I’m loving all the inspiring stories of women making change happen this week. From the launch of a Women’s TV Station in Afghanistan to a 16 year old who singlehandedly organized a symposium for women in STEM-MD - Women and Girls are stepping up and shining bright! I hope you enjoy these 8 articles as much as I did.
Afghan women break ground with TV station launch
I’m so excited about this news - women in Afghanistan are launching a TV Station focused on Woman’s Rights - helmed by all female presenters and producers. A highlight of the station is its focus on educating women about their personal rights and news that is important to them. In addition to the great content the station will be broadcasting, it will also serve as a space for woman to gain experience and education in the field of media production.
"I am so happy that this TV station has been created for women because there are women in our society who are not aware of their rights . . . so this station represents women and we work to raise the voice of women so they can defend their rights," said 20-year-old Khatira Ahmadi, a producer at the station.
United States - Let Girls Learn!
As funding for the wonderful #LetGirlsLearn campaign remains up in the air, Senator Shaheen of New Hampshire has introduced foreign policy legislation to restore federal funding designed to keep girls in school.
“Let Girls Learn brought together key actors like the Peace Corps, USAID and the diplomatic corps in select countries to advance girls’ education. This is the type of holistic approach envisioned by the Sustainable Development Goals and supported by the Human Rights Council to ensure girls attend school and complete their education.”
I believe strongly that education is the key to escaping poverty, and with millions of girls around the world being denied the opportunity to an education, initiatives like this are so important. If you’re a Citizen of the United States, please consider contacting your legislators to let them know you are in favour of Senator Shaheen’s legislation.
Melinda Gates: How I Raised a Feminist Son
A short and sweet read about parenting as a feminist, written by Melinda Gates. I particularly appreciated the passages where Melinda recognized some of her own ingrained concepts about gender, such as her inclination to only ask her son to take out the trash, or holding her daughters to a higher standard when it came to the cleanliness of their rooms.
My favourite quote: “I’m optimistic about what the next 18 years will bring all of us as these young men grow up to become equal partners in their households, champions for women in workplace and architects of a better, more equitable future for their own sons and daughters.”
Women find leadership positions less desirable than men do, research finds
This article may not surprise you, but nonetheless it’s an important read. A study by researcher Hilke Brockmann shows women find leadership positions less desirable than men do.
When considering how to change this I see two main obstacles to overcome:
- Women are not currently holding enough C-Suite level positions and there is not enough positive representation of women in leadership positions.
- Women are still expected and expect to take on the majority of household responsibilities and chores.
Let's work to equalize and elevate the personal and professional lives of women, and encourage future generations to stand up and take charge.
Pharrell Williams to NYU Grads: ‘We Need to Lift Women Up’
I can’t help but smile at the great feminist speech Pharrell Williams gave to the NYU graduating class of 2017. My favourite quote:
“Your generation is unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principles and misguided values that have held women back for far too long and therefore, have held us all back . . . this is the first generation that navigates the world with the security and confidence to treat women as equal.”
When Dads Do Dishes, Daughters Become More Ambitious
If you’re a dad, it’s time to get those hands dirty and jump into some household chores. This article by Emily Robinson looks at a new study by Alyssa Croft, which found that when domestic chores are split equally between parents, daughters typically have greater career aspirations. Another great reminder that parents need to model gender equality every day, in both words and actions.
High school girl organizes symposium to address gender gap in technology fields
I'm feeling super inspired by the awesome Alexandra Jabbarpour, a 16 year old student who decided to organize a symposium for girls who are interested in careers in the typically male dominated fields of STEM-MD.
Alexandra says “There are so many [strong women in STEM-MD], but all of their voices none of us would have heard otherwise . . . I think it’s just a matter of giving them the microphone and letting them speak.” Her symposium was headlined by a big-data expert, a NASA scientist and a medical school dean, and over 100 middle and high school students attended.
Well done Alexandra! I love seeing young women creating opportunities like this!
10 Women in Tech Give Their Younger Selves Advice
Ending with some inspiration, check out this great list by Danielle Newnham featuring 10 women in Tech sharing advice they would give to their younger selves.
I especially love this advice from Robyn Exton, Founder of HER:
“Challenge yourself more. I spent a bit too long doing things I knew I could do. With the amount of information that is accessible today, you can figure out a way to tackle just about anything. You just have to start with the first step.”