WOMEN IN POVERTY, APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY…A POSSIBLE SOLUTION?
I read this article in my women’s studies class that really inspired me. I’ll attach it at the bottom but I’m sure most of you won’t read it as your probably as busy as myself, so I’ll tell you the gist. Basically, this woman Amy Smith creates simple designs that cater to peoples specific needs in impoverished countries. For example, a corn sheller for tired Peruvian hands, and a “phase-change” incubator that worked through a chemical process that eliminated the need for electricity and provided thousands of people with quicker AIDs testing results. While her inventions cater to everyone, this got me thinking… Women are most often the ones doing the most hands on labor-intensive work, and they suffer due to lack of resources and availability in developing solutions to their everyday struggles. Because of this, lessening their workload is nearly impossible, and in result, they live more difficult and problematic lives. In addition, low income and living conditions are poor to moderate in developing countries and the resources necessary to invent solutions to common problems are rarely available to them…. What these women need is what Amy Smith and many others create. Heres a pic of her corn sheller that I pulled from the article….
If you aren’t familiar with the term, appropriate technology is just as it sounds, technology that caters specifically to the type of issue at hand. For example, women in developing nations with no available electricity that suffer from water purification issues don’t need some fancy cutting edge invention, they need something that suits their current situation, something easy to use and accessible. I don’t remember exactly, but something like 75% of the world’s poverty is attributed to women, yet what are we really doing to solve it? I did some research on this and while yes there are programs out there for people living with so many daily issues…there are only so many. My point is that I think in an effort to help eliminate world poverty, we need to focus DIRECTLY on women with the help of appropriate technology (no offense men) because really, lack of it is leaving them with little time to think independently. Appropriate technology could help really empower these women, and while its not going to immediately alter longstanding traditions…it could potentially be step one in trying to give these women more of a voice. In most situations in third world countries, men control women, these women work for their husbands; they provide for their family…that’s their sole duty. Imagine if these women had more time on their hands… if they could spend less time doing tedious tasks, they would have more time to think independently. Imagine if because of appropriate technology leading to newfound female empowerment, that (roughly) 75% of women could someday be integrated into the workforce rather than sitting at home shielded by their husbands? I don’t know, maybe I’m thinking really big here, but I think over time something like this could possibly work. What do you guys think?
The photo at the top I found at -http://kingdomofgraceministries.org/