Writings, Essays, Lyrics, Musings, Commentary . . .

Article #8: Widows Without Cows??? (Donate a Mammogram)

WWC Beads

For a holiday gift, two friends gave us beautiful beaded key chains and necklaces made by some Masaii women from Kenya. The print information accompanying the gifts said that these were made by Widows Without Cows. It read, in part:

In a polygamous society where cows are wealth, wealth is power, and cows are owned by men, junior wives are unlikely to inherit cows when their elderly husbands die. Consequently, their daughters are most likely to remain uneducated and without choice regarding genital cutting and forced marriage at puberty. . . These young widows are promoting schooling, choice regarding genital cutting, and options to marriage at puberty for their daughters. Their jewelry sales generate school fees and freedom for their girls.

WOW! Blew my mind to think that I was holding their art, their beauty, their power in my hands. Blew my mind to think of how very much we take for granted -- schooling, a clitoris, marriage or not. I wanted to do something to help. But, there was no phone number to call, no website to visit. I learned from my friends that they bought the gifts directly from an anthropologist/missionary who travels from the U.S. to these villages. That's all the information they had. DOES ANYONE KNOW ANY MORE??? HOW CAN WE MAKE A CONNECTION WITH THESE WOMEN??? Perhaps the questions will go unanswered, but if anyone knows, please let me know.

In the meanwhile, also during the holiday season, another friend sent me the url of a site that donates mammograms to women who can't afford them. Immediately I thought of the Widows Without Cows and I wondered if they get mammograms, if they know of mammograms. Then I thought of how that's just another thing I take for granted and how important they are to all women, especially those over 40. So. . . I visited the site.

Here's what I found: If you go to this website and click on the "donate a mammogram" button, a woman somewhere will get a free mammogram. That's right FREE, no cost to you. The service is paid for by corporate sponsors who gain advertising in the process -- you see their logos on the screen. (You might even want to look at some on the ads because some of the companies are really interesting.) And, get this, YOU'RE ALLOWED ONE DONATION PER DAY IF YOU'D LIKE TO REVISIT THE SITE. Literally, it only takes a minute. Who knows, it may help a woman in Kenya or, for sure, some other woman in need. Certainly we can give our time, if not our money. So I beg you to do the following:

•Click here to visit The Breast Cancer Site

•Bookmark the site and donate a mammogram every time you get a spare minute

•Send this site to everyone you know

So often we complain of "the glass ceiling." That glass ceiling for many is a concrete floor or. . . a dirt floor. May we work together to end oppression - oppression by race, by gender, by creed.