I recently learned about Emerge America,
an organization which is changing the face of American politics by identifying, training and encouraging women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office.
I had an opportunity to meet the Emerge America founder Andrea Dew Steele,
who in addition to her work to grow Emerge groups in more and more states, serves as the director of the California Committee North at Human Rights Watch. Prior to moving to the west coast, she worked for many years learning the Washington D.C. landscape in fundraising and doing policy work for Democratic candidates. The organization offers an intensive, cohort-based seven-month training program for women interested in getting into politics. As the number of elected Democratic women remains flat or even declines, the need for their work is growing across the country. Emerge America currently works in 14 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Emerge America’s role is to serve the states where they work, open new state programs and to build capacity to train more women in each of their current…
According to a recent write up in Wall Street Journal who reported on the incident, dozens of Saudi women took to the roads around Saudi Arabia on Saturday October 26, 2013, defying a new surge of warnings from the government, mosque pulpits and radio channels to drop their challenge to a de facto ban on driving by women.
By mid-afternoon Saturday, about 40 women had defied the ban by driving in cities around the kingdom, according to their text messages and emails to other supporters of a recently-revived grassroots campaign for the legalization of Saudi women’s driving.
A half-dozen posted videos online purportedly showing themselves driving Saturday.
Although no law explicitly prohibits women from driving in Saudi Arabia, the government has refused to give them licenses.
Campaign organizers had set Saturday as a main day for women drivers to challenge the ban by driving themselves about on errands.
In total, more than 100 women countrywide have reported taking the wheel since women revived a more than two-decade effort to roll back Saudi Arabia’s prohibition on women’s driving, according to Eman al-Nafjan, a supporter of the campaign in the capital, Riyadh. Videos posted on YouTube this week…
As many of you know, drinking is an important relationship-building activity in many cultures and can be a great way to bond with your colleagues. In China and Japan, drinking is serious business and it’s likely your host will offer you something potent. The pressure to over-participate can sometimes be overwhelming. After all, you’re an outsider in a foreign culture and you want to be gracious to your hosts by accepting all they offer.
Women do have a little more leeway in situations where drinking is the bond. “Women are not typically expected to keep up with their male colleagues,” says Barry Spaulding, “so there will be less pressure on you than your male counterparts.” This may comes as a relief to those who are not interested in doing several shots of baiji, but women are not completely off the hook when it comes to drinking across cultures.
If you don’t have a health or moral reason not to drink, it’s recommended that you try a little of what your host offers. If you want to participate but can’t drink much, it’s a good idea to say “I can’t drink much” and drink a smaller amount. “This…
Two Reais and seventy-five cents. That should cover the bus ride back to my hostel in Gloria. It wasn’t a lot of money — about $1.25 USD; however, it was enough for one man in particular to notice me and to have my travel safety threatened.
I’d been warned not to ever show cash when walking around Rio de Janeiro, but I figured they meant large bills. Besides, it was daytime and I was standing at a bus stop full of people. Nobody would take notice.
But someone did. He looked about 53, a weathered face and dark hair. While I don’t remember his clothing or details about his features, I can clearly picture the menacing scowl that took over his face as he stopped dead in his tracks and glared at my exposed wallet. His stance reminded me of a cheetah ready to pounce as he bent his knees and angled his body toward me, his arms raised slightly. One false move and I was a goner. But, would he really jump me in broad daylight?
My skin felt prickly, my heart racing with fear. I was frozen in a moment that seemed…
I have been recently paying more attention to what people choose to wear and why. During my recent visit to Copenhagen, Denmark I observed that most women walking in the city do not wear heels. They dress very well and usually wear colorful sneakers. This behavior is different compared to what women wear in other cities I have visited (Paris is another place where many women do not wear heels or colorful sneakers but that is a different story). I was curious to find out why. I learned that the reason is neither philosophical nor cultural. Women in Copenhagen do not wear heels because of a very practical reason i.e. the walking streets look like this:
|Do you want your Louboutin stuck in this?
Most Copenhagen women keep a pair of heels at work and wear them when they are at the office. By the way, the colorful sneakers they wear look really good on them.
Meet Sarah Hillware
, a dynamic and philanthropic young woman with a passion for healthy living and education. After a year as America’s Miss District of Columbia, she has become an outspoken advocate for many causes, including health education and the empowerment of women and girls.
Sarah founded Girls Health Ed., a research-based health education program for elementary and high school girls in the Washington DC area and one of her core missions in life is to make a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable through changes in health policy.
Sarah’s childhood experiences drove her to do the inspiring work she does today. As a teenager, she was forced to leave an abusive household and flee to a new city, a lifestyle which ultimately took a toll on her physical health and emotional well-being during a time in her life when her body was growing and changing.
Reflecting on that time in her life, she says, “healing came from the inside out.”
Together with a supportive mother, she was able to overcome self-esteem and overweight issues, embrace exercise, transform her diet and change her state of mind. She says, “I was no longer a victim of
Enter the world of Tanvi Shah
, whose love for music started at a young age. She is most renowned for her Grammy from the endearing film Slumdog Millionaire
, but it wasn’t her drive for success nor her love of Hollywood that got her there. Although she started singing when she was 18, music wasn’t in the cards professionally for Tanvi, at least not initially.
She tells me over the phone from India while driving her car on a late July afternoon that while she always had an interest in music, she hailed from a family of jewelers, which drove her to study her real creative passion: ceramics. She has a love of design, sketching and ceramics — from lamp bases to her alcoholic lampshades.
Over a near ten year stretch, music has never been far away. Her first song was “Fanaa” for the movie Yuva and in India, she has been a popular playback singer for films, where she has sung in Arabic, Latin and Spanish.
Tanvi has a running collaboration with AR Rahman and has sung a number of songs…
I was involved in the first ever TEDxUNPlaza
event last week in New York City, a full day TEDx event focused on the theme BRAVE
with 24 speakers who inspired over 300 people at the United Nations Building.
Considering how many conferences and events I’ve been to over the years where there have been so few women on the main stage or on panel discussions, it was refreshing to see the very first session of the day focus on women empowerment.
While two fabulous men were also in this session: Steven Rogers
, a professor at Harvard Business School and Dr. James Doty,
the founder and director of the Center for Compasion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, this post focuses on the three awe-inspiring women who moved me with their passion, commitment
New age yogini Deepika Mehta,
writer and animator Brenda Chapman
and healthy living educatorSarah Hillware
rocked the TEDxUNPlaza stage Monday morning.
faced a severe emotional challenge when she was told she may never walk again. Today, she speaks from a place of gratitude now that she is not only walking again, but entertains people with her dancing and yoga movements.
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