Student group raises awareness, funds for women
Arizona State University student group Woman As Hero is taking an active stance to promote awareness and education surrounding crisis situations women face. Formed in 2009, the club works to break the cycle of poverty, oppression, hunger and violence by investing in the success of girls and women on both a local and global level.
“Our goal is to promote and empower women in the areas of education and social justice,” said Nesima Aberra, president of Woman As Hero. “We want to be active but educated at the same time. We understand that many communities face different issues and have varying ideas about what their society should be.”
Twice a month the group facilitates roundtable discussions on a variety of current affairs topics surrounding the treatment of women. During each session, the group discusses the current measures being taken to solve the problem at hand, how they can lend aid and how to empower others in similar situations to share their stories. Members also can participate in community outreach opportunities at service organization around the Valley that align with the club’s vision.
Woman As Hero frequently engages in fundraising events to support women on a global scale as well. In January the group raised scholarship funds for young girls in Kenya who were identified as outstanding leaders and academically high-achieving students, but cannot afford the cost of secondary school. The organization also joined The Girl Effect movement, created by Nike with funding from the NoVo Foundation, which promotes economic empowerment for adolescent girls in the developing world.
“These are things that we can do in our own community to help out, since not everyone can just go over to Africa and donate their time,” said Aberra.
On April 6, Woman As Hero is holding an informational summit on global women's issues titled “Womanity – exploring global gender challenges and seeking solution” at the Tempe campus. Journalist Habiba Nosheen from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting will serve as the keynote speaker, presenting her work on the honor killings taking place in Pakistan. Other sessions will cover issues such as domestic violence, women in conflict, education and the portrayal of women in the media. The event is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged at Womanity.eventbrite.com.
“We are hoping the summit will give us a chance to talk about the complicated issues women face, and become an outlet for those who may have studied these concepts but don’t know what to do about them, or are unaware that other people share these interests,” said Aberra.