For a large portion of my childhood, Hermione Granger was one of my heroes, or should I say, heroines. Through out all of her adventures with Harry and Ron, she was always smart, sassy and a force to be reckoned with. As I grew older, however, I became even more inspired by the woman behind her character – Emma Watson. She has been able to push feminism to the forefront of public discussion, and as a young woman, I am extremely appreciative.
While we may not be standing before the United Nations, I like to think that SON Ministries is also having an impact on the feminist conversation. Our small staff (four full time employees, two part time employees, and three interns) is exclusively female. Every day that I come to work I am inspired – these women are loving wives and compassionate mothers, but they are also savvy entrepreneurs and caring philanthropists who are creating a tangible change in their community. They are Super Women, and, from my perspective, they can do it all.
The women that we serve are just as inspiring. In the Full Family ESL (English as a Second Language) Program, the overwhelming majority of students enrolled are females, are mothers. For some, this is the first opportunity for education, and the passion is tangible. They too are committed to doing it all; education is seen as the first step to breaking the cycle of poverty and finding their piece of the American Dream and so they work hard, both for their futures and for their children’s.
Around the world, women are drastically undervalued. Educating over half of the potential workforce is a key piece to economic success and breaking that cycle of poverty. Studies have shown that a woman invests nearly 90% of her income back into her family, leading to lower infant mortality rates, healthier and better educated children, and ultimately, more prosperous communities. So many problems could be alleviated from the simple act of providing women with education.
I am proud to be a part of an organization that sees each of these women as a “person created in God’s own image” with “a purpose and a voice” and that is committed to building up communities through one “empowering relationship at a time,” and equally proud that the organization happens to be an exemplary case of girl power.