Category Archives: Women’s Issues

The Lady Project

The Lady Project

Takeaways from the #LadyProjectSummit :

FullSizeRender-11We jumped right in to the inspiration last weekend at the Lady Project Summit as it kicked off with tips on getting to the place where we feel “badass everyday” from Opening Keynote Speaker Ann Shoket.

“You know that feeling, wind in your hair, lights all turning green.”.-Ann Shoket

Shoket encouraged young women to see the world outside their window, and her advice to women was not to imagine that their life now is the way it is always going to be. “You have no idea all of the adventures in store for you”  Shoket, the former editor of Seventeen Magazine, divulged to the crowd of creative professionals.

The day was broken up into keynote speakers, panels and workshops with snack breaks and a delicious lunch from Ellie’s Bakery in downtown Providence in between. On the Media Panel that I attended Julie Zeilinger described why she founded the F-Bomb years ago at the tender age of 16.

“If you live in a place that is inhospitable to your beliefs, you can find a like-minded community on social media.”   – Julie Zeilinger

That quote resonated with me, as I stay connected with my own tribe of like minded women from around the globe that I have met through World Moms Blog and the UN foundation Shot@Life campaign via social media. My take away from the Social Media Panel was the importance for women to create their own opportunities in life.

Creativity is a currency right now – Carley Barton


Afternoon Keynote Speaker Ruma Bose of the Chobani Foundation shared insights learned from her mentor Mother Theresa.

Greatness isn’t designed by what we do in this world but what we’ve done FOR this world.- Ruma Bose

To figure out what you are really meant to do with your life she suggested mapping out what you want to achieve and then looking for the ‘why’ in it, find the common themes that keep popping up.

I found it energizing to hear from so many young successful creative women about their path, and stumbling blocks along the way. Mentorship came up as a common theme and the need to reach out to those whom you admire, as well as help other women in their endeavors if they reach out to you.  Co-Founder and CEO of The Lady Project Sierra Barter was quoted in an article in Providence Monthly magazine as saying:

“Our vision was an ‘old boys club’ for fabulous women in The Creative Capital to network, connect with other like-minded ladies and to do so over a glass of champagne.”-Sierra Barter

Closing Keynote Speaker Elaine Pouliot, who spent her life shattering glass ceilings, ended our day by encouraging us to take risks and ask for what we want. For the second year in a row I came away from the Lady project Summit feeling empowered, full of possibilities, and part of a sisterhood of inspiring women.


Join this extraordinary group of women.

International Women’s Day #IWD2016 And The #PovertyIsSexist Report

International Women’s Day #IWD2016 And The #PovertyIsSexist Report

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International Women’s Day 2016

In honor of International Women’s Day today ONE has released the #PovertyIsSexist Report  #PovertyIsSexist because there is no where in the world, not even here in the USA or any of the Scandinavian countries, that women have as many opportunities as men. And if you are female poor, and born in one of the countries worst for women, it is all too often a life sentence of inequality, oppression, and poverty. Sometimes even death.


This year the world agreed on the new set of Sustainable Development Goals and governments are now putting those goals into action. The #PovertyIsSexist Report outlines 10 things that need to happen in 2016 to empower the women of the world and to work towards the end goal of eliminating global poverty by the year 2030.
Read the full #PovertyIsSexist Report to see why these are listed within as the 10 priority investments that need to be made now:


Governments must commit historic increases in additional funding at the Nutrition for Growth II summit in Rio, and must adopt policies to strengthen data, improve accountability and build global leadership on nutrition.


Global Fund contributors must raise at least $13 billion to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria at this year’s replenishment round.


All governments must repeal any laws that discriminate against women; and laws that protect the legal, economic and social rights of girls and women — including the right to decide whether and when to marry — must be passed.


African Union member states need to prioritise women’s rights as part of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and in order to deliver on existing AU commitments.78


Girls and women living in the places that are hardest to reach should be connected to the Internet, and should have the appropriate education, technology, access to finance and job opportunities. Reaching girls and women will help to ensure access for all. ONE will launch a report on connectivity for the poorest later in 2016.


Efforts to increase access to safe and reliable energy for everyone must continue to be a priority. Innovative financing to bring in the private sector must be combined with regulatory reforms, and support must be given to programmes such as the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and the UN’s Sustainable Energy For All Initiative, which are aiming to bring power to the world’s poorest people.


Governments, businesses and civil society must open up their own data, guarantee that all data is gender- disaggregated (including for the SDG indicators), invest in open data and support national statistical systems.


The IDA and the AfDB should be fully funded by governments, and both should deliver increased funding targeted at girls and women in order to catalyse the fight against poverty, including through priority areas such as energy, infrastructure and connectivity. Gender markers, to identify whether funding is gender-sensitive, should be introduced by all development finance institutions and delivery organisations.


ONE commits to work closely with partners to produce a major new accountability exercise each year leveraging international women’s day (IWD) to assess progress made for women and girls through the SDGs by governments, businesses and civil society.


Governments should use political and economic means to pressure partners to deliver on equality for girls and women in the fight against extreme poverty.

 What can you do about it today on International Women’s Day? Sign the Letter! Because:

Join Malala and National Geographic

Join Malala and National Geographic

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National Geographic Channel and 21st Century Fox Stand With Malala and You Can Too! On Monday, February 29th at 8:00 EST The Award Winning Documentary He Named Me Malala will air commercial free on the National Geographic Channel. Each time you tweet #WithMalala during the broadcast $1 will be donated to the Malala Fund.

Malala Yousafzai was only 11 when she began speaking and writing on the importance of education for girls and living under the oppression of the Taliban. At the age of 15 the world watched her amazing recovery after she was shot by the Taliban for speaking out. At 17 she became the youngest Nobel Prize winner in history and has shaped policy on the future of education for the children of the world. At this point she has joined the ranks of international celebrities who are known by just one name, Mandela, Bono, Malala.

My daughters and I have watched in awe as her journey has publicly unfolded, she has become almost mythical to us in her bravery, strength, and accomplishments, and even more endearing in her statements reminding the world that she is at the same time a “normal teenager”. Despite her modesty instead of representing “one of us”, she really represents the best of what any of us could become. The possibility of what each of us could achieve with her same vitality and determination.


My girls!

We can’t wait to view the award-winning documentary He Named Me Malala this Monday night on the National Geographic Channel. It will be aired commercial free at 8pm Eastern Time. This movie is a must see, and my younger daughter will be hosting a viewing party to share the experience with her friends.


Our Viewing Party Kit!

Malala’s story resonates with so many across various planes. She illustrates the change that just one person can make in the world. As a young woman she is an amazing role model for our daughters.  Her example of bravery, her willingness to fight for the rights of others, and to overcome struggle with triumph is exemplary. In my mind she clearly exposes how fearful some cultures in the world are of an educated woman.  Just imagine the tip of the global power structure that would occur if girls grew up to be women who were as educated as their male counterparts. Imagine the global progress if those currently left out of the equation were included, and educated, and could fully contribute to society in more meaningful ways. At the moment sixty million girls around the world are out of school. In some cultures education is not permitted for females, while in others girls simply don’t have time for school because they must spend the day collecting clean water for their family.

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Whatever the reason, the world is missing out on the contributions and potential of millions of girls. Malala aims to change that. The Malala Fund was founded with the goal to ensure that every girl has access to 12 years of free, safe, quality primary and secondary education. Knowledge is power, which is exactly what is so frightening about it to some. It is time to empower the girls of the world with education, and you can help! Each time you tweet using the Hashtag #WithMalala during Monday’s broadcast of He Named Me Malala $1 will be donated to the Malala Fund. If Malala can accomplish so much as just one person, imagine what we can do together!

We received the viewing party kit as a blogger for this campaign.

$5.00 Can Save 2 Lives With

$5.00 Can Save 2 Lives With
$5.00 Can Save 2 Lives With

Yes, for roughly the price of your daily Latte Macchiato two lives can be saved.

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I’ve decided to give up 10 of mine, as a grateful mother to four children when I hear the statistics I think “but for chance and place” in which I live that could have been me.  The country of Laos has an extremely high rate of maternal mortality at 470 deaths per 100,000 live births. Often this is simply due to infection from birthing alone in unsanitary conditions. Cultural factors that have rural mothers going into the forest to birth alone play a big role in the problem. was founded three years ago to provide Clean Birth Kits and train nurses and midwives in remote villages in Laos to use them. This year alone provided nearly 1,200 women with Clean Birth Kits  to safely deliver infection free.

The founder of, Kristyn Zalota, is a fellow World Moms Blog contributor. I can not tell you how impressed I have been at the impact she has on so many women’s lives with her mission to provide safe birth in Laos., helps train nurses in Laos and provide Clean Birth Kits for moms. It is in the tail end of a crowd funding campaign to raise $10,000 to help to train and to reach more women.


The campaign closes on February 12th, so please help us reach as many moms and babies as we can. Really if you think about it, it’s just 1 day without that Latte. Please join us. Us moms have got to stick together!



Rwandan Women Weaving Their Own #Path2Peace

Rwandan Women Weaving Their Own #Path2Peace

Willa Shalit, co-founder of Rwanda Path to Peace, Janet Nkubana, co-founder of Gahaya Links, and Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and CEO at the celebration

Each year as the holiday/gift giving season approaches I start to think about how I will be using my purchasing power. As consumers we drive the economy, we choose where our money goes, and according to an article in Forbes “Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of their buying power and influence.”

Imagine if women used that economic power to help lift other women up?

Through my travels and writing on social good topics I’ve gained a heightened awareness of how my money is spent, and what it goes to support. Visits to the factories or studios where beautiful hand crafted goods are made has given a face to the artisans behind my purchases and insight into where some of the products that I buy come from. Having observed women using their talents and working hard to give themselves and their children a brighter future I know first hand that choosing one of their items really can make a positive impact in the lives of others.  I admire companies that set out with the mission of benefitting the communities from which they source their goods, companies that choose to train and support craftspeople, so that they in turn can support their families in a dignified way.  Each year as I put together my “gifts that give back” lists for the holidays I think of the women I watched at work in Ethiopia, Indonesia or South Africa, making their beautiful hand-crafted goods as a means of survival. I love to share their stories, along with their crafts, with friends and family.


The Macy’s Rwanda Path To Peace program is the longest running “trade-not-aid’ partnership of this type, and I was thrilled to be there for the 10 year celebration. It was exciting to hear Willa Shalit tell the story of the origins of the program, and have Terry J. Lundgren, Macy’s chairman and CEO, tell the audience how impactful his visits to Rwanda have been to him.  But it was Janet Nkubana’s statement that

“Husbands don’t beat their wives anymore”

once they are supporting the family with the income from the baskets that really brought home the impact of what economic empowerment means for these women.

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The event, held at the Macy’s Herald Square location in New York City, was a fun celebration filled with food, wine, music and colorful, beautiful hand-woven Rwanda baskets. The speeches reminded us all why we were really there.

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My emotional connection to the celebration was twofold as it combined a place in the world that I love with a mission that I love, stretching back to my visit to central Africa in 1991, just a couple of years before the civil war broke out.  The country had subsequently suffered one of the worst genocides in recent history, leaving the country in despair. The success of the Macy’s Path to Peace program can be measured in the transformation and rehabilitation of the communities in which the weavers live, and it is inspiring to see that determination towards strength and rebuilding.


Keep an eye out for my upcoming Gifts That Give Back list, and know that the Rwanda baskets that you see on it hold a special place in my heart. If all the women who have buying power used that influence to help economically empower other women around the world, and lift each other up, what beautiful thing that would be.


I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation of beautiful Rwanda baskets as gifts for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.