When we include girls in education, health and economic investment we have a better chance of preventing issues such as child marriage, teen pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and breaking the inter-generational cycle of poverty. Girls can't do this alone though.
You can support solutions run by innovative, grassroots projects and organizations that are working to educate children, feed the hungry, build houses, train women (and men) with job skills, and hundreds of other amazing things.
I had never heard of issues like sex trafficking and obstetric fistulas, let alone how prevalent they are. I couldn't believe that so many girls and women suffered and the rest of us let it continue.
One of the countless benefits I have received from yoga is feeling empowered to raise awareness about and money for communities that are suffering around the world.
In India, education is not a civil right but rather a privilege that young children dream and wish to be a part of.
I know many people who have risen to greatness without suffering, but few of those exhibit the level of selfless altruism that I was exposed to in meeting the women and girls of Half the Sky.
Women in developing countries are finally starting to dream big. At young ages, they can dream of being entrepreneurs, politicians, business owners, community leaders.
My mind turns to Afghanistan -- a country where bombs go off and have been going off intermittently for the past 50 years. I imagine my father risking torn limbs and shards for my education. I imagine how it would feel to live in constant and pernicious fear.
This nine-month-old child was precisely the size of her newborn brother. This infant's small head peaking out of the blanket showed signs of despair; sunken, glassy eyes shot right to my heart.
On Mothers' Day 2011, we mothers gave birth to the Mothers' Day Movement. By moving the apostrophe, we have pledged to make Mother's Day more meaningful by asking family, friends, and donors to rethink their giving priorities.
For six months I traveled through Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Nepal. I was curious about what it was like to be a woman in all of these places. I began to realize how deeply rooted these gender issues are.
The question we are often asked about our project is "Why a comic book?" We hope that approaching the problem in this more open-ended way will lead to discussions of the deeper issues at play.
The JobRaising Challenge, our effort to raise money, increase awareness and support nonprofits working to create jobs, yielded more than $1.5 million in donations -- most of them under $100. Now, knowing just how much impact we can have, and how many organizations are eager to make a difference, we are again asking how we can raise money and awareness, this time to tap into the potential of women-focused nonprofits. So I'm delighted to announce The RaiseForWomen Challenge, an initiative to help women-focused nonprofits gain resources and recognition, in partnership with The Skoll Foundation, Crowdrise, and Sheryl WuDunn and Nick Kristof's Half the Sky Movement. The initiative coincides with a women's conference I'm co-hosting with Mika Brzezinski on June 6, on the theme of "Redefining Success: The Third Metric." To sign up to participate in the Challenge and invest in women who are changing the world, click here.
Just as we follow these stories or a presidential race, we should be consistently informed of the need for girls' education around the world.
The progress that those who have gone before us have made. The progress that seemed impossible, but was fought for and obtained. The progress I've personally witnessed, just in my lifetime. But there is much progress needed -- much still ahead of us.