By Mary O’KEEFE
In support of International Women’s Day, which was on March 8, and Women’s History Month the Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project is raising funds to provide scholarships to women in Tanzania who are pursuing advanced clinical degrees in medicine, nursing, midwifery and social work. The donations will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000 thanks to a generous “challenge gift.”
Women and girls in Tanzania are among the world’s most marginalized, with limited access to education that could help them escape poverty. Nearly half of all women in Tanzania never attend school. Those who do face tremendous political, cultural and economic pressure to drop out to work or care for young children.
Research indicates that, when more income is put into the hands of women, child nutrition, health and education improve. For this reason, The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project is investing in women overcoming tremendous obstacles.
According to The Phil Simon Clinic Tanzania Project, 60% of the world’s chronically hungry are women and girls; Tanzanian women work 14 hours more per week on average than men and for less wages; the current ratio of nurses or midwives to female patients in sub-Sahara Africa is one to 1,374; 44% of adolescent girls in Tanzania have given birth or are pregnant before age 19; and two-thirds of the world’s 796 million illiterate are women and girls.
The Phil Simon Clinic was founded by Dr. Kimberly Shriner of Huntington Hospital in 1996. Local pediatrician Dr. John Rodarte and Janet Henderson, RN, who is an emergency nurse at Huntington Hospital, have traveled to Tanzania in support of the project.