All posts tagged: Women Inspire

#BeBoldForChange: Lerato the Youth Advocate

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, I have conducted a series of interviews celebrating women I feel have had positive influence on society. The third woman is Lerato Morulane. I‘m Lerato, a 21 year-old youth development advocate from Pretoria, South Africa.  My advocacy focuses on the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), HIV prevention, substance abuse prevention, LGBTI rights and youth participation within the Sustainable Development Goals and African Union’s Agenda 2063. I started my activism work at the age of 12 in Atteridgeville, in the west of Pretoria, focusing on sexual violence the community.  Later, I worked on a teenage pregnancy awareness programme with two secondary schools in Atteridgeville. I serve as a member of the African Youth and Adolescent Network for Eastern and Southern Africa, and I also serve as the Chairperson of the National Campaign for Young Women and Girls in South Africa; SHE CONQUERS. Apart from advocacy, activism and my academic background in mechanical technology, I am determined to pursue a Law degree, with fervent intentions of becoming the African Union Chairperson! What does it …

#BeBoldForChange: Shakira the Young Health Leader

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, I have conducted a series of interviews celebrating women I feel have had a positive influence on society. The second woman is Shakira Choonara. As a young South African (27-years-old), my passion and goals are centered on improving health systems, especially in low-and-middle-income settings. I am presently pursuing a PhD (public health) and working towards my ultimate dream of becoming the next Minister of Health in SA, or perhaps even being the President of our beautiful nation! As a qualified demographer, I have worked and continue to work on several aspects of healthcare in various regions of the world. I’d describe myself as an academic or researcher by day, though by night and in any spare time I engage in activism around anti-racism, disability rights and broader development issues. 1. What is the special thing in your life that makes you feel bold? Boldness undoubtedly emanates from your dreams and aspirations. We all have our dreams and since I was six years old my dream was to be the President of South Africa. …

#BeBoldForChange: Tshepy the Journalist Turned Entrepreneur

To mark International Women’s Day 2017, I have conducted a series of interviews celebrating women I feel have had positive influence on society. The first woman is Tshepy Matloga. My name is Tshepy Matloga, a 30 year-old South African journalist turned entrepreneur. I am the founder of Chronicles Media Group (South Africa) and co-founder of Encore Creatives PR and Events (Malawi). At the moment I alternate between South Africa and Malawi. When I am not working I read – I am an avid reader of African literature. I have been an entrepreneur for three years and since then I’ve been selected as one of the 100 brightest young minds in South Africa, the 20 most influential young people in SA, and I am a Nelson Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS) alumni. I have also been featured on international mediums such as True Love magazine and She Lead Africa. I am also a founder of Malawi’s only women’s business and lifestyle magazine Inde, which was born last year. My ultimate biggest goal in life is to one day become the president of South Africa. What is the …

Shattering the Norm and Creating a New Future for Adolescent Girls

Written by Marcela Lopez-Macedonio, President & CEO of The Resource Foundation “As a girl, all I knew was housekeeping. I was the only girl at home and I had to wash all my brothers’ clothes. In school, I wasn’t allowed to participate in all the activities because I was a girl,” explains Belkis, a 39-year-old mother in Corbano Sur, Dominican Republic. Belkis shared her story during a parents’ meeting held as part of the Girls’ Education and Empowerment Regional Program, an initiative co-created by The Resource Foundation (TRF) and Johnson & Johnson in 2016.  Her story is not unlike those of many other women across Latin America. The choice to go to school, to start a family, to work – these were not decisions Belkis made for herself, but rather the products of generations of customs, traditions, and circumstances surrounding the roles and rights of women and girls. While significant strides have been made in Latin America, the challenges that Belkis faced as a girl and adolescent persist. Forced marriage, early pregnancy, and violence are …

Standing Up for Girls in the Time of Trump

Trump is threatening the rights and well-being of adolescent girls domestically and globally, especially those whose skin color, religion and country of origin do not meet his approval. The person holding the most powerful and prestigious office in one of the most influential global nations is a sex offender who fetishes his daughter, believes “putting a wife to work is a very dangerous thing” and views girls and women as a sum of their sexual parts. He is now turning this disgusting misogyny and racism, xenophobia and many other forms of hate, into policy. My work as an advocate for girls just got a lot harder. My work, like all work, begins at home. I visibly resist hate for and with my own daughters, two immigrants of color who are growing up in a time when integral parts of their identity are being challenged. They, and all girls in my life, must see me modeling contested truths: black lives matter, native lives matter and refugee lives matter; women’s rights are human rights; no human being …

Sisterhood Unfulfilled: Liberated from Grief

This is the final blog post of a three part series written by Abby Tseggai. Moments before Fana landed at JFK airport, in New York City, she made her mind up that she would cut her hair in the days to follow; just like the two black women sitting right in front of her. Their Afros resembled liberation in her eyes. It had been a long flight, and for the first half, Fana struggled to accept that she was actually leaving the safety and security of her parents and homeland. The burden of her family’s suffering combined with the pressure she felt to make her parents proud was intense, to say the least. But as she neared the final destination, Fana finally made an agreement with herself. She promised herself that no matter what it took, she would triumph all the tragedies she had experienced in her short 18-years of life. She was determined to adapt to a whole new world and all the things that come with it. In that moment, she found the confidence she …

Nurturing Spirits Indestructible: Women for Afghan Women’s Girls Leadership Program

Just five years ago, Sara would never have imagined she would pursue a graduate degree or even complete her high school education. She came to the United States with her family as refugees, fleeing from the seemingly endless conflict in Afghanistan. She is one of the first participants in Women for Afghan Women’s Girls Leadership Program in New York. Through the program, she was able to advocate for herself and pursue a college education—the first in her family. Currently, she is pursuing a graduate degree in social work, illustrating a tremendous cultural shift that may have been impossible a few years ago. At an event earlier this year, Sara spoke about her experience and moved us all: “Five years ago I thought I would be forced to leave school and get married. Women for Afghan Women inspired and taught me to become a leader. The life I have today is because of this organization.”   This year, Women for Afghan Women turns 15 years old. Founded by a small group of women activists six months …

Close Up: Gender Equality in My Community

This week Girls’ Globe is in New York City during the United Nations General Assembly to report on the Sustainable Development Goals and the rights and health of women and girls. We are here to amplify the voices of young women and raise our own voices on issues that are important to us. Today, outside of the Social Good Summit, we spoke with young women about the most pressing issues related to gender equality in their communities. “The biggest challenge in terms of gender equality is getting everyone to understand how important it is and how it impacts everyone. A lot of times we feel that these issues are for women only or girls only, so it becomes very unrelatable to men and boys. The biggest challenge is getting everyone, especially men and boys – fathers, uncles, brothers – to understand that it is actually in the interest of everyone, including themselves, to support gender equality.” – Christine Lu “To me, the most pressing issue in reaching gender equality today is the inability for many people …

The Power of Empowering Women and Girls

We can’t talk about creating sustainable change and development without taking into account available resources. Engaging people and allowing more and more citizens – particularly women and girls – to actively participate in global processes and decision making bodies, and letting their opinions guide action, can be seen as costly or complicated. So how do we make this work in reality? Yes, resources are relevant – but often, the one main thing women and girls really need to be able to meaningfully participate in decision making processes is support. Ensuring that women and girls are actively involved in the Sustainable Development Goals is crucial not only for the realization of the SDGs, but for gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment. We cannot strive towards a set of global goals with half of humanity left behind, or left outside of the rooms and spaces where decisions are made, agendas are crafted and priorities are set. Women and girls don’t just deserve a spot at the table – without them at the table, we will never reach …

Let Her Play – How Sports Can Transform Girls

Sunita Kumari opened the May 17th Women Deliver Conference plenary session, “Girl Power in Play: Leveling the Playing Field for Girls and Women.” Standing on stage in an athletic uniform, the 17 year old from Jharkland, India introduced herself by saying that her father is a farmer and her mother died last month. She then took a deep breath, cracked a smile and identified herself as a footballer. “People think girls should not wear shorts. They think girls should not go outside and play,” she said in a slightly hesitant voice that consistently grew bolder. “But my friends and I, we do not care what people think.” Breaking all community norms and expectations, Sunita both plays and coaches football. She was also a member of the first Indian football team to compete in Spain. 'my friends and I don't care about what people think' Sunita Kumari sets the scene @YuwaFootball #WD2016 pic.twitter.com/CAh5hxM1Ug — Divya Datta (@divya_skdatta) May 17, 2016 Sunita attributes her mental and physical strength to sports, and I can relate. When I was …