artemis governs the realm of quiet and reflection.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Grassroots organizing is probably the most demanding job on the face of the planet—and without downtime, it can quickly lead to burnout. That’s why Artemis-inspired activists take care to balance their work with time out for personal renewal.
Australian native Jane Sloane is vice-president of the GFW, which funded two of the activists in this article. GFW has supported and funded 4,500 women-led groups and is served by a network of 1500 advisors who are its eyes and ears on the ground.
When I met with Sloane, she had just returned from a conference on climate change in Indonesia and a meeting with the Danish government on grassroots women initiatives in Africa. She invited me to see her new digs, a houseboat overlooking the bay in Sausalito, just a ferry ride away from her office in downtown San Francisco. To offset her constant travel, Sloane lives a quiet life at home, spending as much time as she can near the water. “I love the gentle rocking feeling of living on a houseboat,” she says. “Water mothers you and gives you the extra strength and support to mother other people.”
She also recommends periodic retreats for any activist, noting that they provide time for reflection that “helps us stay in touch with our true purpose.” After working with human-rights issues in Australia, Asia and the Pacific on international youth movements, world hunger and environmental sustainability, Sloane reached a turning point in her career. She had begun to wonder, Where are the women in all these efforts? What can I do to help change the frame?
This new tack would likely involve relocation, a learning curve, perhaps even a pay cut. It would be a risk, requiring flexibility and courage. One of the things Sloane did during this time was to go to on a yoga retreat in the rainforest at a place called Sanctuary at Mission Beach in Far North Queensland, Australia.
“Sometimes you go through a time where you need to reflect and refocus,” she says. “This is part of the journey for every activist. My time at Sanctuary helped me to reconnect with the wildness and fearlessness within myself. Then I knew the right path to take.”
Sloane is now one of the most respected advocates for global women’s issues. Over the years, she has also spent a lot of time with Aboriginal women and learned a great deal about their Dreaming stories. “There’s a group of stars known in Aboriginal culture as the Seven Sisters Dreaming. Sometimes I imagine these stars as feisty, fun and fabulous females for whom the sky is not the limit,” Sloane confides. In dreams and the wonderful nighttime world of the imagination, we can often discover our next assignment, the inspiration we need to engage the world.
What you can do:
Whatever your cause, be sure to take time out for self-renewal. A yoga or meditation retreat, or even a few minutes of journal writing every day, can help balance the demands of activism and keep you grounded in your inner life. Remember, just as important as networking and organizing is listening to the promptings of your heart.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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The Artemis-effect: How Women are Changing the World

[vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535147179248{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column css=”.vc_custom_1535147172892{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147425428{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]It’s a crisp fall morning in 1974, the auditorium of the New York Hilton is packed and I am about to convene a national conference on equal opportunity for women in the workplace. The television crews are already in place, and I take a deep breath as I walk to the podium, knowing we are about to make history. For the next four hours, I introduce pioneers who have broken gender barriers to joining the U.S. space program, attend White House briefings and report from the world’s hot spots and battle zones. At the end of the day, there is a networking frenzy, as members of the audience trade business cards and quick embraces, repeating a mantra that will support their activism for years to come: “Together we can accomplish anything.”
A generation later, the movement has grown more inclusive and our stories more diverse. No longer about breaking the glass ceiling, third-wave feminism is about bringing everyone along. The focus is not on one woman’s triumph and success but on global organizing and development. Think of these grassroots women’s movements as the human version of the Internet—the grapevine by which hopes and dreams go viral. Today, hundreds of thousands—maybe even more than a million—of small, local efforts, by, for and on behalf of women, allow us to stabilize local economies, feed the poor, deal with the devastating effects of war and disease, and make the world a safer place for all.
Psychiatrist and best-selling author Jean Shinoda Bolen calls this The Artemis Effect, after an ancient Greek goddess with a strong sense of sisterhood. With bow and arrow, and usually in the company of the forest nymphs, Artemis was a protector of women and young girls. As guardian of animals and the wilderness, she was also the first environmentalist.
In Bolen’s book, Artemis: The Indomitable Spirit in Everywoman, she casts Artemis as the prototype for the next wave of female activists. Artemis heroines have already captured the popular imagination, she notes, citing Disney’s bow-wielding princess Merida in Brave, Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and the fiery Danys in Game of Thrones.
Real-life role models include Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg, who is urging women to “lean in,” aim carefully and stay focused on their goals, as well as millions of lesser-known women who are standing up and speaking out, refusing to be marginalized or silenced by their governments. Earlier this year, a handful of Iranian women were arrested for not wearing hijabs, or traditional head scarves, in public. Thousands of their sisters went on Facebook and posted photos of themselves without this garment, which hampers their movement and erases their identity. “I loathe the hijab,” one woman wrote. “I like the feel of the sun and the wind on my hair.”
The Artemis Effect can also be seen in the broad activism of Code Pink in the U.S., a women’s peace organization that wants to redirect spending toward schools, health care and green jobs; Women in Black, which has held candlelight vigils from Serbia to Gaza, protesting the effects of war on women and young girls; and One Billion Rising, which produced the largest global protest in a single day, in almost 200 countries, calling for an end to violence against women. The name of this organization reflects the chilling UN statistic that worldwide, a billion women, roughly one in three, will be raped or beaten in their lifetimes.
The Artemis Effect was also in play when Obiageli Ezekwesili, a former education minister in Nigeria launched an Internet campaign called Bring Back Our Girls. Earlier this year, a group of female boarding school students, aged 13 to 18, were kidnapped from their dormitories in the middle of the night by armed terrorists. These men called themselves Boko Haram, which translates, “Western education is a sin.” Concerned mothers around the world joined together on Facebook and on change.org to support teen-aged girls from Africa to Afghanistan who risk their lives to learn skills that will allow them to become independent and support their families.
Why do these campaigns spread like wildfire? Women have built-in empathy, says Bolen, and are easily moved by one another’s struggles. There’s even a biological explanation for this. While under stress, men experience a “fight-or-flight” response governed by adrenaline. This is mitigated in women by the bonding hormone oxytocin, which fosters a “tend-and-befriend” response to danger. “In a crisis, a woman’s first impulse is to share her story with her friends and exchange helpful information,” Bolen says. “That response is also the basis for grassroots networking.”
As a psychiatrist, Bolen has spent years empowering women and listening to their stories. In her 1984 best-seller, Goddesses in Everywoman, now in close to 100 translations, she explored a wide range of feminine archetypes found in Western mythology, showing how these energies are still active in a woman’s psyche. In Goddesses in Older Women, published in 2001, Bolen urged women over 50 to use their wisdom to give back and to mentor others. With her 2003 book, The Millionth Circle, she started a grassroots movement (millionthcircle.org), calling on women to gather in sacred circles and support the causes dearest to their hearts. Now she is lobbying for a Fifth UN Congress on the Status of Women that she hopes will be on the docket by the end of 2015.
In the last two decades, grassroots women’s advocacy has been on the rise. There are now more women-led NGOs (non-governmental organizations) than ever before. The grassroots phenomenon, however, is so broad and so new that no agency has been tracking it. According to the Huairou Commission (named for the small village near Beijing that hosted the NGO Forum alongside the last UN Women’s Conference in 1995), there are 2,200 grassroots women’s organizations in Kenya, 100,000 in India. “There are now probably over a million worldwide,” says Huairou’s chair, Jan Peterson. “Officials have found it easy to support these organizations because they are concerned with practical issues like growing food and building houses.”
In an age that features so many predictors of impending disaster (wars, earthquakes and tsunamis), grassroots women’s movements have become on-the-ground-indicators of impending good. They have been responsible for general prosperity, better food and housing, better health care and education, improved communication between men and women and more stable family lives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535147434890{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535146136457{margin-right: 0px !important;border-right-width: 0px !important;padding-right: 0px !important;}”]

“This is the beauty of the Artemis Effect,” says Bolen. “One study shows that there is no better indicator for a country’s general well-being than a strong grassroots women’s movement; no other factors have such a great effect on overall quality of life.” The OECD Gender, Institutions and Development Database supports this, noting that “with few exceptions, the greater the power of women, the greater the country’s economic success.”

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1345174″ img_size=”300×429″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]As Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn have shown in their best-seller, Half the Sky, microloans to women in poor regions often have a ripple effect: A woman will repay her loan and pour her profits back into the community. Some of the most wretched sufferings, Kristof and WuDunn write, is caused not just by low incomes but by the unwise spending of husbands and fathers addicted to alcohol. “It is not uncommon to stumble across a mother mourning a child who had just died of malaria for want of a $5 mosquito net and then finds the child’s father at a bar where he spends $5 a week,” they report. “Several studies suggest that when women gain control of spending, less family money is devoted to instant gratification and more for education and starting small businesses.” When I looked into this issue further, I discovered that women in India protested the policies of employers who handed out paychecks on a Friday night, in close proximity to a local bar. Once the system was changed, alcoholism was eradicated and more money set aside for food and family health.
Perhaps the most moving message of Half the Sky is that women not only pass on their earnings; they also pass on their resilience, courage, and commitment. The bottom line is this: Help a woman and the whole community will be better and stronger than before.
So is every woman an Artemis? “We all have the inclination to reach out. But the women we recognize as full-blown Artemis types,” Bolen says, “tend to follow through on a bigger scale. They have a talent for mobilizing others and the courage to speak up.”
Grassroots women have recently introduced some new causes into the mix—stopping the practice of child brides, human trafficking and systematic violence against women and providing much-needed information on contraception and reproductive health. Many governments view this platform as controversial, and some women in the development world fear a rollback of their gains if organizers push these concerns to the fore in 2015. Bolen believes that there is room for everyone and that the Artemis Effect may soon bring women’s issues to a tipping point.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

“Today, Western women, the wealthiest and most educated the world has ever seen, are reaching out to help those in developing countries who are fighting for basic survival,” she says, “Men have joined our ranks as well, hoping to encourage greater independence and autonomy in their daughters. This is a reason for great optimism.”

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Researching this article, I had the help of many friends and colleagues who have spent their lives working in international development. Thus, with a few phone calls, I was able to find an interview dedicated women who embody the key attributes of the goddess Artemis.

Here’s how these women are using those skills to make a difference along with some tips on how you, too, can help.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”1″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535146999133{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147074191{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Artemis was a skilled midwife who delivered her twin Apollo just minutes after her own arrival in the world. She is regarded as the patron of women giving birth. Artemisia, an herb that eases labor, is named for her.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_single_image image=”1345253″ img_size=”865×383″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535148984262{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]Twenty-eight-year-old Cecilia García is fulfilling Artemis’ role by helping young women with high-risk births and advancing women’s reproductive health. While still in college, García and her friends founded Espolea, a non-profit organization that helps teen mothers in poor urban areas of Mexico. “These young women are at greater risk for bleeding and complications, and a worsening of other health problems,” she says. “The situation is even worse among the homeless.”
The first thing García and her colleagues did was to start talking to pregnant teens and asking for their stories. “These girls are told they’re not mature enough to deal with their sexuality, but they aren’t given any information on contraceptives until after they conceive. They also face a good deal of judgment and blame from the health-care system. They feel they are being punished, and their sexuality then becomes a source of shame.”
In the developing world, and in poor urban areas of other countries, teen-aged girls face childbirth with inadequate care and preparation. According to the World Health Organization, 800 women a day die in childbirth, most of them in developing countries. Further, an estimated 222 million women around the world have no access to information about family planning. When pregnancy is delayed, or even spaced out by two years, girls have more education and higher incomes, and their children fare better, too.
Teen mothers often come from complicated family situations or households rife with violence, García finds. “They are trying to get away from a difficult situation and the outcome isn’t what they hoped. We treat them with respect and tell them that information about their sexual and reproductive health is a basic human right.”
This dialogue led García and her friends to start the Adolescence and Youth Motherhood Project. “Our next goal is to teach these women how to advocate for themselves, and for their children as well.” Their message to young people is, “Be the change.”
There’s no age requirement for activism, García says. “After looking at the needs of people in our city, I thought, Why wait until I get my degree when I can do something now?”
What you can do:
Volunteer for an organization that educates teen-aged girls about
sexual and reproductive health. Support Women Deliver, a grassroots organization that supports Ceci García’s work and maternal health around the world through crowdfunding.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”2″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147963441{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535147997983{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

In ancient Greece, Artemis gave sanctuary to young girls, taking them under her wing as they hit puberty. Known as “little bears,” these girls were free to roam the woods, developing their strengths until it was time to marry.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535148801263{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”]In the United States, the Girl Scouts has long provided “dens,” regular meetings at which young girls explore nature, share their dreams and aspirations and earn “life skill” badges in areas from money management to first aid. In my hometown of Mill Valley, California, a psychologist has launched Artemis Circles, providing after-school programs and summer camps for adventurous young girls. Similar groups
are cropping up around the world. In Myanmar, Colorful Girls meets after school to consider
decision-making, self-confidence, friendship building, planning for the future and the dangers of human trafficking—a growing threat to this age group.
A sensational kidnapping in 2002 brought human trafficking to the attention of human-rights workers in Argentina. A young girl named Marita Verón was taken from her house in provincial Tucumán and forced into prostitution. When her parents went for help, the police claimed they had no paper to file a missing person’s report and no gas to initiate the search. The family’s own investigation revealed that Marita had been held captive in two local brothels. The kidnappers were indicted, then set free, and the three-judge tribunal was accused of corruption.
“Human trafficking turned out to be much more entrenched than we realized,” says Celeste Perosino, who is part of an all-female forensic anthropology team at ACCT (Acciones Coordinadas contra la Trata de Personas or Coordinated Actions Against Human Trafficking). This NGO, founded in 2012, works with the prosecutor’s office to identify abducted girls, educate the community and support families whose children have been stolen.
Perosino has helped secure convictions of brothel owners like Antonia Irala, who abducted 27 children, most of them girls between the ages of 11 and 18. “Life for these captives is grim and unrelenting,” she told me. “They are given no contraceptives so they are at high risk for repeated pregnancies, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases, but the most severe damage is psychological. Basic trust has been obliterated at an early age, and we can never replace what they have missed—a chance to grow up. We want to restore our country’s faith that we can begin to recover our lost girls and find ways to protect the rest.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]What you can do:
Start Artemis Circles for pre-teens in your town or
community. Volunteer to be a Big Sister and help one girl find her voice. Support organizations like Global Fund for Women’s Safe World For Girls. The Global Fund for Women (GFW) is also one of the chief supporters of Celeste Perosino’s work.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345257″ img_size=”500×325″ alignment=”right”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”3″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535149204009{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535149231707{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

A skilled huntress, Artemis is self-sufficient and lives off the land.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]In Africa, women provide 80 percent of the food, but 60 percent of them go hungry because they do not own the lots they farm. The GFW, Grassroots Organizations Operating Together (GROOTS) and the Landesa foundation are working together to solve this problem one woman, and one village, at a time.
Marcelina Mwaymuye lives in a region along the coast of Kenya, in Killifish County, where people used to make their living from the ocean. Then the waters became overfished, and the region was plunged into poverty. With the help of GROOTS, Mwaymuye has been learning to plant maize and raise farm animals, an important shift for the local economy. Last year, she started working with local fishery experts to dig a pond on her half-acre of land. She also learned how to place sacks of manure along the edges, providing enough nutrients for algae to grow and feed a school of fish. Mwaymuye is changing the lives of her neighbors as well as helping her own family. Her project has become a community resource, and she teaches other women to raise fish and adopt organic farming methods.
Foundations view women like Mwaymuye as a good investment. Once women have rights to their land, they have better access to microloans and a lot more say in household decision-making. Family nutrition and health improve, and their children stay in school longer.
Women like Mwaymuye also become healthier, stronger and more confident in their own abilities. The GFW notes that they are less likely to contract HIV or become victims of domestic violence and more likely to champion women’s rights.
“I’m not afraid to speak my mind,” said Mwaymuye, a retired teacher and volunteer district education officer. “I will keep speaking until everyone who needs to hear something has heard it.”
Her message of self-sufficiency for women has begun to spread throughout the world.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345261″ img_size=”500×377″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_column_text]What you can do:

Volunteer for your local food bank. Work with a CSA to provide healthy food to residents of inner cities. Support organizations like Landesa, GFW and GROOTS.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”4″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535149595319{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535149613855{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Artemis is a guardian of nature and animals. The mountains, springs and forests are her sacred precincts.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]Women have long been leaders in the environmental movement.
Conservationist Rachel Carson first called attention to water pollution; primatologist Jane
Goodall introduced us to language of the apes; oceanographer Sylvia Earle catalogued our undersea resources; and Julia Butterfly Hill lived in a California redwood for 738 days to keep loggers from cutting down an old-growth forest. Like Artemis, these women tend the spirit of the Earth.
Today, Native American activist Eriel Deranger is standing up for her people’s way of life, as she challenges the massive Alberta Tars mining project in Canada, a commercial enterprise that is devastating her ancestral land. “Indigenous people are the last lines of defense for Mother Earth,” says Deranger, who speaks for the Athabasca Chippewa First Nation. Her people are suing Shell Oil and the Canadian government for breaking treaties, endangering lives and destroying fragile ecosystems.
Activism is in Deranger’s blood. Her parents were members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) who met at Wounded Knee during the famous armed standoff on North Dakota’s Pine Ridge reservation in 1973. Raised in a town that was taken over by mining companies, Deranger grew up making placards and banners for protests. Between being involved in sit-ins at Indian Affairs offices and the local legislature, she learned the fine points
of Native American treaties and indigenous law. After college, she worked for the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), then took over as the Sierra Club’s interim executive director in the Prairie office.
Deranger put her life on the line a few years later when she moved with her husband and two children to Fort Chippewa, a community 150 miles downstream from the Alberta Tar Sands, the world’s largest industrial project. In a David-and- Goliath battle, she is taking on the Shell corporation and the Canadian government, protesting the impact of this venture not only on the land but also on Native American beliefs and culture.
“Her whole life, Eriel has fought the largest corporations in the world,” says Native American activist Winona LaDuke. “She’s very smart and also very strong.”
Cancer rates in the Chippewa community have risen 30 percent in recent years. Deranger believes this is linked to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) released into the air and water by the mining process. Now on a speaking tour to bring attention to her cause, Deranger tearfully explained to an audience at Harvard University that she is being forced to choose between staying on her ancestral lands and protecting the health and safety of her family. “Our people and our mother Earth can no longer afford to be economic hostages in the race to industrialize our homelands. It’s time for our people to rise up and take back our role as caretakers and stewards of the land.”
I caught up with Deranger at the Bioneers conference, a worldwide gathering on the fate of the Earth in Marin County, California and asked her about the spirit of a place. “My people’s connection to the Earth is immediate because we are spiritually attuned to it,” she said. “When something happens to the land, we feel it is happening to us.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”1345263″ img_size=”304×799″ alignment=”right”][vc_column_text]What you can do:
Learn about your local resources and open space and ask how you can keep them safe. Join an environmental group or
conservation corps. Support alternative forms of energy that don’t deplete the Earth. Adopt and protect your own sacred place.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”5″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535150249342{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535150276349{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

As the twin of Apollo, Artemis has an egalitarian relationship with men—she knows how to partner with them to get things done.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Women activists are reaching out to men to gain support for their causes and help consolidate their gains. In Libya, Alaa Murabit, founder of Voice of Libyan Women, has started conducting seminars for men, citing passages in the Koran that denounce violence against women. A Pakistani woman, Humaira Bachal, founder of The Dream Foundation Trust, visits male elders to tell them how their girls will benefit from education and bring honor to the community. And Khalida Brohi, found of Sughar Women, holds cricket tournaments for men with messages delivered during the game, like “Educate girls” and “Honor killings are not okay.”
When Indian activist Mallika Dutt asked men to help her stop violence against women, the result was a Bollywood CD and a national media campaign that reached 130 million people via television, mass media and “video vans” around the country. The theme of violence against women was also picked up in India by three popular television soap operas. “A lot of men came up to us and said it’s the first time they’ve ever been invited into this conversation as part of the solution,” Dutt reports. Her new global initiative to keep women safe has gathered support from actor Patrick Stewart, entrepreneur Richard Branson and singer Michael Bolton. As Dutt told me, “When you come to the table with men and say, ‘We’ve got a problem. Let’s fix it together,’ it’s a different narrative than when you say, ‘You are a problem and we need to fix you.’”
Then there’s British actress Emma Watson who made a big splash in a speech at the UN. Watson spoke up for equality and launched He for She, enlisting male celebs from Prince Harry to actors Matt Damon, Forest Whitaker and Kiefer Sutherland to support women’s economic empowerment and their role in political processes. It takes strong partnerships to work for social change, she believes.
Some of the greatest champions of women’s causes are men, including South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, who has said that feminine skills of empathy and compassion will help us build a better world.
What you can do:
Whatever your cause, get the men on board. Men are eager to help with volunteer labor, materials, donations and political connections because they care about their wives, sisters and daughters—and the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1535150205173{padding-top: 10px !important;}”][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”6″ color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535150482125{margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1535150521708{margin-top: 0px !important;margin-bottom: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;border-bottom-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;padding-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

As the goddess of the moon, Artemis governs the realm of quiet and reflection.

[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green” border_width=”2″ css=”.vc_custom_1535147062010{margin-top: 0px !important;border-top-width: 0px !important;padding-top: 0px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Grassroots organizing is probably the most demanding job on the face of the planet—and without downtime, it can quickly lead to burnout. That’s why Artemis-inspired activists take care to balance their work with time out for personal renewal.
Australian native Jane Sloane is vice-president of the GFW, which funded two of the activists in this article. GFW has supported and funded 4,500 women-led groups and is served by a network of 1500 advisors who are its eyes and ears on the ground.
When I met with Sloane, she had just returned from a conference on climate change in Indonesia and a meeting with the Danish government on grassroots women initiatives in Africa. She invited me to see her new digs, a houseboat overlooking the bay in Sausalito, just a ferry ride away from her office in downtown San Francisco. To offset her constant travel, Sloane lives a quiet life at home, spending as much time as she can near the water. “I love the gentle rocking feeling of living on a houseboat,” she says. “Water mothers you and gives you the extra strength and support to mother other people.”
She also recommends periodic retreats for any activist, noting that they provide time for reflection that “helps us stay in touch with our true purpose.” After working with human-rights issues in Australia, Asia and the Pacific on international youth movements, world hunger and environmental sustainability, Sloane reached a turning point in her career. She had begun to wonder, Where are the women in all these efforts? What can I do to help change the frame?
This new tack would likely involve relocation, a learning curve, perhaps even a pay cut. It would be a risk, requiring flexibility and courage. One of the things Sloane did during this time was to go to on a yoga retreat in the rainforest at a place called Sanctuary at Mission Beach in Far North Queensland, Australia.
“Sometimes you go through a time where you need to reflect and refocus,” she says. “This is part of the journey for every activist. My time at Sanctuary helped me to reconnect with the wildness and fearlessness within myself. Then I knew the right path to take.”
Sloane is now one of the most respected advocates for global women’s issues. Over the years, she has also spent a lot of time with Aboriginal women and learned a great deal about their Dreaming stories. “There’s a group of stars known in Aboriginal culture as the Seven Sisters Dreaming. Sometimes I imagine these stars as feisty, fun and fabulous females for whom the sky is not the limit,” Sloane confides. In dreams and the wonderful nighttime world of the imagination, we can often discover our next assignment, the inspiration we need to engage the world.
What you can do:
Whatever your cause, be sure to take time out for self-renewal. A yoga or meditation retreat, or even a few minutes of journal writing every day, can help balance the demands of activism and keep you grounded in your inner life. Remember, just as important as networking and organizing is listening to the promptings of your heart.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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