Women And Bicycles

Women And Bicycles

18Today, there are a series of internal and regional armed conflicts around the world, most of which are concentrated in two regions: the Middle East and Africa. The desperate attempts by so many Syrians to flee Assad regime’s and the Islamic state’s terror by escaping to security in Europe has caught the world’s attention. However, Syrians are not alone in deserving compassion. Although international interest in Afghanistan has waned and most foreign troops are gone, the war there is only getting worse. In addition, there is an influx of desperate refugees from Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Gambia, and Bangladesh who are just as entitled to refugee status as the others.

While humanity is being washed ashore in the Mediterranean Sea, the treacherous passage does not resemble a migration, but a human tsunami. The departing refugees and migrants leave a vacuum, as the most skilled, able-bodied, and educated keep leaving the continent, most of them are males.  This leaves females, elderly and disabled behind and entangled in the local violence. The families left behind often count on reuniting with their loved ones in the near future or hope to receive remittances to support their livelihoods as they try to rebuild their communities.

What should the world do with these gutted societies? The global community should invest in women power, leadership opportunities for women, and in modifying the social order with regards to female emancipation on the continent. We must pay immediate attention and react with empathy and solidarity.

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What Is Life Really Like in North Korea? One Woman’s Story

What Is Life Really Like in North Korea? One Woman’s Story

Hannah Song, President and CEO, LINK (Liberty In North Korea) and Savannah Guthrie, Co-anchor, The Today Show on 'The Great Escape' at The 2015 Women In The World Summit, Lincoln Center, New York City; 4/23/2015

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee believed that her country was the best on the planet.

She believed that Americans were evil, South Koreans were starving to death and North Koreans were better off than everybody else. Every North Korean believes this.

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Ex-Hasidic Woman Marks Five Years Since She Shaved Her Head

Ex-Hasidic Woman Marks Five Years Since She Shaved Her Head

16I remember the first time I felt the cold, prickly air on my newly shaved head. I remember looking in the mirror. I remember staring at the pile of auburn hair in the vanity sink of the cozy basement apartment I now shared with my husband of less than a day. I remember my mother gathering the hair into a garbage bag and disposing of it, unaffectedly. I remember placing the new wig on my bare head and fussing over the few stray hairs the shaytl makher, or wig stylist, forgot to spray into place.

The morning after my wedding, three months after my 18th birthday, my mother shaved my head, and I felt absolutely nothing. Was I supposed to feel sad at this loss? Was I supposed to feel violated? I did not. Married women shave their heads because Hashem and the rebbe command them to do so. According to the Talmud, a woman’s uncovered hair is equivalent to physical nudity. Hasidic rabbis have taken this a step further, requiring women to shave their heads to ensure that not a single hair is seen. For Satmar women like me, it is a grave sin not to shave.

You would not be buried in the Satmar beys-hakhayim, and if that weren’t serious enough, you would also put your children, live and unborn, at imminent risk of terrible diseases.

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Is this PhD a Curse or a Blessing?

Is this PhD a Curse or a Blessing?

Chastain FamilyIn the four years I have been studying for my PhD, I have been amazed at the expressions of respect and vigorous handshakes I receive from numerous men. One notable aspect about the men is that they are 55 and above.

For them, a PhD means higher status and intellectual ferocity. What’s even more interesting about their expressions and handshakes is that they are almost always followed by negative statements about their sons and young Kenyan men in general, “Siku hizi wasichana  ndio wanasoma na bidii, vijana ni bure kabisa!” Nowadays, girls are more hardworking than these useless boys, they say.

I have heard the same criticism in different words across the socio-economic classes. From a carpenter to upper-class corporate heads and government elites.

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Fashion, Lifestyle and Career Advice for Overachieving Chicks

Fashion, Lifestyle and Career Advice for Overachieving Chicks

15Oversized Sunglasses

I forget where I read it (Fashionista maybe?) but somewhere, a while ago, I read about how great Old Navy sunglasses are. I happened to notice these while hunting for classic sheath dresses today, and they struck me because the red ones look so similar to my MIL’s fancier designer sunglasses.  Either way: it’s hard to go wrong with oversized sunglasses for $12 — great if you tend to lose ’em, or find yourself in situations (whether it’s a rare sunny day at work, or a trip to the beach) where you wish you had cheap ones to leave. (Either in a “keep your beach bag packed by the door for the rare occasion you get to go” kind of meaning, OR the “hide your valuables and wade into the ocean” kind of meaning).   Oversized Sunglasses Psst: Lots of Friends and Family sales seem to be starting.  Saks is offering 30% off clothing, shoes and accessories — and 20% off jewelry.  Theory also has a 25% off F&F sale going on now. And I’ve mentioned it at least once today, but Ann Taylor’s big sitewide 50% cyber sale ends tonight.

Stylish Work Dresses

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