All posts filed under: leadership

A Beginner’s Guide to Stopping Time

This piece was written by Julia Z. – a high school student from the United States of America. All opinions are her own. We hear our grandparents say it. Preach it. Sitting around a crackling fire surrounded by family. Those wise with age warn those who listen eagerly – live while you’re young, enjoy every moment, time moves so fast. We hear the poets telling us to seize the day. Time is an enigmatic topic that attracts scholars, academics, and even inexperienced teenagers like myself. Is it possible that when people tell us to seize the day, they really are warning us to retain our innocence for as long as the universe will allow? Innocence is lost when the weight of the world is suddenly shifted onto the shoulders of an unsuspecting child. Burden, struggle, and responsibility are what make you transform from an innocent child to an adult who wears stress on his or her face like a child wears a smile. What I am describing hit me on a recent trip to Ethiopia. …

Women in Leadership – Tällberg Foundation’s 2016 Global Leaders

Blog post by The Tällberg Foundation “By honoring these amazing leaders, the Tällberg Foundation seeks to draw attention to their work and to provoke a global conversation about leadership…they demonstrate that effective, courageous, and innovative leadership can overcome even the most seemingly intractable issues.” – Alan Stoga, Tällberg Foundation’s Chairman At a time of growing doubts about the quality of leadership in many countries, five extraordinary women leaders spur us to question what kind of leadership is required to counter the challenges of the 21st century. This year, the Tällberg Foundation has the incredible opportunity to honor their work through the Global Leaders and Prize process. Celina de Sola, a Salvadorian humanitarian and co-founder of Glasswing International; Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Eleni Antoniadou, a Greek scientist, Sunitha Krishnan, an Indian social activist; and Thuli Madonsela, former South African Public Protector all demonstrate that individual leadership through innovation, ethics, determination and willingness to take great risks still exists. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they all have …

A Smart Thing To Do: Data on Women in Higher Education & STEM

“When we talk about improving women’s lives, education is an issue that comes up over and over again as an equalizer, because when women and girls have access to an education, they can accomplish anything.” – United State of Women But do all forms of education create equity where gender disparities are greatest? Although we need to work toward improving women’s and girls’ access to education on all levels, real disparities deepen in secondary and higher education environments around the world. Significant progress has been made as 2/3 of developing nations have achieved gender parity when it comes to access to primary education. Despite significant progress made on girls’ school enrollment in the past decade, 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were out of school in developing countries. The situation is worst for the poorest rural girls in South and West Asia: only 13% complete lower secondary school. If we agree with UNICEF that educating girls is “both an intrinsic right and a critical lever to reaching other development objectives,” then advocating for a higher output …

Our Voices Matter – More Than Ever

As I woke up this morning to a layer of the first snow on the rooftops across my bedroom window, with my daughter cuddling close to see the white watery powder in delight, I had forgotten that the election across the Atlantic had come to an end. We walked into the kitchen and my husband greets our daughter with a smile and then looks at me with shock in his face – and tells me that Trump is probably going to be the next President of the United States. As the final news unfolded during the morning hours here in Sweden, the layer of snow slowly started to melt, and I was hit by shock that felt like a punch in my abdomen. A womanizing, racist, fear-feeding man, who has acted on his self-interests has been elected President of the United States, after a campaign smeared in scare tactics and hate speech. This feels like a heavy bomb hitting one of the world’s largest countries, following a range of ever-louder assassinations on our human race – …

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 …

A Seat at the Table with Indego Africa

We have all heard the battle cry for education from the first lady, Michelle Obama and the call for inclusion from GIWPS Executive Director Melenne Verveer. Both women have been in the spotlight for their views and work with women and girls, specifically individuals living in impoverished areas or post conflict zones. Both women are sending the same message: Women and girls need to be seen as active drivers of progress and development, and we need to be better at including them in these processes. We know the facts and we have the data, and it proves that women don’t just deserve to be part of the magical operation called decision making but it also makes monetary sense as well as humanitarian sense. We are here, we are humans and we are capable of playing an active role in our legislative, judicial, parliamentary and governmental bodies so give us a seat at the freaking table. Since we have all these facts and data that prove the importance of educating girls and including women in the …

Keeping Girls In Sport When Everything Changes

Written by Kristina Pinto. The ubiquitous #LikeaGirl phenomenon took on new meaning with the release of a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, which reported that English girls start to leave sports around puberty and the onset of breast development. It seems that the vast popularity of Run Like a Girl branding may be onto something in the collective consciousness of girlhood as the prospect of running like a woman–in a woman’s body–seems to deter many girls from sport. The New York Times coverage of the study makes the case that this decrease in sport participation isn’t inevitable, and other research points to ways that parents, schools, and even girls themselves can continue to find empowerment through girls’ involvement in sport. These suggestions emerge from the literature: Normalize puberty. My research on girls’ experiences of early puberty, published in the Journal of Early Adolescence and Qualitative Health Research, found that girls with families and friends who talk so openly about puberty that it becomes pedantic do not become self-conscious or intimidated by the changes in their bodies. When girls are prepared for puberty through education and …

“How Old Will You Be in 2030?”

How old will you be in 2030? This was the question I asked young women leaders numerous times during my week providing coverage of the United Nations General Assembly. This is the question that puts into perspective the plans set out by the United Nations to improve and create a more healthy, equal world. Come 2030, current UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, will be 86. Two top UN Secretary General successor frontrunners, Helen Clark and Susanna Malcorra, will be 80 and 76, respectively. In 2030, I will be 41. The young leaders I interviewed will be anywhere from 29-35 years old. Although we did not lead in creating them, these goals will be our goals to realize and bring to fruition. Thankfully, as US Youth Observer to the UN Nicol remarked during the UN General Assmebly week, “In the 20 least developed countries in the world, young people are the majority. There is power in our numbers.” There is a plethora of untapped potential in the places that need the most transformation. Because of that, the biggest …

Young Leaders Learn and Share at the Global Citizen Festival

Working as leaders and advocates in the areas of sexual & reproductive health and rights, HIV/AIDS, gender equality, and mental health, 20 different young leaders from 13 different countries convened in New York City last week as Johnson & Johnson’s 2016 Young Leaders. Most are involved in partnerships with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and all are very influential grassroots leaders and advocates in their communities. These leaders were brought to New York City to learn, share, interact with J&J leaders and participate in the Global Citizen Festival. As a major sponsor of the Global Citizen Festival and longtime partner for sustainable global health efforts, Johnson & Johnson holds the foundational belief that change happens one person at a time and the world moves forward one leader at a time. “Everyone today is a person of power… and we must see a reflection of ourselves in every injustice that we see.” – Yemurai Nyoni, Women Deliver Top Left: On day one, Sarah of Over The Horizon Strategies, emphasized the power of your story. Giving some tips, she suggested that …

A Letter to the 15-Year-Old Me

As we celebrate women’s month in South Africa, I took a moment to reflect on of all the mistakes I made and the right things I did to prepare myself for womanhood. I am a 26-year-old young woman, who doesn’t have it all together. But, I am glad I am working towards a goal. Looking back to when I was young, there are certain things I wish someone could have told me, lessons that I should have learned a lot earlier. Although I am happy with the life I am leading, I have made my own fair share of mistakes. I made enemies that could have become valuable friends, spent money that I should have saved and wasted time that could have been better used. On the note, I decided to write a letter with advice to my 15-year-old self, with the hope that it will be useful to someone who is in their journey to womanhood: You are beautiful. The world may have its definition of beauty, but you are allowed to create your own. …