Challenging globalization head-on

Women: Birthing justice, birthing hope. Part 11 of 12

Mary Ann Manahan helps rural women in the Philippines build their knowledge, strength and political voice. Here she speaks of how women are creating alternatives to violence and poverty in their lives. They use strategies for change that start at the household and community, and then connect to the global level.

One system for all

Women: Birthing justice, birthing hope. Part 10 of 12

Julie Castro is a young doctor from France, a country that offers quality health care for all. All legal residents have access to coverage, and immigrants gain the right to access after three months (though spiraling xenophobia has created restrictions in practice). Those served by the medical system -- including the very poor and the gravely or chronically ill -- are likely to receive better care in France than anywhere in the world. Moreover, the sicker you are, the less you pay. Dire illnesses like tuberculosis or cancer, chronic conditions like diabetes, and major operations like open-heart surgery are covered by the state at 100 percent. France’s commitment is premised on the philosophy that the government has an obligation to the welfare of its people.

This land is my teacher

Women: Birthing justice, birthing hope. Part 9 of 12

Nayeli Guzman is a 22-year-old Zapateco woman from Mexico who went to New Mexico to be part of the effort to restore traditional agriculture. Throughout the United States, Native, Chicano, and other peoples are rejecting industrialized food to grow their own instead, thereby reclaiming the health of their traditions, culture, bodies and land. They are sharing ancient seeds and techniques with others, Native and non-Native, while sharing the harvests with the community. And they are contributing to what may be the single largest movement in the United States: creating a sustainable food supply chain. Here Nayeli talks of one such program, at the Tesuque Indian Pueblo, where she and other farmers are using long-abandoned farmland to grow long-abandoned crops.

We have everything we need: Reclaiming control of education

Women: Birthing justice, birthing hope. Part 8 of 12

Shilpa Jain is a 'learning activist' with Shikshantar, one of many initiatives around the world that are reclaiming culture, identity and language from often stultifying colonial-legacy education. Shilpa is part of a movement to generate new ways to educate children, youth, and adults, and to share knowledge that reflects community wisdom and values. What's at stake is nothing less than who controls information and culture, and what values are propagated in society.