We're #1 (Plus 30) in Closing the Gender Gap! Go U.S.!

For the past four years, the World Economic Forum has studied the gender gap - that is, the amount of resources dedicated to boys and girls and women's opportunities to fully participate in society - in over 100 countries, then ranked them. (In 2009, the Index included data from 134 nations. At least 12 of 14 indicators used for the Index must be available in order for a country to be included.) The goal, according to the 2009 Global Gender Gap Report, is: ...more

Hi Suzanne - Thanks for including us in this.  Glad to see people discussing the topic ...more

Challenging my assumptions

Well, I had an interesting, if rather surreal experience yesterday. I was waiting in line at the check out queue at the supermarket.  I noticed a couple of young (student age) black girls, obviously a group of friends, standing in the line next to mine.  One of them was an albino.  I noticed her because she did a big double take at the magazine rack and said "Oh wow, look! Wow!" to her friends. Very excited. ...more

I'm inspired to do some real traveling again!

Reading my friend Barbara’s account of her recent trip to South Africa (posted at http://www.the-next-stage.com/ ) has inspired me to think about doing some real traveling again. From my friend Barbara Roth Mattis, a dedicated, award winning teacher, who has just retired from an exhausting job in the Philadelphia public school system: On my first trip abroad 35+ years ago, the contents of my backpack weighed only 15 pounds and I didn’t even pack an aspirin tablet. ...more

"Saving the World's Women" in the New York Times

It bothers me a little bit that the small print above the August 23 issue of The New York Times Magazine reads, "Saving the World's Women." I'm not sure why. Maybe there's something weirdly patriarchal about it, conjuring images of women sitting around waiting to be rescued? The word "saving" almost implies some sort of blame, as if the world's women did something stupid and now we need to save them from themselves. Or maybe it is the cultural baggage that comes from an American magazine imploring readers to "save" people, which reminds me of all the "saving" that we did in the past that created a lot of other problems. Anyway, aside from my nitpicky initial reaction to something in minuscule font, it is great that the August 23 issue focuses on women who are marginalized and ignored. ...more



Obama's Visit to Ghana Sparks Celebrations, Unanswered Questions

At the end of a week-long tour that included meetings with Russian leaders, attending the G8 Summit and an audience with Pope Benedict, Pres. Barack Obama generated both excitement and sharp questions with an overnight stop in Ghana and a speech to that country's Parliament. While the speech did not attract the attention of his so-called speech to the Muslim world earlier this year, the importance of US policy toward Africa is difficult to overstate. ...more

Empowering Refugees: Interview with Kjerstin Erickson of FORGE

Kjerstin Erickson is one of those "shiny" people who lights up a room. After meeting her at the Global Engagement Summer last spring, I knew I wanted to grab her for an interview before she became too famous. Erickson founded FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment) in 2003 when she was a 20 year-old junior studying public policy at Stanford University. ...more

World Food Program: On the Road in Tanzania Video Blog

Screen capture of video blog I was an early adopter of video blogging and screencasting.  In the last year or so, I've gotten away from it.  I really miss making videos and screencasts.  ...more

"AIDS is not going to bring me down" - Thembi Ngubane, 1985-2009

Cross posted from Gender Across Borders In remembrance: ...more

Best plants for clean air

I just read an interesting post on Apartment Therapy, which described the best three plants everyone should have in their home or office. The post is entitled "Hot Tip: The Best Plants for Indoor Air Quality," and offers advice from Indian researcher Kamal Meattle. ...more