Sedona AZ (December 22, 2013) – Native Sedonan, Hanna Blaney, of Shelter International will be giving a presentation on the plight of women, particularly widows, in rural, southern India. The presentation will be held in the Community Room of the Sedona Public Library at 3250 White Bear Road in West Sedona on Friday, December 27th from 3:30-4:30PM.
Hanna recently spent six months in South Asia, primarily in southern India, working on a research project on the mental health of widows and later also working in a private women’s hospital. The desperate circumstances of these ostracized and poverty stricken women, whose only crime was to outlive their husbands, moved her to found the non-profit organization Shelter International. Shelter’s mission is to create safe and sustainable women’s shelters in rural Andhra Pradesh, to protect and empower these marginalized and abandoned women.
South Asia is often a hostile environment for women. According to a recent Reuters’ report, India is the fourth most dangerous country in which to be a woman, with rampant feticide, infanticide, rape, and human trafficking. Hanna’s travels took her to Nepal, India, Cambodia, and Thailand. Her experiences interviewing Indian widows and teaching simple health concepts to teenage women, as well as travelling by herself as a single woman, give her a unique perspective on the challenges faced by women in this fascinating corner of the world.