Women are Humans Too

By Suna AkyuzThe problem perhaps with women’s rights issues is the use of the word women. It is a simple problem with detrimental effects to the cause. The word women is alienating to half the world population, and misleading to even its proponents, because the fact is, and let’s be clear, the issue of women’s rights is a human rights issue....more

What Do You Do When They Turn Your Water Off?

The US Declaration of Independence lists among the "inalienable rights" of all people the rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." We've all heard it a million times but what does it really mean in our modern society? Does the right to life simply mean the right to BE alive?...more

Fighting the spirits, to defend and protect

Cross-posted from UN Women ...more

Empowering Kenya’s Maasai women through greater voice and rights

In the words of Beatrice Sisina Shanka, a 26-year-old community activist from the Inkinyie community. She works for Il’laramatak Community Concerns (ICC), a non-governmental organization that addresses human rights and development concerns of pastoralist (nomadic livestock herding) indigenous peoples of Kenya, with a focus on women and girls. ...more

Clothing: A Woman's Issue?

A prevalent topic in sermons and books for girls is modesty. "Ladies, don't wear shorts that are too short.  Don't wear shirts that come down too low or fit you too tightly.  Be very careful not to tempt boys.  We want to guard their hearts."  And these are usually very good things to teach young girls who are beginning to discover the beauty that God has placed in their physical bodies.  It's a good thing to remind women of all ages.  However, modesty is usually the extent of our Christian discussions about clothes....more

Minimalism + Compassion = Healthcare for All

I usually stay away from politics here on SMART Living, but for an obvious reason healthcare is on my mind this week.  But let me be clear, I don’t think that healthcare is or should be a political issue.  Instead, our health and its care are two issues that touch every single human on the planet—including those of us who practice simple living or minimalism....more

Rob Ford Is Out – For Now

I was up late last night, unable to sleep, so when I pried my eyes open this morning to blearily look at my phone, I was not expecting to see what I did. Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, was ousted from office today in an historical judgement that has all of Canada talking. It’s historic because these judgements aren’t handed down often....more
@Darcie I agree! I hope she does, too!more

Theocratizing America: Is there room anymore for Human Rights in America?

American democracy with its focus on equity and fairness for all is now more ideal than reality. Gone is our value in a secular society where people of all faiths worship with equal treatment by the government and without persecution.  As a Wiccan minister and high priestess (with a marriage officiant license for the City of New York), I am very concerned with 2012's trend towards theocracy and away from democracy. ...more

Aung San Suu Kyi: Advice for the Next Generation

"We are in the presence of greatness," announced an ebullient Congressman Joseph Crowley to a roomful of dignitaries, celebrities and activists who had gathered to hear Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her first visit to the U.S. after nearly two decades of enforced isolation in Rangoon.  ...more

Defacing Women: Perpetrators “Need an Ass-Kicking”

Academy Award-winning best documentary short Saving Face is, on its surface, a hero's journey involving a successful native son who returns to his homeland to tackle a seemingly insurmountable social ill.The affable Pakistani-born, London-based plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad has traveled to Pakistan ten times since 2009, volunteering his time to treat over 50 courageous women. These women - the film's real stars - have been horribly disfigured in acid attacks at the hands of abusive husbands, in-laws, and rejected suitors.But Saving Face raises larger issues about this global human rights atrocity -- and how simple endings are seldom that easy....more