What if in the 2012 Election…?


Despite all of the ‘Get out the Vote’ campaigns, celebrity pronouncements that voting is hip, and hype that surrounded this tight presidential race, voter turn-out for this election declined compared to the 2008 election. In 2008, 131 million people voted, while this year so far 126 million voters are estimated to have turned out. For many of us the right to vote is fairly new for our gender, age group and/or race. The theories on why people fail to exercise their right to vote are as many as the numerous ‘what if?’ scenarios proposed after the election.

So …read more

The Price of Education

On Tuesday, Oct. 9, 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai was doing what she did every day; coming home from school, when two men stopped the bus she was riding in and shot her in the head and neck. Two other girls were also shot. Yousafzai remains in critical condition but has luckily not suffered any lasting brain damage.

The man responsible for the attack on the Peshwar native is one of the Taliban’s most feared commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

The young girl and the dangerous leader have a long history. In 2009, the then 11-year-old Malala went toe-to-toe with the man nicknamed “Radio …read more

Get Women on Board

When it comes to the boardroom, it pays to have a female presence; literally. According to a Bloomberg Businessweek article, shares of companies with a gender-mixed board or directors perform better than those with all-male boards.

The article cites a recent study by Credit Suisse Research Institute in Johannesburg, which examined stock performance in the years following the 2008 economic downturn. They discovered that net income growth for companies with women on their boards averaged 14 percent over the past six years, compared with 10 percent for those without.

Mary Curtis, one of the report’s authors told Businessweek that “stocks …read more

Sexual Violence Escalates in Somalia

The conflict, famine and chaos of Somalia have contributed to a rise in rape and sexual abuse incidents targeting Somali women and girls according to victims, aid workers and United Nations officials. The famine has forced hundreds of thousands of women to trek hundreds of miles seeking food, often alone with children, leaving behind the traditional defenses provided by their clan.

Victims and aid workers report Shabab militants, rogue militiamen and government soldiers are preying upon displaced women and girls resulting in 2,500 reports of gender-based violence in the past two months in Mogadishu alone.

To read more about this …read more

Israel Takes a Step Back in Women’s Rights

Until recently Israel was hailed as a global leader in gender equality. Women in Israel now say a quickly growing community of ultra-Orthodox is gradually stripping them of their basic rights. In recent months there have been increasingly successful efforts by this community to segregate women from men, not only in private buildings but in public spaces such as buses and main streets. Such incidents have caused Israel’s ranking in gender equality on the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index to slip from 36th in 2007 to 55th in 2011.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox community, which has grown to …read more