Guest Blogger: Aminata Dansoko

A Strong Woman

Wangarĭ Maathai was an environmentalist, and a women’s rights activist.

She was also the founder of the Green Belt Movement Kenya, where she helped women in Kenya plant and maintained millions of trees.

She believed that trees are a key to spiritual values and it brings the idea of love for the environment, gratitude, commitment to service and self-betterment and that tree’s bring healing to our earth and us.

As an activist Wangari Maathai had face many political opponents in Kenya and even spend some time in jail because of her stand on women’s right. Most African countries do not acknowledge woman’s rights and Wangari Maathai took the risk and tried to end the idea of man superiority. She changed the view of women role not only in Kenya, but also in many parts of Africa.

She won a Nobel Peace Prize.

and wrote lots of books like Replenishing the Earth, The Challenge of Africa, and Unbowed.

The most amazing fact thing is that she came to Hobart and William Smith Colleges as a guest speaker. This is so awesome and amazing that I am attending a school that had one of my favorite role model of all time. I wish I could have met her, so I can see how powerful this woman is in person.

Unfortunately, Wangari Maathai has left us on September 25, 2011. She died of ovarian cancer. She has change the life of many and the role of women in Africa and I hope her movement will still be continued.

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10 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Aminata Dansoko

  1. eurogate says:

    Its heart warming to hear about another college age person who doesn’t idolize people like kim kardashian, lil wayne, and paris hilton

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think that what this woman did was truly remarkable. In many ways she was able to give a voice to those women who truly needed it in Kenya. She is an inspirational woman and has done a truly inspirational thing.

  3. perezer says:

    I think this woman is truly inspirational because she provided a voice for those women who couldn’t necessarily find their own. She has made an impact in the world, hopefully more people learn from her so that they can also contribute positive things to society.

  4. Wow. Honestly i am shocked seeing that women like her still exists. Our country, no i shouldn’t say country.. The WHOLE WORLD needs women like her. She is such a motivation, and if people like her are still present they need to come out and make a difference just like she did.
    There are still countries like Africa, Pakistan, and even United States that needs a push for women to start overcoming the gap between the gender. Gender discrimination still exists everywhere around the world. Men are preferred for doing everything over women. Women average salary is 72 to 88 percent of men’s salary according to the recent statistics. If we see the statistics of 1990’s or before, women average salary was 60.2% that of men’s salary. We can see that the gap is getting narrower, but we know that it is still harming our society by showing that men are superior to women. I think gender discrimination while employing can be reduced by using effective measures and programs that will help many households to avoid poverty threshold. And that can only happen when people like Wangari Maathai step up. Once a nation is ale to address this issue of gender inequality and resolve it, the cycle of poverty will continue till the very end. This is one of the reason why countries like Pakistan and Africa are stuck in the vicious cycle of poverty.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Jolyon Davis

    The message Aminata Dansoko transcends through her work is amazing. Based on this reading I want to meet her myself. She kind of reminds me of a powerful woman Maya Angelou. Furthermore she has brought about much change in her time living from making rights for women, to writing published books that emphasized those women rights and roles in society. Looking upon Aminata and her mission, it is something as a society we all should strive to do, rather it being socially, politically, and or economically. We all have a purpose to contribute to life, some small, and others big. Africa was a place that was massively populated; it is the second most populated continent. The African people are thought of as one, but they too have their own diverse ethnic and racial groups. In history there was an independence struggle within Africa itself. The imperial rule by Europeans continued until after the conclusion of World War II, when almost all remaining colonial territories gradually obtained formal independence. The people within the country were doing damaging amongst themselves destroying the government and the social aspects of their communities. The men and women in Africa were also thought of as different. Women are very valuable in the eyes of society, and also to the opposite sex (men). Not only do they bear life, but they nurse, cherish, give warmth, and care for life since all human life passes through their own bodies. Many African women, life are a rough journey. Having aspects of impoverished kin and living in lowly ranks. Beneath these tragedies and subsequent poverty are the roots of misfortune which exceed cultural boundaries. Weakened by a paramount history, African women came to be some of the first victims of an ongoing situation of violence. There are countries where women suffer the most as a result of war. When we think of poverty, rape, mistreatment, deprivation, suffering and any form of humiliation upon African women, we must think simultaneously of the diamond, copper, gold, oil, and other mineral resources of Angola, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Africa is a place of great wealth but, also of poverty, and cruelty. The mistreatment of women is the same Africa rife with economic warfare. Women are needed to be thought of as more, because they way things are occurring, since then and even now, women will not be having the desire to be there anymore, and will cause great conflict within the realm of humanity. Through all these given facts and situations Aminata was trying to make a change, and everlasting effect to make the continent of Africa to thrive and have balance once again. She became an iconic figure in the country of Africa.

  6. Jackie Minnehan says:

    When I first saw this blog post, it immediately caught because of a paper I recently wrote on popular culture. In our world today, popular culture is definitely going through huge changes, and the process has not and will not be smooth. The main issue I talked about was the gender stereotypes that dominate global politics. As we all know, our society has been formed around this idea that men are stronger than women, men should lead before women, men are just so much better than women. I know your article talks about the great achievements of Wangari Maathai, a female from Kenya. However, I definitely see a connection between this woman’s achievements and those of the THREE female Nobel Peace Prize winners – Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen. The three women who were granted the amazing prize all fought and suffered for the rights of women throughout the world. The big connection that I see between your post and the recent Nobel Peace Prize is the effect and significance on the role of women in modern society. Both show major steps towards universal equality of both men and women, proving that women have the same abilities and should be given the same opportunities as men.

  7. GT says:

    I am appalled by the inequalities in the gender gap. I’m taking a sociology class this semester called Inequalities and right now were talking about gender issues. Its appalling how much less women make on average compared to men. And just even with the types of jobs and positions women are offered compared to men. I’m very sadden to hear that such a fine women has passed and that I missed what probably was a moving speech when she came to HWS as a guest speaker. She made such great strides in enhancing women’s rights. She gave a voice to those women that don’t have their own unfortunately. I completely agree with her statement but I unfortunately don’t necessarily make moves and voice my opinion for women’s rights. I need to though, after reading her story and learning more about what she has done. More people need to stand up and address the issue for there to ever be any change. It’s the only way.

  8. Yosh Karbowniczak says:

    I don’t want to say the good die young, because this woman was certainly not young, but how come people like herself can’t live till thier 120, they certainly deserve it. To be a Nobel Peace Prize winner is an accomplishment that once your time is done, you can look back on your life and be satisfied at the mark you left on this earth. Everyone i think is put here for a reason, to make a difference, and this woman certaibly did that. I also feel that giving back to the earth, as it gave to you is very important as Maathai did. PLanting and maintainning all those tree’s is a huge accomplishment.The earth lets us walk all over it our whole life so planting trees’s and giving earth more life is a neccessary thing.
    Stepping up and attempting to change women’s rights in a country like Africa is a scary thing. This shows the amount of pride and courage that was in this women. I know if i were a guy and lived in a society that overuled by women, i dont know if i would be able to stand up for guys. In a situation like this, you have a whole society going against you. When ever i see a woman like herself, standing up for something that is not societal norm, i wonder what the world would be like if we had a woman president. The fact that we still have equality problems makes it look like we will not have a woman president for a long time. I dont think we live in an era that could handle that yet.

  9. lizbramley says:

    Its upsetting to me that before reading this post I had no idea who this woman was. Why didn’t I ever see her on the news? or see her books in stores? Going back to what eurogate said about how people idolize the Kardashians… I know more about that family than I honestly know about issues world wide. Thats just pathetic. This post startled me because a woman such asWangari Maathai should be known. I don’t hide in a closet, I watch the news and read the paper… well, on occasion, and not a single recollection can come to my mind about seeing or hearing of her. I think the media needs to start to focus more on a pop culture that matters and less on celebrity gossip. As interesting as it maybe, these people do not care about the public, they just care about fame and money and we feed into it. whereas a person such as Wangari Maathai selflessly fights for women’s rights and although was bestowed with the noble peace prize, the majority of people may not even know who she is. I’m appalled at the general media for not showing more coverage of such an awe inspiring person and at my self for not taking the initiative to seek out the news that actually matters. This post has inspired me to pay more attention to the people trying to change the world, and less to the people trying to make themselves famous.

  10. Oct 18 Blogger- Aminata Dansoko

    I am completely taken back by this woman. Even though there are still inequalities in America between women and men, we have come a long way so it is shocking to be shown how bad it still is in other countries. This brings me to my next point, why aren’t people like her broadcasted all over the world?! Why don’t people talk about how much strength and effort she has instead of who wore what at the Grammy’s. I also can’t believe that she was able to come to Hobart and William Smith and that I missed it! Even though she passed away recently, she definitely seems like a person who did anything but waste her life. I hope to see and hear about more people like her in the world.

    CG

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