May 22, 2015


Lessons Learned: Freedoms, rights not taken for granted

Dinah Ceplis, semi-retired adult educator/agricultural extensionist. Made 15 trips to Tanzania to do rural agriculture work with Assiniboine Community College between 1993-2011.


"As a result of my time in Africa, I now consider my consumption in many simple daily actions and the consequences on the environment. Basics like clean drinking water, locally grown food consumed in season, access to efficient cooking facilities and electrical lights at night -- these are things I appreciate. Turning on a hot-water tap here prompts an image of a Tanzanian woman carrying a five-gallon pail of water on her head and a bundle of firewood on her back.

In addition, I value the knowledge that socially constructed gender roles can and do change over time and across cultures and that supporting women's empowerment is a necessity for effective development. The freedoms and rights that I have as a Canadian-born woman cannot be taken for granted and continue to need cultivation and protection from erosion by political systems."


-- compiled by John Longhurst


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2012 A2

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