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Bob Marley’s Daughter Uses Music to Invest in Women

Eldest daughter of music legend Bob Marley and three-time Grammy Award winner Cedella Marley put a modern twist on her father’s classic Could You be Loved? with a good cause in mind.

Collaborating with DJ Bankay and musical artist Savi, Cedella preserved the song’s reggae roots while adding dance and pop elements. She pledged the profits from the song to the women’s empowerment program Women Helping Others Achieve. WHOA is an initiative born from the partnership between the Bob Marley Foundation and the Sandals Foundation. It supports marginalized women in Jamaica and the Caribbean by teaming up with local organizations to improve women’s education and health. The initiative supports agriculture-related education.

According to the Bob Marley Foundation, women make up 43% of the agriculture labor force worldwide, often participating in unpaid subsistence farming in rural or developing regions. Performing unpaid labor instead of paid labor takes a negative toll on the economic stability of the household, and it is necessary for women in these positions to learn how to profit from their work. That’s why WHOA works to increase access to agriculture training and technical support, offering women opportunities to learn everything from planting seeds to marketing food products.

Additionally, the initiative supports business and job training, providing women with the knowledge necessary to find success in the workforce and to achieve economic independence. By throwing its support behind workshops and institutions that can provide vocational training, business skills, and personal finance knowledge to marginalized women, WHOA potentially improves the ability of these women to participate in individual, familial, and national economic growth.

Moreover, since people cannot learn or work effectively if their health is in jeopardy, WHOA promotes mental and physical health. The initiative works to offer sex education, pregnancy prevention, and insurance. Knowing how to protect their bodies from STIs improves women’s chances of staying healthy, while understanding how to prevent unplanned pregnancies offers them the option of focusing on their careers if they so choose.

The initiative goes a step further by contributing equipment and financial resources to clinics in rural areas. That way, even the women in those difficult-to-reach places can receive treatment and testing for diseases like cervical cancer. WHOA recognizes that, in these rural areas, it’s also important to raise awareness of illnesses that disproportionately affect women. These women might think that any such disease poses no threat or that there is nothing that could help them if they come down with an illness, but WHOA wants all women to have access to accurate and potentially lifesaving information.

The initiative believes that physical health is only part of the battle; mental health also plays a major role in well-being. Therefore, WHOA offers motivational techniques, as well as art and yoga therapy.

In a statement to TIME Magazine, Cedella said, “I am honored once again to lend my voice to the WHOA program through the vibes and lyrics of Could You Be Loved.” She continued, “Like the program, the song is about empowerment and overcoming life’s challenges. I hope through this new mix we can bring more awareness to WHOA and create more opportunity for women in the Caribbean and beyond.”

It’s a catchy remix for a powerful cause. Listen to it here.

Featured Image by Dre Dark on Flickr

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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