Equal Pay Day

by Stephanie Coles Tuesday, April 10th is Equal Pay Day in America. The day of the week is significant: it falls on a Tuesday each year because it represents how far into the following workweek a woman must work in order to earn what a man earned the previous week. Though there are laws in… Read more »

New Year, New Hope

by Shayna Watson The village of Kobio is typical of many communities in the Tilaberi region of west Niger. Its people face many challenges as they try to create better lives for their children in the midst of poor conditions like recurring drought and famine. Women used to walk more than six miles to find… Read more »

It All Starts with Water

By Kristopher Coulston Imagine spending hours walking miles to search for and collect water – this is the daily routine and a domestic duty for most women and girls in Niger. Education is the key to change, the key to a bright future, but pursuing an education is not a priority when you do not… Read more »

Girl Power: Courting In Niger & The Annual Gerewol Festival

by Shayna Watson Gorgeously colored gowns, perfect face paint and enough gold to outshine the West African sun. All the trappings of a typical beauty pageant, except the women in the village are dressed in all black and standing in line waiting for the event to begin. Many cultures around the world follow the heteronormative… Read more »

Education in Niger

by Mehreen Quadri According to a UNICEF report from 2013, 23.2% of women in Niger are literate. Factors such as culture, family and societal pressures, and the fact that Niger’s economy relies heavily on agriculture, perpetuate some of the highest rates of illiteracy and the lowest rates of formal education in Africa. Most families in… Read more »

Empowered Women: A Force for Economic Growth in Niger

by Kristopher Coulston Access to clean water is not only essential for life, it is also essential for a thriving economy. When a nation’s citizens do not have ready access to clean water, every aspect of the country is negatively impacted, especially the economy. Women and girls are the citizens who are most affected by… Read more »

Educating Girls: A Key Part of the Climate Change Solution

By Barbara Goldberg Paul Hawken, a well-known author and activist recently published a book, Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever to Reduce Global Warming. In it, he identifies the 100 top solutions to reducing global warming. I was shocked and delighted to learn that number six on the list is educating girls. It is something… Read more »

Empowered by Water

by Kristopher Coulston Illness and family emergencies are typically the cause for school absence in developed countries. Unfortunately, this is not the situation in drought-stricken countries, such as Niger. Water is scarce and girls spend hours walking miles just to satisfy their desperate need for it, even if the water sources they are gathering from… Read more »

More Than We Know: Discovering Nigerien Culture Through Art

By Jennifer Dees As a writer, I feel that identity is tied to art.  I’ve wondered at the painter’s mind while staring at furious strokes of color. I’ve watched musicians lose themselves in a powerful song. And I’ve seen dance movements that express more than words ever could. So I set out to discover female… Read more »

Gratitude of a Graduate

by Shelton Owen As I soak up the bittersweet last moments of my senior year of high school, I sense my departure for college inching closer. The school year has been packed with applications, scholarship essays, and an abundance of rigorous preparations for the next chapter of my educational career. It wasn’t until recently, when… Read more »