For a science professor, it is a lot of fun to write about nonscience topics occasionally, such as about squirrels or making life fair for women. And the reason that I’m doing so here is because it is a matter of life, as I will explain below. I do not need to write a lot, but rather I am glad to point out the excellent campaign entitled “Poverty is Sexist” that is underway through ONE (“join the fight against extreme poverty”), cf. https://www.one.org/us/
I have been a member of ONE for several years and love the chance to be active to encourage major thought- and action-leaders to take the plight of the poorest of the poor into consideration. Now, I am well aware that Mississippi is considered one of the poorest states in USA (this Wikipedia webpage, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income, lists it dead last according to 2014 stats), yet it should be categorized as prosperous compared to the 25th poorest country in Africa (http://www.africanvault.com/poorest-countries-in-africa/ lists Chad’s 2014 per capita GDP at ~$1000 USD). And when it comes to extreme poverty, females from in utero to babies through childhood and into adulthood suffer more than males. Imagine actually enjoying school and not being able to attend (
130 million girls are out of school.
It is exciting that my University of Mississippi will have a ONE chapter and that I have been asked to be the faculty advisor. The university, that great institution which has been around for centuries and that has such potential, often unrealized, to be a force for good, can help with education, including pointing us to get outside ourselves and our own daily miseries and miniseries to see the needs of others–which may be more pressing than our own. I, motivated by my steadfast commitment to Christ and his concern for the poor, can work through ONE with others who are motivated by their religion or humanitarian concerns or logical mind or raw compassion or rebel instinct or their own experiences of suffering … to help end extreme poverty and preventable disease. https://www.one.org/us/about/ lists some of the organization’s major accomplishments, that I have been a part of, including “Helping secure at least $37.5 billion in funding for historic health initiatives, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.” That adds approximately an infinite amount of impact compared to my own modest attempts, recounted in my publications page (http://www.robertjdoerksen.com/?page_id=35), to research medications for malaria or hepatitis B or vaginal infections.
But, finally, think about all that is great about life: not merely surviving but thriving, not simply “not dead yet” but able to use our educated minds and having a hope. That’s what I want for myself, and why should limited access to education (at any level) and opportunity (e.g., read http://www.nature.com/news/inequality-quantified-mind-the-gender-gap-1.12550) be able selectively to hurt the chances of the females of the species to experience life to its fullest?
So, get ready for International Women’s Day 2017: https://act.one.org/sign/international-womens-day-2017/?source=homepage Take action and help to ameliorate injustices one step at a time!