Month: October 2016

Stories of Power: Women in Politics

Recently, there has been a growing focus on the importance of reliable, accurate gender data on the situation of women and girls. There are many reasons why data is important: we need accurate data so that we can prioritize. We need accurate data to know where we are starting from, so that we know if the programs we are implementing are actually working. We need data to know whether our work is benefitting people equally and reaching those who are most vulnerable. But data does something else too: It tells powerful stories. As the world is hopefully nearing a day when a woman is elected to be the president of one of the most powerful nations in the world, let’s see what kind of a story data tells us about women’s political participation globally. The aspect of women’s political participation and empowerment is also included in the Sustainable Development Goals, under Goal 5 about gender equality and women’s empowerment, for which target 5.5 is: Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership …

Hitting the Breaks on the Cycle of Gender-Based Violence

Physical, psychological or sexual assault is a treacherous act, and yet it happens to women and girls all over the world on a daily basis. Just the thought of another person taking the most intimate part of my being makes my entire body shudder and simultaneously freeze. According to UNFPA one in every three women will experience physical or sexual abuse at some point during their life.  Now imagine dealing with this type of horror and being separated from the comfort of your family, familiar surroundings and home. I asked several individuals that have worked or lived in, or reported on, post conflict areas various questions about the psychological and long term impact of rape within refugee and IDP (internally displaced people) camps. The information varied in detail but the overall response was grim and sadly similar. People around the world are suffering from the generational effects of war, violence and despair. I’m definitely not an expert on this topic, but I think that rape and GBV can leave a permanent mark on any woman …

How to Reduce Violence? Celebrate the Young Women Who Do It Every Day

Wherever you are in the world, statistics on gender-based violence are overwhelming – if not terrifying. At a time when 1 in 3 women will experience some form of violence over the course of her life, reducing the figures can seem like an insurmountable task. For an individual especially, it’s all too easy to feel like no match for a problem of this scale. But there is a simple thing we can all do to make a difference; we can celebrate the young people who are increasingly choosing to devote their time, energy and skills to eliminating violence and protecting vulnerable people in their communities. Young people like 25-year-old student, Stephanie Moniz. Stephanie is currently studying for a Masters in Clinical Counseling Psychology at Brenau University, and as part of that she’s completing an internship at Gateway Domestic Violence Center. When she’s not in class or doing her internship, she spends her time working at the shelter as an employee. I talked to her about her studies, her work, and her thoughts on gender-based violence. So first of all, can you tell me a bit about your internship? …

Meet Wynter Oshiberu – Girls’ Globe Blogger from USA

Wynter Oshiberu has had a deep curiosity for languages and cultures from a very young age, and as she grew older her curiosity has blossomed into an appreciation for the mutual interests that individuals from various backgrounds share. Her recommendations for global leaders is to make quality education available for everyone and to put women and girls at the forefront of their decisions. These interests developed into her passions, thus she has earned a degree in International Affairs from George Washington University; and, she has worked with researchers, academics and thought leaders on various topics pertaining to the well-being and advancement of marginalized communities. She is most passionate about promoting and ensuring quality education for women and girls, especially in lower socio-economic settings and post conflict regions. As an avid language and education enthusiast, she has continued to augment her language skills by studying Arabic, teaching ESOL and completing her TESOL certificate at Georgetown University. She believes that educational and technological advancements will contribute to innovative solutions for a broad range of societal and global issues. …

Traveling to Malaysia & the Global Breastfeeding Partners Forum

I was invited to represent Girls’ Globe at World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action‘s (WABA)Global Breastfeeding Partners Forum (GBPF) in Penang, Malaysia, on quite short notice. To me, this meant that I didn’t have the time to get nervous, nor to actually realize that I was going to the other side of the world with my husband and 8-month-old daughter. When the airplane lifted towards the cloudy sky in Copenhagen it all suddenly hit me, and my heart skipped a beat. I was going to attend a breastfeeding conference with people from all over the world, many of whom have been in the game for longer than I have even existed. I was going to represent this fantastic organization that I had only even been aware of for no more than two months or so. I was going to take part in a plenary session in front of all of these knowledgeable people. What on earth was I getting myself into? What was I going to say? We arrived in Penang quite late in the evening, two …

Safe and Sound: Building Emotional Resilience in Refugee Girls

The photos of Syrian families fleeing war to the safety of refugee camps in Jordan are gut wrenching, but their distress is only worsened by family separation, physical danger, trauma, overcrowding, and lack of information about family, food, and relocation. And, being a refugee girl creates a “double endangerment” due to age and gender, according to Goleen Samari, a fellow with the international education non-profit Humanity in Action. In Syria, this health vulnerability all too often often takes the form of rape, child marriage, and sex work by girls who then experience deep and lasting emotional distress. In fact, 2015 statistics show that girls under 18 make up 25% of all Syrian refugee marriages in Jordan. While parents say they arrange young marriages to prevent rape in camps, these marriages bring their own psychological consequences and risk for abuse of child wives. Additional risk factors include lack minimal access to education and menstrual products, adding to girls’ disempowerment, stress, and shame. These circumstances all point to the interplay of mental health and sexual health, with extreme stressors that precipitate conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder …

Meet Sarah North – Girls’ Globe Blogger from USA

Sarah North is a writer and adventurer based in Atlanta, GA. Professionally, she has worked in trafficking prevention and sustainable development with women and girls in the Himalayas of Nepal. With an undeniable interest in supporting girls and women to tell their stories, Sarah works with Girls’ Globe to grow our global network of bloggers and organizations and with other administrative tasks and fundraising initiatives. Her recommendations to global leaders is to celebrate differences that women and girls have to bring to the table, for this creates space for new ideas and ways to problem solve world issues. Sarah also writes for the outdoor outfitter REI and dreams of impacting women through backpacking and mountaineering expeditions that empower women to overcome discrimination and become leaders in their community. Sarah fills her spare time with trail running, climbing, and filming stories and adventures. Follow Sarah on Twitter @theGraley Featured image photo credit: Zayira Ray / Girls’ Globe Video credit: Creative Director // Kimberly Graf, Film Director // Tiffany Jackman, Director of Photography / Editing // Skyler Whitehead, Whirlwind Productions LLC

#12 – Maternal Health Now: New Research from The Lancet

In this episode Julia Wiklander, Felogene Anumo and Zanele Mabaso introduce you to new research that was published just a few weeks ago in The Lancet’s Maternal Health Series. Girls’ Globe was in New York City at the launch of the series and Girls’ Globe blogger Zanele Mabaso from South Africa spoke with one of the authors, Dr. Oona Campbell, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The Maternal Health Series by the Lancet shines a light on the causes, trends, and prospects for maternal health in the current era of rapid demographic, epidemiological, and socioeconomic transition. It includes analysis of experiences from the past 25 years and shows us the growing threat to progress caused by poor quality care and inequity of access. The Lancet Maternal Health Series reveals great disparities in quality of care for women during pregnancy and childbirth. In the past 16 years we have seen amazing progress – where maternal deaths have fallen by nearly half (44%) since 1990, yet some countries and some groups of women saw …

In Solidarity with Syria: The Power of Global Action

The conflict in Syria has continued for five years. Nearly 300,000 people have lost their lives, millions have had to leave their homes and flee as refugees to other parts of Syria or across borders, and parts of the country, like the capital Aleppo, are in ruins. Not long ago, a picture of a dust- and blood covered 5-year old boy Omran sitting in the back of an ambulance was seared into our brains as a symbol of a war that seems to have no end. We are viewers, through our TV and computer screens, many of us paralyzed and not knowing what, if anything, we should – or can – do. But there is always something. Some action each and every one of us can take to somehow help the people trapped in this conflict. But what we cannot keep doing any longer is be silent. UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, described the situation in Syria in these words: “Syria is the biggest humanitarian and refugee crisis of our time, a continuing cause …