Month: October 2013

Students at Georgia Tech Speak Out for Gender Equality

Tuesday evening, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia. In the United States, Georgia Tech is one of the top research universities and is dedicated to improving the lives of others through science and technology. Representing Girls’ Globe, I spoke to the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance campus group. Girls' Globe team member @diane_fender talks with students @georgiatech about root causes to key global issues affecting women and girls. A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Oct 29, 2013 at 6:04pm PDT As we discussed issues that affect women and girls worldwide, I tested the students knowledge utilizing Mentimeter, an online tool that allows users to see survey results in real-time. Students @georgiatech "weigh in" utilizing @Mentimeter on how issues affect women and girls worldwide. A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Oct 29, 2013 at 7:53pm PDT I was inspired by the students’ participation and passion as they discussed international issues such as child marriage and human trafficking. Students devised solutions based on the need for …

Don’t Call Me a Tomboy. Call Me an Athlete.

The Collins American-English Dictionary defines ‘tomboy’ as a girl who behaves or plays like an active boy. So what does it mean to play ’like a boy?’ Boys enjoy playing with everything from video games to Barbie dolls. Just like girls, boys cannot and should not be stereotyped with specific personality traits. For now, let’s assume playing ‘like a boy’ refers to playing sports (although I will explain why this is a ridiculous assumption). According to Bonnie Zimmerman, author of Encyclopedia of Lesbian Histories and Cultures, the word ‘tomboy’ has been connected with connotations of rudeness and impropriety since 1592. What is so rude about a girl who plays sports?   Growing up, my peers often referred to me as a tomboy. I heard it so much that, by the time I reached high school, I even used it to describe myself. I eagerly competed in any sport, including gymnastics, swimming, diving, softball, basketball, track, volleyball and/or soccer (just to name a few). And, not to toot my own horn, I did not just play sports, …

Motherhood in Childhood: State of the World Population Report 2013

Today, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) released its State of the World Population 2013 report under the title “Motherhood in Childhood – Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy”. The comprehensive report addresses the important issue of pregnancy in adolescence, which is often the result of multiple factors including poverty, gender-based discrimination, violence against girls, inability to keep girls in school and child marriage. In developing countries, 20,000 girls under 18 give birth every day – but adolescent pregnancy is a problem in developed countries too. According to the report, there are 680,000 births to adolescent mothers in developed countries every year. Nearly half of them occur in the United States, where family planning and sexual and reproductive services have been the target of much heated debate. 95 per cent of adolescent births occur in developing countries. http://t.co/W0EeOU1uit #SWOP2013 — UNFPA (@UNFPA) October 30, 2013 Adolescent pregnancy carries negative consequences to girls’ lives and future prospects. Girls who become mothers at a young age often see their education interrupted or totally halted, have harder time finding meaningful job …

6 Steps to Effective Blogging

Last week I had the possibility to speak at NYU for Wagner Women’s Caucus and guests. I was asked to share some insight into the blogging world – tips & tricks to successful blogging. In six steps, I told my story of how Girls’ Globe has grown from being my own personal blog to becoming a global network of bloggers and organizations, as well as, a registered non-profit organization – in less than 18 months! This week Julia had an Instagram presentation at #NYU sharing her 6 steps to effective blogging… A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:37am PDT Did you know that less than two years ago Girls' Globe was just a one-woman blog? Today we're a global network! Want to hear Julia Wiklander speak about this journey? A post shared by Girls' Globe (@girlsglobe) on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:38am PDT 1. Define Your Passion The very first step is to make sure you know what you are passionate about. What makes you excited? What makes your heart …

Women in Prison Face Injustice Too

Institutional review boards (IRBs) are ethics committees responsible for monitoring research studies involving humans, and they have specific rules to follow to keep human subjects safe. According to the IRB Guidebook developed by the US Department of Health & Human Services, vulnerable populations must be treated with special consideration when part of a research study. Prisoners are included on the list of vulnerable populations. A Georgetown University report, “Vulnerability, Vulnerable Populations, and Policy” includes the statement: “Poor health and diminished sense of dignity suffered by vulnerable populations are the results of unjust public policies and practices.” Women in prison do not often have a voice and are frequently characterized by “poor health and a diminished sense of dignity”.  It is important to create awareness about this population that is typically ignored, but faces injustice due to the corrections systems’  and other government policies. A recent CBC News article reported that self-injuries among women in Canadian prisons have “soared” in the last 5 years. From 2007-2008 there were 54 reports of self-injury among incarcerated women. From …

The Global Slavery Index

The inaugural Global Slavery Index report was released yesterday. The Global Index reveals that there are over 29 million people currently trapped in what is known as modern day slavery. This interactive tool is a breakthrough for those working to end modern day slavery. The Global Slavery Index has been endorsed by Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Bill Gates and Former Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard. The Global Slavery Index 2013 has been launched. The 1st report of its kind is now available on http://t.co/68ZMmMeEAL #EndSlavery #GSI2013 — Global Slavery Index (@SlaveryIndex) October 16, 2013 This groundbreaking tool, provides a ranking for 162 countries around the world. In measuring the impact of modern day slavery, this report focuses on three elements: Estimated prevalence of modern day slavery by population A measure of child marriage A measure of human trafficking within and across borders The Global Slavery Index online platform  provides an interactive map which with one click reveals the estimated number of people enslaved, the country’s index rank and general country information. The report does …

Race for Survival – Take Action!

Every five seconds, a child dies needlessly from preventable causes and Save the Children’s Global Day of Action on October 23rd is shining a light on the gross injustice of preventable child deaths and pushing for accelerated progress to save children’s lives. This year over 50,000 children in more than 67 countries – from Iraq, to Nepal to Ethiopia – will participate in a global relay race to call on their leaders to take urgent action in the fight against preventable child deaths. Save the Children today launched a star-studded film called “Race for Survival”, featuring Hollywood star, Isla Fisher, former Kenyan world record holder, Patrick Makau Musyoki, Bollywood megastar, Kunal Kapoor and US actor, Cameron Boyce. The short film, aimed at galvanising world action against preventable child death, has each of the stars running a leg of a relay race, in different corners of the world. The race kicks off in Kenya, with athlete Patrick Makau Musyoki, deftly gliding through rural countryside. Cut to Bollywood’s Kunal Kapoor as he charges past ruins on the outskirts of …

Can a girl change the world?

Throughout history we have witnessed social and political transformations achieved through the collective actions of others and often led by the vision of an individual. As stated by Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist, Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has. The version of history we are taught in school would have us believe that all important changemakers were men and that women had very little to do with the advancement of civilisation. However, we know this is completely false. Women have changed the course of history in all realms of humanity. All across technology, economics, health, the arts, social and civil change, sports, education, science and religion, you will find female pioneers leading the way.  Women have affirmed an enduring place in history as a result of the diligent commitment of our foremothers such as Emmeline Pankhurst – Suffragette leader, Angela Davis – political civil rights activist, Emilia Earhart – first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic, Maria Montessori – …

US Government Shutdown: Food Assistance Shortage for Women & Children

When the U.S. Government shut down two weeks ago, I couldn’t believe it at first. When I finally accepted what had happened, I thought it would last for a day or two, at most. I thought there was no way such an asinine approach to hindering a constitutional law would actually work, and things would go back to normal when everyone realized how ridiculous it was. The duration of this shutdown and the childishness occurring in the US Government is really starting to make me mad. Every US citizen – and world citizen for that matter – can probably find at least one reason to take this situation personally by now. Fellow Girls’ Globe Blogger, Emma Saloranta, wrote an article about how the government shutdown is affecting women’s reproductive health and her own family planning. That article was published a few days after the shutdown. Now two weeks later, more problems are emerging and the same problems are becoming worse. The WIC program provides “supplemental nutritious foods, nutrition education and counseling at WIC clinics, and …

“Make Some Trouble On Behalf Of Women”

In the last few weeks, we have heard much about the International Day of the Girl Child. The very fact that today exists, under U.N. declaration no less, is a huge step forward for girls across the world in terms of garnering recognition and gathering momentum for real change. Girls’ Globe is a huge supporter of the International Day of the Girl Child, and we’ve previously posted about why we need International Day of the Girl Child, how to get involved as well as resources to educate yourself about the state of girls around the world. As women, we have an especially vested interest in furthering the cause of girls around the world. Not only for the fact that we were once girls ourselves, but because the young girls of today are our daughters, our granddaughters and our successors and will be responsible for carrying on the work we have started. In 1996, Nora Ephron, known for her wit, humour and candor regarding womanhood, gave a commencement speech to the Wellesly graduating class which emphasized …