Lizzloves's Blog

Spreading love and sisterhood…

LizzLoves Samar Minallah Khan July 6, 2015

Photo courtesy of samarminallahkhan.com

Photo courtesy of samarminallahkhan.com

More and more these days, I’ve been hearing both women and men say that feminism is not a women-only movement. It’s been interesting to see how men have added their voices and influence to the movement, and how women have engaged them and leveraged their involvement to fuel progress.

One such woman is filmmaker Samar Minallah Khan who has focused her work on bringing an old Pakistani practice to the spotlight — swara, where a daughter is given away as payment for a crime. After several years of studying the practice and its victims, Khan, who is an anthropologist and documentarian, produced a documentary in 2003 called Swara—A Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Her work initially addressed all sides of the practice, incorporating all voices just to give the full picture to educate viewers. However, what struck her most were the men who had the courage to refuse to give their daughters away. She told NPR:

“Men, too, face hurdles for speaking up and for challenging norms,” she says. “Standing up in the face of society and country expectations, that takes a lot of courage.”

And their bravery paid off. In 2004, Pakistan outlawed swara, making it illegal to give away daughters to compensate for crimes.

Khan was recently honored as one of five women honored with a Global Leadership Award by Vital Voices, a group founded by Hillary Clinton after the World Conference of Women in Beijing in 1995.

Thank you for your activism, Samar. I look forward to following your work that challenges norms and gives voice to untold stories!

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LizzLoves Girl Rising October 15, 2013

Girl Rising t-shirt

I used to have a t-shirt collection. I had ones about music, Latino culture, and ones with random cool graphics or witty sayings. But, eventually, I realized that my drawers (and my budget) wouldn’t support the plethora of t-shirts that I had accumulated. So now, I try to resist buying too many shirts that I know I can only wear casually.

Today, though, I knew I had to make an exception. Girl Rising posted a picture on Facebook of actress Freida Pinto rocking this awesome t-shirt (pictured above). The message immediately spoke to me, so with a few quick clicks, I bought one on their online store. As a bonus for buying this stylish tee, part of the proceeds go to Girl Rising’s 10×10 Fund for Girls’ Education.

If Girl Rising is new to you, this organization believes that if you educate a girl, you can change the world. It defines itself as a:

“…grassroots global action campaign for girls’ education, powered by girls, women, boys and men around the world who stand for equality…Girl Rising partners with established nonprofit organizations that drive donations to programs that help girls get in school and stay in school.”

One of the most buzzed-about ways that they spread their message is through their film by the same name, “Girl Rising,” which makes their movement even more personal by telling the stories of nine girls from across the globe.  Check out the trailer here.

Unfortunately, I missed out on a chance to see this film in NYC last week. But, if anyone is interested, perhaps we can join forces and organize a screening of the film in the near future! In the meantime, I’m going to be proud and happy to spread the message of Girl Rising by wearing my t-shirt as often as possible!

girlrising

 

LizzLoves Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine July 22, 2011

Lately, I’ve become aware of so many incredible documentaries being made, but when my friend sent me a link for “Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine,” I knew I had to bring it to LizzLoves readers.

 

“Present and Unaccounted For: Black Women in Medicine” not only touches on the historical journeys of some of the first black female doctors to break ground in our country, but also chronicles the present-day success stories of black women in medicine today.

 

The film is the brainchild seasoned director Crystal Emery, who has been nurtured by notable filmmakers such as Bill Duke and Lloyd Richards. She also has several other films under her belt that uplift and educate communities. Crystal was inspired to make “Present and Unaccounted For…” after she met Doris Wethers, one of the first black women to attend Yale Medical School, and Beatrix Hamburg, the first woman to graduate from Yale Medical School.

 

Unfortunately, as Crystal and her nonprofit production company, URU The Right To Be, started shooting footage, a significant backer pulled out of the project, bringing production to a halt.

 

But, if you’re like me, you don’t want this reel to end up on a dusty shelf somewhere. Crystal has launched a Kickstarter campaign where people can make donations, large or small, to help this project reach completion.

 

So, be part of showing our daughters, nieces, sisters and all young ladies who aspire to careers in medicine, that not only can they accomplish what they set their minds to, but that there is a sisterhood that has laid the ground for them!

 

Click here to watch a piece of some of the inspiring footage and to find out how you can help this empowering story be told!