There is a scene in the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird in which Atticus Finch imparts some wisdom about empathy on his daughter, Scout. He says, “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from [his or her] point of view, until you climb inside of [his or her] skin and walk around in it.”
A little bit of empathy in this world can go a long way. The CARE Action Network is an organization that hopes to put an end to poverty around the world. However, we cannot end poverty until everyone has equal rights. In some developing countries, women and girls will walk around 10,000 steps a day in order to find water and other basic necessities. These women and girls are trapped in a cycle of poverty.
In this event, hundreds of men and women from Rwanda walked 10,000 steps, or about five miles, carrying water in a show of support for the women and girls who walk that distance each and every day. These men and women also attended the walk in order to show their support for gender equality.
Jaqueline Kamanzi, the representative for the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, attended the event and told The New Times, “Rwanda is one of the countries leading in gender equality and women empowerment. We still have a long way to go, however, which is why we need to step up our fight in supporting women. This can only be done by uniting and supporting government policies.”
Bena Musembi, the country director of CARE Rwanda, shared with The New Times, “We wanted to emphasize the daily hustles of women, especially the rural woman, but also cheer them on [and show them] their capability to achieve their dreams. We are expressing our solidarity with all the people celebrating women, even when they are poor. While our walking is symbolic, these people can empower women and girls by contributing money, thereby improving their health and opportunity while expanding their access to a quality education, creating new opportunities around them.”
CARE hopes that the “Walk in Her Shoes” campaign will foster conversations about women and girls all around the world. “Now more than ever, we must get engaged, stay informed, and Walk in Her Shoes because women around the world are counting on us.”
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