HERSTORI ES SPECIALIWD2019EDITION
Edi tori al Execut ive Editor Creat ive Concept s
Sabin M u zaf f ar Editor At Large M el ani e Bubl yk Digit al In t er n s
Cont ributors Li z Guantai A deronk e Egbedun GarnettA ch i eng Obal l a M ardi ya Si ba Yah aya M aryam Taf resh i Roch el l e R. Dean Z i a S. Hasan Sana Noreen Sani ya A deel
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New s M aker s
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Technological advancements of the 21st century has completely transformed how the world works today. Disrupting the old work logic of trying to lead in the same old, tried and tested way, knowing the right answers and owning unshared uncertainties, it is now being replaced by the notion of having shared uncertainties, asking the right questions, embracing diversity to grow stronger together. The future is certainly not what it used to be, it is nowand it is female! W hile it is a no-brainer that diversity enables disruption be it any industry or socio-economic landscape and quickens the pace of growth, Mckinsey reports that although companies remain committed, progress on gender diversity at the workplace has stalled. W ith women?s economic empowerment being the buzzword, women ? according to the global consulting management firms ? are doing their share of work, asking for promotions, negotiating salaries and staying put in their jobs, the limelight is on companies to step up and make good on their word. Innovation and more importantly disruption requires giving diversity a structure within organizations in order to implement it successfully at the workplace. ?Diversity is not easy, we need to be conscious about it and that is why it should be mandated from the very top. It is not a CSR initiative that is ?good?to have,? had opined Pfizer?s Oralee Alemi at the Women In Leadership Forum 2018 (W IL Forum?s panel on Building and Leading A Diverse Team). A 2017 Mckinsey report on diversity and financial performance states: ?Gender diversity is correlated with both profitability and value creation.?
It is equally important to realize and acknowledge that the interplay of gender with access to opportunities, education, healthcare etc. not just bolsters the sustainable development agenda, it is the only way forward. Working together is key, lifting one another ? the only solution, celebrating intersectionality champions equality and embracing inclusion empowers! This International Women?s Day, we celebrate one another and most importantly ? we celebrate ANANKE ? a platform fostered by its core team of interns ? past and present, collaborators, contributors and story-makers. Sabin Muzaffar Founder/ Executive Editor
I WD2019 A Ti me To Look Back & Forw ard
International Women?s Day is marked annually on March and is a significant day movement for women?s rights. The day serves as time to reflect on the achievements of women and their contributions in the development of their communities. It is a time to reflect on current and future challenges that women are faced with in their struggle for emancipation and liberation from the deeply entrenched patriarchal systems and structures that profoundly impact on everyday life. Women and girls are a vulnerable group and therefore every success should never be taken for granted. Women are highly educated in developed nations however this has not led to economic equality, women continue to undertake the bulk of unpaid care work and are underrepresented in both leadership and governance. I have recently been awarded my Master of Human Rights and during my time studying for this award, I applied for Empower Women?s Global Champions for Change program. Interested applicants were required to participate in a month-long rally to promote women?s economic empowerment. There were over 600 applicants during this phase. W hen it was announced who had been selected, I looked through the list of selected applicants and found my name on the list. This was an extremely empowering moment for me. The initial tenure was for six months, however Empower Women extended our time for a further three months. During these nine months, my cohort and myself had built good rapport and we worked closely together advocating for women?s economic empowerment and women?s rights. We continue to support one another?s work. I would like to take this moment to thank the team at UN Women?s Empower Women for the support they gave myself and my cohort during our tenure. It was through this program that I met founder of Ananke Magazine, Sabin Muzzafar. Sabin kindly took me under her wing and offered me regular work at Ananke Magazine. Although Sabin is based in the UAE and myself in Australia, I believe our positive working rapport and the diversity within Ananke has had a positive impact. Together we have run several internship programs, mentoring women from around the globe. I would also like to thank Mandy Sanghera, Gladys Muthara, Liz Guntai and Mary Mshai who have contributed and supported Ananke Magazine. To our interns, it has been a pleasure to work with you and we are extremely grateful that you have faith in what we do at Ananke Magazine. A very big thank you to all whom have made contributions to Ananke Magazine. W ithout your stories, it would not be possible to sustain our work. To those who take the time to read the content we publish, we also appreciate you. Ananke Magazine was recently nominated for the prestigious WSISprize. W hether or not we progress to the final 72, we are extremely grateful that our work has been recognised. For me, International Women?s Day, is a day to reflect and pay gratitude to the people who believe in what you do and what drives you to envision change in your community and throughout the world. It is a time to celebrate the progress women have made, to honour the trailblazer?s who work selflessly to improve the lives of women and girls.
Melanie Bublyk Editor at Large Ananke Magazine
M ESSA GE
M ari am A l Hammadi , Di rector of th e Bi g Heart Foundati on The International Women?s Day comes as an annual reminder that the advancement of women?s role and status in socioeconomic and cultural life is a prerequisite for comprehensive and sustainable development. Despite a series of upheavals experienced by many countries in the last decade, concerted efforts were made to achieve stronger rates of female participation in economy and society. Creation of appropriate job opportunities to suit women?s skillsets and other requirements, formulation of women?s empowerment programmes to build their academic, professional and entrepreneurial capacities, and making their voices heard on important global platforms has resulted in a more conducive and supportive environment for their continued progress across sectors. However, women continue to encounter challenges, especially in education, employment and security. According to some reports, lack of educational opportunities for girlsis costing t he global economyabout 1 billiondollars every year. It is true that International Women?s Day is an important day to recognise women?s longstanding struggles through history to gain their rights as influential members of society, but how will most nations achieve a good rate of growth if half the population is unable to receive an education? If women are denied their right to education, especially in developing nations, it will pose a major impediment to their personal and professional development, thereby reflecting on the nation. W hat will the future look like with 31 million girls out of school worldwide? This figure is equivalent to more than half the world's children who are not enrolled in school. These figures are alarming, and elicit immediate corrective action. Together, we must make the efforts required to celebrate International Women's Day the way it deserves to be celebrated. By ensuring that we safeguard the rights and dignity of all women worldwide to ultimately safeguard the interests of entire communities.
Empow eri ng HERstori es Rosi e Steph enson-Goodk ni gh t i s a V i si ti ng Sch ol ar, North eastern Uni v ersi ty, Boston, V i ce-Presi dent, Wi k i medi a Di stri ct of Col umbi a,Secretary,Ă&#x201A; A f f i l i ati ons Commi ttee, Wi k i medi a Foundati on, Co-f ounder, Women i n Red, Board of A dv i sors, w omeni nj ournal i sm.org. Spearh eadi ng Wi k i Women i n Red, Rosi e ch ats w i th Sabi n M uzaf f ar about th e i mportance of di gi tal l y documenti ng w omen trai l bl azers past and present, w h o h av e been omi tted f rom h i story; sh ow casi ng th ei r si gni f i cant contri buti ons th rough out ti me.
?Women h av e been k ept f rom contri buti ng to Hi story-mak i ng, th at i s, th e orderi ng and i nterpretati on of th e past of h umank i nd. Si nce th i s process of meani ng-gi v i ng i s essenti al to th e creati on and perpetuati on of ci v i l i zati on, w e can see th at at once w omen?s margi nal i ty i n th i s endeav or pl aces us i n a uni q ue and segregate posi ti on. Women are th e maj ori ty, yet w e are structured i nto soci al i nsti tuti ons as th ough w e w ere a mi nori ty? (Lerner, Th e Creati on of Patri arch y).
Tell us about W iki Women in Red? W hen and w hy w as it launched? Women in Red is an international community launched on July 18, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico during W ikimania, the annual W ikipedia conference. The idea came to Roger Bamkin and me, the co-founders, as an outgrowth of the work we had been doing with others on W ikipedia every March (Women's History Month) in 2012, 2013, and 2014. After seeing statistics in December 2014 -that women's biographies accounted for only about 15% of W ikipedia's biography articles -- we decided to not only talk about this systemic bias issue during a session at W ikimania, but to do something bold about it. We announced that we had just formed Women in Red a project dedicated to supporting editors every day of the year who would write articles about women: their biographies, their works, and their issues, broadly-construed. Women in Red refers to redlinks, which on W ikipedia, refer to missing articles. W hy is it import ant to have more stories and informat ion regarding women especially in t he digit al realm?
We live in a digital world. How women are represented is a people issue, a business issue, a moral issue... it is definitely not just a woman issue. Few women were mentioned in the history books of early centuries, but it is a historical misrepresentation to limit women's contributions from the modern-day digital platforms, such as W ikipedia. W hat in your opinion does HERstory ent ails? HERstory shines a light on women: their biographies, their works, their issues. We can look at scores of digitized Public Domain google books that provide information about prominent men of yesteryear. W ith HERstory, we can learn about notable women. How far has W ikipedia come in terms of creat ing HERstories after W iki Women in Red? In December 2014, Roger Bamkin and I saw the first published academic article which gave a percentage of women's vs. men's biographies: approximately 15%. By March 2019: we have "moved the needle" to 17.8% of all English-language W ikipedia biographies. W hat are some of t he major milestones t hat W iki Women in Red has achieved so far? Since the establishment of Women in Red in July 2015: 1. The W iki Women in Red movement has created more than 80,000 articles on English W ikipedia regarding women. 2. Thousands of other articles have been created by 18 other language versions of W ikipedia (Albanian, Assamese, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian , Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian , Norwegian, Persian, Serbian, Spanish, Tamil, Thai, Ukrainian, and Urdu). 3. The W iki Women in Red community has uploaded thousands of freely-licensed photos of women to W iki Commons. 4. We have more than 400 lists of missing articles regarding notable women. 5. We have a robust talkpage (online forum) which is a harassment-free zone. The talkpage alone has had: A. 109K page views B. Almost 13K edits C. 514 unique editors D. A daily average of 83 view 6. In 2016, Women in Red was shortlisted for the GEM-TECH award by ITU/ UN WOMEN because of our work in: "Applying Technology for Women's Empowerment and Digital Inclusion" W hat are some of t he challenges w hen it comes to creat ing HERstories? As part of the W ikimedia Foundation's first ever gender diversity mapping project in 2017, I interviewed 65 diversity leaders in the movement and the consensus is that our biggest challenges is coping with W ikipedia's outdated and biased policies regarding Notability, Reliable Sources, and catagorization. Other significant challenges to furthering gender equity include the difficulty to communicate around gender, which is so
culturally-informed and expressed; the lack of awareness of gender bias; poor community health; lack of support for gender equity work; and a lack of diversity in leadership. Tell us how we can all help in generat ing content relat ing to women, document ing t heir achievement s? Off-wiki events are a highly-effective way of not only generating content related to women, but also to inspiring and training newcomers. Developing partnerships with other organizations and including them in your wiki work can be an effective way to centralize marginalized communities and intersectional knowledge. Choosing themes for online collaborations is a good motivator; Women in Red facilitates three to five online thematic events per month. Tracking numeric metrics is important: number of new articles, improved articles, participants at each event, and so forth. But even more important, we need to be cognisant of transformational metrics: who feels invited, who feels inspired, who feels like stepping forward to be become a program leader. Developing and maintaining safe spaces in online and in-person wiki activities is imperative as is the recognition that advancing equity is an intersectional effort that extends beyond gender. Promoting the articles that are being created through social media is a HUGE part of our work, and we could really use more support. For example, we are new to Instagram and would welcome some help with that. W hat role, in your opinion, can document ing women t railblazers' play in women's empowerment ? It's easier for a girl to see herself as a writer if she reads about women writers, and the same is true about scientists, artists, politicians, and every other occupation. W hen girls read about the suffrage movement and see that women have overcome the struggle associated with the right to vote, they feel more confident that they can overcome the struggles of their day, such as the # MeToo movement. W hen girls read about the conferences that women convened, the schools they founded, the newspapers they established in the years before the internet, they are more confident about doing something unique instead of walking away from difficulty. Can you guide us about generat ing dat a on W ikipedia? Women in Red uses various bots and other forms of AI to generate data. Learn more about our metrics here. We useORESAI for article assessment campaigns. Anyt hing w ish to add. I want to punctuate the fact that everyone is welcome to be a part of Women in Red; EVERYONE. I also want to thank you for the opportunity to share this information with your readers; and to let you know that questions, comments, suggestions and feedback are welcomed and appreciated.
Perf ormati v e Femi ni sm
M ardi ya Si ba Yah aya traces th e roots of f emi ni sm, i ts ev ol uti on and a commodi f i cati on of f emi ni st th i nk i ng i n a post modern soci ety. Mardiya Siba Yahaya Feminism as a movement has undergone a series of evolutions in terms of how activism is carried out. In its early stages, during the 19th and 20th century, it was associated with the temperance and abolitionist movements and gave voice to now-famous activists. It was during these moments where works by activists like Sojourner Truth was recognized. W hile first-wave feminism focused on achieving legal rights for women, such as voting rights and the right to participate in leadership positions; Second-wave feminism which began during the 1960s rallied around women?s experiences including family, work, sexuality etc. (Burkett, 2019). During this period, women engaged themselves in writing feminist theories where they captured their experiences and deconstructed ideologies that were formed by systems of domination. This was the era where creativity was significant to the feminist movement, and the creative landscape has persisted until today - the fourth wave of feminism. Feminism, just like any other social movement is influenced by the trends of that particular era . In the technological age of feminism, digital advocacy and activism have shaped campaigns significantly. I, for one, was first introduced to feminist through a digital landscape. I met my feminist icons through this space and I also engage in movements through digital advocacy. Technology has shaped the way activism carried out, and it has also created space for many forms of activism through poetry, music, articles, hashtags, etc. For some time, being a ?Feminist? or an ?Equal rights advocate? became the new cool, which made the movement more popular than it had ever been in a while. Social media catalyzed the movement until it attracted political attention. Activists used hashtags to rally people behind different causes, and political institutions have never been under such extreme pressure to take a stance. This stance has also meant reforms in policies that dehumanize and marginalize women and other genders in various institutions.
Movements like # Metoo have also created more pressure on corporates to revisit their policies on sexual harassment and countries like China, which had never had a law allowing women to press charges against sexual harassment, have finally added this clause. The progress seemed very compelling until, feminism, as mentioned previously became the new ?cool.? This new trend, where ?women?s rights? became the politically correct stance to take; we saw this very progress we have fought to achieve turn into a capitalist scheme. In 2018, Davido, a Nigerian Afrobeats artist released a song called ?Wonder woman?, that?s claimed to celebrate women. He is one the many artists who have used their music to supposedly ?celebrate? women. W hile I do not deny the authenticity of some, I do question the song made by this very afrobeats artist. Apart from the fact that he was following the new capitalist scheme, the song created this idea of hyper humanizing women. Meanwhile, 2nd, 3rd and 4th wave feminists, in capturing their experience through theory, highlighted the reason why calling a woman ?strong? was problematic. The ?strength? of women was and has been used as a weapon of abuse and also used to disregard/ reduce the struggle that most of these women would instead have not gone through. Fashion brands that historically propagated beauty standards have also begun to leverage on the new trends where women, who did not previously fit into their original ideals of beauty such as plus size, dark-skinned, and kinky-haired women, are being uplifted. They have capitalized on the idea of ?self-love? to sell their products. It has become less about women and dismantling hierarchies of domination and more of a marketing and sales scheme.
These brands know what Millennials and fourth wave feminists want to hear and see, and have given us exactly that. W hile within their institutions there are still powers of domination, especially through capitalism and racism. There is very little transformative politics, and we can attest that despite the progress we have made towards dismantling systems of domination they continue to persist more than ever and adapt to each situation respectively. However, we must acknowledge that the capitalization of feminism is not a recent thing. In Bell Hooks?book ?Teaching to Transgress?, she talks about how during the 2nd and 3rd wave feminism, a time where feminism was mostly theoretical, there was commodification of feminist thinking. She wrote, ? W ithin white supremacist patriarchy we have already witnessed a commodification of feminist thinking in ways that make it seem as though one can partake of the ?good? that these movements produce without any commitment to transformative politics and practice.? This means that for us to be able to truly champion change, there is a need for transformative politics and practice; which is social change as a philosophical, practical and strategic process to affect revolutionary change. W hen we continue to live in a society that is more ?thing-oriented? rather than ?person-oriented? , where machines, profit motives and computers matter more, as described by Martin Luther King Junior, dismantling systems of domination becomes almost impossible to achieve. Nonetheless, this can only be achieved when there is a true revolution of values. The recognition of feminism in the mainstream, without doubt, is progressive in its own way. In her recent talk, ?The future of feminism must be fearless, illuminating and global-minded? Mina Salami states that, ?the mainstream seems to promote about feminism: an image of women having achieved so many rights that they can now be problem-free, apolitical and unconcerned and just carry on
polishing their egalitarian household kitchen tables with Ariel (SIC)? . The commercialisation of the movement has painted an image where we have reached our ?Talos?, which we are quite far away from. We must also understand that, there has not been a single social movement in history that has achieved 100% support. Focusing on the true believers of the course, to drive change is essential. To achieve a true revolution, feminism must transcend the social, political and economic empowerment of women, to attaining psychological and spiritual freedom which will enable us dismantle the systems of domination. The psychological and spiritual freedom of marginalized genders, as described by Mina Salami, will allow us to thrive and surpass oppression and the systems that hold it in place. A former Ananke intern, Mardiya is a creative writer, a feminist and her own revolution. In between school work and reading African and Feminist literature, Mardiya writes articles that highlights issues in gender, politics, media and education. She also explores the possibilities of exponential technologies such as blockchain and Artificial Intelligence and their place in the future of activism.
On Li f e I mi tati ng
Laal een Suk h era i s a w ri ter and communi cati ons consul tant. Her personal struggl e as a si ngl e moth er prompted h er to mak e h er gri ev ances publ i c (#Justi ceForLaal een) i n an ef f ort to i mprov e mari tal , al i mony, and ch i l d support condi ti ons i n Pak i stan--l egal l y, soci al l y, and cul tural l y. Laal een curated and edi ted Bl oomsbury's bestsel l i ng anth ol ogy, A usteni stan. Sh e graduated w i th BA and M Sc degrees f rom Cl ark Uni v ersi ty and creates content f or corporati ons, academi a, and th e dev el opment sector. Laal een h as appeared as guest speak er at th e Gal l e Li terary Festi v al and th e Sh arj ah I nternati onal Book Fai r, and h as been i nterv i ew ed by th e BBC, Bri ti sh Counci l A rts, Th e Economi st, Harper's Bazaar, NPR, Sk y A rts, and V ani ty Fai r I tal i a. Sh e w as HELLO! I ndi a's f i rst Pak i stan correspondent and Li bas I nternati onal 's l ast associ ate edi tor. Her w ork i n tel ev i si on producti on h as tak en h er f rom New York 's Wal l Street to Engl and's BrontĂŤ Country to Lah ore's M al l Road. Questi ons by Sabi n M uzaf f ar
Tell us a lit t le about yourself, how and w hen did you embark on your literary journey? I grew up surrounded by books? mostly classics? and a love of period drama, pop culture, comedy, and crime. Ever since I can remember, I?ve been fond of writing as a form of self expression and I?ve worked as a freelance writer and editor for years. Austenistan was my debut into fiction. It?s an anthology inspired by our love for Jane Austen and mostly set in contemporary Pakistan. I curated and edited the collection and wrote one of its seven stories, On The Verge, and played a role in its promotion. Its success came as a surprise, we wrote it for ourselves. You founded t he Jane Austen Societ y of Pakist an, could you tell us a bit about it ? We?re a whimsical literary group, a mix between a book club and a sisterhood of sorts. We started off as an online community and that?s been essential for staying in touch and sharing ideas. We meet up in person a few times a year? so far it?s been Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, and London? and annually with a Cosplay tea party. It?s all about great energy, similar wavelengths and insightful discussions, yet we don?t take ourselves very seriously and are always up for a laugh! We?ve been covered by the BBC, NPR, The Times, Sky Arts, two Pakistani newspaper editorials, and an FPA Award nominated essay in The Economist?s 1843 magazine. In the Emirates, we were covered twice by the Khaleej Times W KND and Dubai Eye 103.8?s Talking of Books respectively, and I was a guest author at the Sharjah International Book Fair 2018.
Austenist an... it is an interest ing term and we see it s immense relevance especially in Eastern societ ies; one t hat w as not just under colonial rule but also possessing deeply rooted pat riarchal belief systems, we?d love to know your opinion and w hat parallels you draw bet ween Austen?s t hought processes and modern societ y bot h in Eastern and Western context ? Contemporary Pakistani society and Jane Austen?s Regency England of two centuries ago are overlapping domains: social codes and the all-important marriage mart, class distinctions, emphasis on reputation and eligibility, a social season with all its fripperies, etiquette and snobbery. On a grimmer note, there?s still social and financial restrictions placed on women?s autonomy, and considerable misogyny. We?re twenty-first century women navigating the old and the new? inherited traditions with a progressive outlook. It?s a juggling act that requires plenty of finesse and an appreciation for the ludicrous.
stereot ypes, unconscious and conscious biases as well as lack of bodily or financial autonomy, w hat role in your opinion has literat ure played as far t he st at us of women in societ y is concerned? This is a vast subject and I don?t think I can do justice to it in a few lines! I think fiction has always mirrored certain aspects of society while entertaining readers with fascinatingly fleshed out characters in situations one can often empathize with. Some of my favourites are still frighteningly relatable in terms of women?s social vulnerability and the abuse of power in marriage and economics: The House of Mirth, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, andMiddlemarch.
However, literature cannot be held accountable to convey reality? that?s the whole point of fiction. It?s art, it?s entertainment, it?s an intentionally biased form of expression. It?s meant to be Talking about pat riarchy and role of enjoyed, meant to make you think, meant women in societ y ruled by gender to make you question, meant to make you
feel. It?s not meant to be an accurate representation of social ills, inequalities, and class disparities. Talking about a very personal and sensit ive topic but one t hat must be given public space so t hat such issues are highlighted; you have been embroiled in a heart breaking and nerve-w racking (to say t he least ) event in your personal life. We recent ly read t hat t he divorce has been finalized after such a long t ime. You come from a privileged background - by t hat we mean you are highly educated and are famous in your ow n right - but you had to go t hrough so much. It makes us wonder about t he plight of ordinary women fight ing for her right to divorce, and issues of int imidat ion and power play. W hat are your t hought s? I call it an awakening. I made the difficult decision to venture beyond my protective social bubble, to reject gendered hypocrisy, and to navigate the ugliness of our patriarchal national mindset and web-like legal structure. I?m paying dearly for it but at the same time I?m no longer chained to a gilded cage. To put it simply, the system and its various institutions seem to work against women?s interests while making it pretty easy for entitled men of wealth and influence. Mountains of red tape choke you into helplessness and despair. In my case, the choking also happened to amplify my voice. I?ve met with women from disparate socioeconomic levels at every courtroom I?ve been to, from the civil level to high courts and the Supreme Court, in Islamabad and Lahore (Pakistan). From what I?ve encountered, it seems that women?s legal oppression is prevalent among every social class and community. This includes abusive marriages, bigamy and polygamy, stolen properties, a failure to obtain inheritance, a lack of child support, no alimony, no dower, hindrances in obtaining divorce. And of course, women of limited means, access, and education have it far, far worse. The level of injustice and ongoing cruelty is shocking. Pakistan lags far behind many other Muslim majority countries for adequate child support, alimony, and many
other basics. I get approached by all kinds of people, women and men, in abusive situations wanting to confide in me and ask for advice but they?re often preoccupied with societal opinion and other repercussions, and understandably so. This level of social blackmail is suffocating and infuriating. W hat needs to be done to empower women in terms of issues of divorce, children?s custody - do you t hink t he law s and policies in Pakist an are inclusive or t hey need to be amended or properly implemented? Not only are women, whether educated, semi-educated, or illiterate, largely unaware of how to obtain their basic rights? including myself until I hired lawyers? but the actual implementation of laws that claim to protect women in this country is a nightmare and a half. I?ve also seen that people from older generations have stayed mum on things traditionally regarded as shameful. Endurance is considered a virtue in this society but it ends up creating the twin tumours of bitterness and resentment. There?s a lot of fatalistic it?s-a-mans-world shrugging off of basic human decency that my generation is less tolerant of. Xennials aren?t convinced that life ends at 40 and we?re not ready to dig our own graves just yet. We need to prioritise creating safer, more accepting spaces where toxic masculinity is discouraged and where daughters are armed with the same opportunities and assets as sons, and where people have a right to dignity and fulfillment at every age and situation in life. We desperately need balanced laws and their effective implementation, more awareness, more dialogue, mainstreaming traditionally taboo subjects, penalties for deadbeat dads, and mandatory alimony and child support comparable with socioeconomic realities. I
believe that, in the long run, all this will lead to happier relationships across the board. W hat now ? W here does Laaleen Sukhera go from t his point onw ards? I feel like there?s so much creativity left to experience and professional worlds to conquer and I find that exhilarating! My personal life may have been a roller-coaster ride of shock and horror mingled with elation and laughter but it?s also led to so many meaningful moments. As I recently said in my first TEDx talk, I?m increasingly comfortable in my own skin and I?m ready to keep writing new chapters. Anyt hing you w ish to add? There?s no ?I?in feminism, only ?we.?I wouldn?t be here today without my tribe of strength and solidarity, in particular my friends Rishm, Saniyya, Ayesha, and Izza who lifted me up when I was drowning in fear and helped me float to stability. It?s really easy to be discouraged and lose hope when you?re swimming against a tide. I honestly thought I?d lose some of my friends and get condemned by older people when things turned toxic for me; instead, my wealth of friendships have grown even deeper, I have a world of female and male well-wishers, and not a single aunty or uncle has uttered a disparaging word? only encouragement! Really gives you faith in humanity.
M ore at Laal een.com Laal een tw eets @Laal een Ph oto credi t: Saad Sarf raz Sh ei k h I nstagram: @saad.sarf raz.sh ei k h )
Emi rati Trai l b l azer
H.E.Kh aw la Al Ser k al Her Excellency, Khawla Al Serkal, is the Director General of Sharjah Ladies Club (SLC) and has been instrumental in the club's successful expansion since 2004. She graduated from the American University of Sharjah in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) minor in marketing. Upon graduation, she joined Dubai Municipality?s institutional marketing department and later occupied a position as a head of institutional marketing and exhibitions unit. Three years later, she joined SLC in 2005 as the assistant marketing manager, and her roles subsequently evolved until her appointment by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi, as a Director in 2011 and a Director General in 2015. Such designation came in recognition of HE Al Serkal's stellar efforts throughout her time within the club.
2019). 路 Vice chairperson, Board of Directors Sharjah Cultural and Chess Club (since 2015). Board member, 路 Executive board - Sharjah Children Centres (2013). 路 Head of the Child Safety Campaign (2010).
HE Al Serkal was awarded the Sheikha Jawaher Medal for Contribution and Excellence in 2014 as well as a special recognition from Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qassimi (SLC?s Silver Jubilee Event ? in November 2007). Among other awards, was an award from Xponent Media FZ in 2015 as the ?Emirati 路 Board of Trustees - Sharjah Sports Women Achiever?, and another from Family Awards, Head of Media and Executive Women as the ?Mind of a W inner? Public Relations ? Committee (2018 - in 2016. A family woman at heart, HE Al Serkal is mother to four young daughters and wife to His Excellency Tariq Al Gurg, CEO of Dubai Cares. Between her commitments to her work and her family, HE Al Serkal manages to remain involved with several professional affiliations, as such:
Not only was HE Khawla Al Serkal engaged in the professional field solely, in 2006 she managed to be functional in charity based initiatives such as Majida AlRoumi?scharity concert as an active member in the organizing committee, and aiding the Lebanese citizens in Together for Lebanon. Khawla Al Serkal ethos have always defined her work life and have always been one of working with women for women. Far too often women are dissuaded from following their dreams sometimes by wider society but more often than not by their own limiting beliefs. The only way to overcome those barriers is by jumping in and doing the hard work. Khawla?s career has shown her the amazing talent women have within themselves and how once they are provided a platform they can flourish.
Not onl y w as HE K h aw l a A l Serk al engaged i n th e prof essi onal f i el d sol el y, i n 2006 sh e managed to be f uncti onal i n ch ari ty based i ni ti ati v es such as M aj i da A l Roumi ?sch ari ty concert as an acti v e member i n th e organi zi ng commi ttee, and ai di ng th e Lebanese ci ti zens i n Togeth er f or Lebanon.
A Woman of Purpose
Jessi ca Jarl v i
Born i n Sw eden, Jessi ca mov ed to London at th e age of 18 to obtai n a BSc Hons degree i n Publ i sh i ng and Busi ness. Sh e w ork ed i n publ i sh i ng i n th e UK f or sev eral years bef ore h eadi ng to Ch i cago w h ere sh e edi ted a magazi ne f or ex pats. Back i n Sw eden, sh e compl eted a master?s i n creati v e Wri ti ng. Si nce 2010, Jessi ca h as taugh t j ournal i sm and medi a at a l ocal uni v ersi ty and h as spent th e l ast f i v e years as th e mark eti ng and PR manager f or a Bri ti sh f i rm. Sh e w as one of th e w i nners i n th e M ontegrappa Pri ze f or Fi rst Fi cti on at th e Emi rates A i rl i ne Festi v al of Li terature i n 2016. Jessi ca i s marri ed w i th th ree l ov el y ch i l dren, and al th ough sh e's k now n f or h er posi ti v i ty, h er w ri ti ng tends to be rath er dark ! Nov el s. Sh e h as auth ored tw o psych ol ogi cal th ri l l ers, ti tl ed Wh en I Wak e Up(2017) Wh at Di d I Do?(2018) Jessi ca Debut nov el w as sel ected f i cti on book of th e year by M agrudy?s i n 2018. Th e debut nov el ?Wh en I Wak e Up?w as al so f eatured best sel l er l i st i n th e US and A ustral i a. A n I nterv i ew w i th Jessi ca Jarl v i w i th A nank e?s Buk ol a Tai w o.
Bukola: You were born in Sweden and moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a degree, what prompted your decision to move to London for higher education? Jessica: Initially, I was only planning a gap year in London before going to university, but I loved it so much, I decided to stay. W hile living there, I also discovered a degree in publishing that wasn't available in Sweden, so it made sense to remain in the UK. Bukola: W hat was your childhood like? W hat were your experiences growing up? Jessica:I lived in the same house, in the same small town during my entire childhood. That?s probably one of the reasons I've moved internationally, to experience new places. During the holidays, my parents would also take us on road trips through Europe. We would go to art galleries or museums in the morning and spend the afternoon on a beach, reading. Bukola: W hat prompted your chosen career path? Jessica:I love being transported to another world through a book and wanted to create my own worlds for other readers to delve into. Reading is entertaining, educational and inspiring. And so is writing. As a writer, you also get to be nosy, asking people all sorts of questions under the guise of research! Bukola: W hat inspired you to write a dark thriller fiction? Jessica:I wanted to create suspense while also tackling serious subjects ? the result becomes rather dark! Bukola: W hat are you passionate about? Jessica:Apart from my family, I?m passionate about reading, writing, film, art and women. Women should always support other women. Bukola: You have lived in Sweden, UK, USA.and UAE, how has life in your home country and other country's you have lived inspire you to write? Jessica:To a writer, experiences are gold. They act as inspiration whether you write about real life of use your imagination. Both my novels are set in Sweden but 'W hat Did I Do??
also takes place in Chicago, a city that intrigues me. Living in different countries strengthens you in many ways and broadens your horizons. Bukola: Your book "W hen I Wake Up" was published in 2017 and "W hat Did I Do" was published in 2018. Do you plan to publish a book per year? Jessica:I had a baby last year (my fourth) so that might not quite work out! However, I am writing on a new novel now for a younger audience. And I?m also plotting my next psychological thriller. So, watch this space ? Bukola: How has winning the prestigious Montegrappa first fiction competition affected your career as a writer? Jessica:It was basically the break that I?d hoped to have. It led to a contract with a literary agent and a publisher. After years of trying to get published, it felt amazing. You should never give up on your dreams! Bukola: You are a writer, speaker, wife and mother, how do you manage your time being all of these? Jessica:I?m not going to lie, it?s full on. But I?ve learned to be efficient with my time. If I have half an hour to spare, I use it wisely. To achieve your dreams, you must actively work towards your goals. Equally, when I?m with my children, I try to focus on them 100% and let go of my work until I?m able to pick it up again. Bukola: There are many women and girls that would love to be a writer. As an inspiration to many, will you be open to mentoring? Jessica:Of course. Supporting other women to achieve their goals is a passion of mine. I especially love to encourage writers to persevere - to inspire them to follow their dreams, I?ve set up an online video series called "Anything is Possible.? I also have a series of workshops and talks planned this year, so I hope to meet more of my readers in person, including at the Emirates Literature Festival in Dubai.
Supporti ng oth er w omen to ach i ev e th ei r goal s i s a passi on of mi ne. I especi al l y l ov e to encourage w ri ters to persev ere - to i nspi re th em to f ol l ow th ei r dreams, I ?v e set up an onl i ne v i deo seri es cal l ed A nyth i ng i s Possi bl e.
PEA CE UGWUA NYI RESHA PI NG THE LI FE OF THE A FRI CA N CHI LD Ch i amak a A di nnu i nterv i ew s Peace Ugw uanyi about h er mi ssi on to resh ape th e l i f e of th e A f ri can ch i l d th rough h er i ni ti ati v e; Speak Out A f ri ca. Peace.C. Ugw uanyi i s a Ni geri an and currentl y a f i nal year medi cal Student i n Uk rai ne. Sh e i s a co-f ounder of Beauty i n You Organi zati on, an organi zati on th at h el ps young l adi es di scov er and unl eash th ei r gi f ts. Peace i s al so th e f ounder of Speak out A f ri ca, a non-gov ernmental organi zati on f ocused on prev enti ng Ch i l d Sex ual A buse i n Sub -Sah aran A f ri ca. Peace v i ew s personal dev el opment and serv i ce as core v al ues th at sh ape h er l i f e dai l y. One of h er bel i ef s i s th at l eadersh i p i s a responsi bi l i ty ev eryone h as, to di scov er th ei r gi f ts and serv e h umani ty. Sh e h as serv ed as a v ol unteer, ambassador and al umna of di f f erent gl ob al organi zati ons l i k e Gl obal Ch ange M ak ers, Uni v ersal A i d f or ch i l dren, Nati on Radi ance, I nternati onal Ch ri sti an M edi cal A ssoci ati on and oth ers. Peace i s on a mi ssi on to resh ape th e l i v es of ch i l dren i n A f ri ca. Founder of Speak Out A f ri ca; Peace Ugw uanyi ch ats w i th Ch i amak a A di nnuf or A nank e M agazi ne i n an ex cl usi v e i nterv i ew about h er Non-prof i t organi zati on and h er mi ssi on to resh ape th e l i v es of ch i l dren i n A f ri ca
To st art off, tell us a lit t le about yourself. W ho is Peace Ugw uanyi? I am a purpose-driven lady who is very passionate about helping children have a wholesome childhood and ensuring young people discover themselves. I am very intentional about life and I believe God has given us the power to create the life we want here on earth. I equally believe that everyone is a leader and has been given gifts and a purpose to serve the world with. W hat does your init iat ive hope to achieve over t ime? W hat do you consider your greatest achievement w it h regards to your work? I believe you are talking about Speak out Africa. Speak out Africa is a non- governmental organization that is focused on preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Sub-Saharan Africa. The sole aim of Speak Out Africa is to have an Africa free of child sexual abuse, an Africa where every child can have a protected and wholesome childhood. Our long-term plan is to reduce the rising statistics of child sexual abuse in the next 10 years. We are working with these pillars; Help, Awareness, Education, and Policy. One of our biggest achievements will be receiving a grant from Global Change Makers, Switzerland in December 2018 after being chosen along with other 59 change maker to attend a one-week life changing summit in August of the same year. This helped us to start up our school awareness programs and keep other activities in our organization going. Now we are operating in two African countries, Cameroon and Nigeria. And we intend to reach more. W hen w as it est ablished? We started out officially in June 2018. We are grateful for how far we have come. W hat inspired your choice of name for t his init iat ive? That?s an interesting question I must say, because that name is deeper that what
" Th e i dea f or th e i ni ti ati v e Speak Out A f ri ca i s f or parents to speak out and teach ch i l dren w h at th ey need to k now about th ei r body, boundari es and sex ual abuse. "
most people think. The name ?Speak Out Africa ?came from the idea of parents keeping silent about sex education and body boundaries which is the origin of everything. The idea is for parents to speak out and teach children what they need to know about their body, boundaries and sexual abuse. Again, it?s equally for children to ?speak out ?when they feel uncomfortable or notice that someone is going beyond the boundaries. ?Speak out Africa ?is for people to share and know that they are not alone.
" I n February 2019, w e started our sch ool aw areness program and w e h av e reach ed ov er 450 ch i l dren, teach ers and parents. We sti l l pl an to v i si t more sch ool s on our l i st to v i si t th i s 2019. "
About one out of every four girls and one out of every seven boys will be sexual abused before their 18th birthday, and many adults have been victims too. Child Sexual Abuse is a global challenge and we should all ?Speak Out?about it. So far, w hat has your impact been like? How many people has Speak out Africa impacted? So far, we have been able to reach over 6000 people with our videos, posts, articles and social media presence since we started. In February 2019, we started our school awareness program and we have reached over 450 children, teachers and parents. We still plan to visit more schools on our list to visit this 2019. Have you alw ays w anted to be a Medical doctor? If so, w hy? If not , w hat did you w ant to be as a child? Funny enough I?ve always wanted to be a doctor. A cardiac surgeon to be more specific and that was because of my younger brother whom I lost to complications of a congenital heart defect. Now, I do not want to be a cardiac surgeon anymore. (Laughs). I am more interested in Global Health and Child Psychology which is what I will be furthering my education in as soon as I round off my medical degree. Tell us a lit t le about t he organizat ion you co-founded. How has it been like co-founding it ? I co-founded Beauty in You Organization with my friends; Gloria Mensah and Chinenye Amagwu. It?s like a small
community. Our aim is to help young ladies discover their purpose and gifts, work on it and serve the world with it.
We have other smaller projects we carry out in the organization like a book club, back to School projects, menstrual palava where we share personal menstrual stories and experiences.
In the next five years, we see ?Speak Out Africa ?in not less than 5 countries in sub- Saharan Africa. Reaching different communities, families and children. We hope to have policy in schools that has Sex education and body boundary rules compulsory.
Was t he journey all smoot h? Tell us a lit t le about a t ime w hen you had it rough? W hat kept you going? The journey has not been especially for medical school.
The most challenging time for me was when I had to move to another country and a new school because of a war that broke out between Ukraine and Russia. I transferred to about two medical schools. That was really a tough time for me but thank God I am finally in the last lap. The purpose God has placed in my hand is what keeps me going every day. It continuously keeps me inspires to work every day. As a Medical st udent , w hat is so far your greatest achievement ? My greatest achievement in medical school is still a research that surrounds my work is ?Speak Out Africa ?. I did a scientific research on the Mental and Physical health effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Children. My discovery in the research was very disturbing, I found out that every child has over 60% percent chance of being sexually abused. This intensified our work in ?Speak Out Africa ?. Would you describe your medical career as a lifelong journey? Do you intend to leave at some point ? The area of medicine that I intend to further in is something I am very passionate about, so I don?t see myself leaving anytime soon. But to me, medicine is just a tool. If I need to move into any other aspect to fulfill the purpose God has given me,
W here do you see your init iat ive in t he next five years?
W hat makes you volunteer so much? And w hat makes you at tend so many leadership programs? I started volunteering from a very young age and it helped me find myself. I remember this quote by Mahatma Gandhi which says; ?The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others?. It has become a life for me, so anytime I see a need and feel like there is something I do about it, I don?t hesitate.For conferences and leadership programs the most important things in them for me is networking, mentoring and learning from the life of other Change Makers all over the world. W hat advice do you have for young girls out t here? Anyt hing you would like to add? My only advice to every girl out there is to find yourself, discover why God has brought you are here, use those gifts you find in yourself to serve your community. Life will not make sense to you until you find something bigger than you to live for. It?s not so complex, start somewhere look for how to serve that gift you have, volunteer, look for a problem around you that you desire to solve. You may not understand everything at first, but the path will get clearer as go. Jalaluddin Rumi said, ?Everyone has been made for some particular work and the desire for that work has been put in every heart ?.
Sana Noreen from Pakistan works as a youth activist and social activist with many national and international organisations. She is a finalist for the young achiever award by Divas international women awards 2019. Sana wanted to share her experience as intern at Ananke Magazine to mark International Women?s Day. I was an intern at Ananke in the 2018 cohort. During this three month program Ananke gave us brilliant experience in the field of communications, publishing, digital journalism and advocacy. Ananke prepares us for the future of work. During my tenure as intern, I learned how to run a social media campaign and how to give voice by writing an article. It is a great platform, I was mentored by women from the UAE and Australia. Through Ananke I had the opportunity to work with these trailblazers who dedicate their time selflessly to empower others. Under the guidance of the team at Ananke, I had the opportunity to gain understanding and appreciate effective trans national working relations. It was an honour to work with like minded people. Team Ananke continues to support my work and are always there to assist with my learning. I wish all the best to the current and future interns and hope their experience will be as positive as my own.
An A cti v i st i n th e M ak i ng
Forgi ng Persev erance Women empow erment i s essenti al as w omen h av e been i nf eri or ov er men i n ev ery conti nent and th rough out ti me, h ow ev er w omen al so h av e k now l edge and pow er to mak e deci si ons th at matters to th em and i t's i mportant to consi der th ei r ach i ev ements and ef f orts. Preci ous M tuw a i nterv i ew s a w oman w h o h as w ork ed i n th e medi a i ndustry f or ov er 20 years. Jayne K umw embe Gogdus h as endured h er sh are of ch al l enges, despi te h er ch al l enges, Jayne h as ex peri enced great ach i ev ements. A s someone w h o undertook many j ob i nterv i ew s bef ore bei ng of f ered a j ob, Jayne bel i ev es th at h ardw ork and persev erance i s someth i ng th at w omen must f orge. Grabbi ng opportuni ti es th at ari se, ev en i t entai l s bei ng rej ected or bei ng one of many peopl e h opi ng to be h i red f or th at same posi ti on, th eref ore h ard w ork i s th e k ey to success.
WRITTENBY Can you tell us a lit t le about yourself? My name is Jayne Kumwembe Gogodus. I am a broadcast journalist with over 20 years?experience. I am currently working as Chief Editor at Malawi Broadcasting Corporation ?MBC. I am also an advocate for the girl child and women issues. I hold a Diploma in Journalism with Distinction from Africa Literature Centre, Zambia and a BSC Honors in Sociology and Gender Development Studies from the Women?s University in Africa based in Harare, Zimbabwe. W hat are your achievement s?
Covering high profiled events like the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meetings- CHOGM, United Nations General Assembly-UNGA, African Union Summits, UN AIDS, Economic Commission for Africa, NEPAD as well as other summits which has seen me travel to over 40 countries. I have met and interviewed high profile people, including four former Malawian Presidents, England?s former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela, Graca Machel and Oliver Mtukudzi. Introducing, presenting and producing for television the high profiled TVM Exclusive which has since evolved to MBC Exclusive after being trained by BBC?s Hard Talk producers at a training conducted at Radio Netherlands at Hilversum, Netherlands. Other programmes which I also introduced on the channel include Focus on the Nation (MBC Radio One) and
Insight (Television). I have changed the format of news presentation and the signature tune for the news bulletin on MBC Radio One which is still in use to date. Finally, being seconded to the Foreign Service and working as Malawi?s First Secretary of Press and Protocol at Malawi?s High Commission in London, UK How has been t he journey been like in your line of work? My journey has been a great one despite challenges here and there. I have grown and evolved as a journalist, starting off as a cub reporter/ producer and rising through the ranks. I have produced and presented programmes, anchored news both on radio and television and reported on an array of issues within and outside the country. This has in turn rendered me into a household
name, an achievement that I do not take for granted. W hat is t he secret to your success? Hard work! W hat are some of t he challenges t hat you face at work? As a female, I have had to prove myself repeatedly because this field is male dominated. Patriarchal tendencies of society have not spared the media and often as a woman I have found myself being sidelined for less experienced male colleagues whenever promotions have been in the offing. W hat do you t hink are t he best skills t hat you bring at your job? Hard work, professionalism, creativity and tenacity.
A gent of Soci al Ch ange Ch i amak a A di nnu prof i l es Jane Egerton-I deh en.
Jane Egerton-Idehen (born on January 9, 1977) is a Nigerian Telecommunications Executive, an Electronic Engineer by profession, who is passionate about positively influencing her community. PERSONAL INFORMATION Jane was born in Lagos Island, Lagos, from Nigerian origin. She is married to Egerton-Idehen with two beautiful children. Her recreational interests include; Cycling, golfing, dancing (salsa) and writing. EDUCATION Jane graduated with a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Furthering her education, she holds an MBA from Warwick Business School and Executive Education degree from Harvard Business School, U.S. PASSION Jane has always been passionate about being an agent of social change for her community. She is particularly passionate about supporting students, as well as mentoring and coaching career women. In April 2017, she established an Initiative called "Women and Career" (www.womenncareer.org); a nonprofit organization targeted towards supporting women who wish to grow their career while also encouraging young girls to have one. This platform achieves this through mentorship sessions, workshops, and use of online media tools in order to share career advice, practical tips, tools and resources to guide women on their career journey. In less than two years of establishment, this initiative has recorded a major achievement by starting up a mentorship program with students at the University of Mines and Technology, Takwa, Ghana. Jane envisions seeing her initiative in the next five years as one making global impact by contributing to women empowerment. CAREEER Jane's career in telecommunication industry commenced over 15years ago. Her vast experience spans over three
countries, having worked as part of the Ericsson Ghana and Liberia executive team where she managed the account teams for Ericsson for both countries and being presently the country manager for Nigeria and Regional sales manager West Africa for the satellite company; Avanti Communication ltd. W hen asked about her career journey, Jane had this to say, "The journey has not been smooth, we have had highs and lows. I have struggled in phases where my career had slowed down so I could settle into my motherhood role. I have had cases where people did not believe in my ability and I have had phases where career decisions I had taken had backfired. But the important thing is to learn from all this and keep moving forward". SUMMARY Jane decides to share a few words with the girls out there with a vision of foraying into STEM-related fields when she said, "I would say nothing fully prepared you for what life might throw at you. It is however important that you be able to adapt, put in the hard work, dream and dream big, seek out mentors to learn from, keep friends that support and share the same value with you, be open to learn new experiences and seek to always learn. Definitely, at the foundation of this is faith in God, and the understanding that everyone was created with a purpose here on Earth".
In October 2015, l began an exciting journey as a UN Women Global Champion for women economic empowerment at Empower Women. I was placed in a team of 71 other amazing men and women from different Countries, with a core mission of creating a global change for women and girls globally, read as SDG5. It is in this forum that I got the opportunity to interact with amazing men and women who are not only fellow Empower Women champions but have become great friends and mentors. They continuously inspire me with their work and passion for creating a better world for women. That is how I met the amazing Sabin Muzaffar (I mean met virtually). She had just launched an incredible digital magazine, Ananke, with a vision to celebrate visionary women and to empower and inspire women. The Ananke initiative seemed powerful from the beginning. I strongly believe that writing is an effective tool to inspire and empower. Through writing, you disseminate important information, lessons and ideas. The information goes far and wide to impact large masses, especially using the digital platform. Writing can address various problems and suggest solutions. I therefore applaud Ananke magazine for its superior role in reporting stories, articles and podcasts on various aspects of topics affecting women. Ananke gives its content a global outlook by covering a wide range of stories and interviews
I nspi re to Empow er A nank e?s seni or contri butor, Li z Guantai , cel ebrates I nternati onal Women?s Day.
from all continents. Through Ananke, I have listened to amazing interviews of women I would not have an opportunity to meet. I have read about community heroes and local leaders empowering women, whom I would never have heard about. Ananke has highlighted neglected topics on violence against women, from elderly abuse to acid attacks and honor killings. Ananke is bold enough to spare nothing. Everything must be told. Let the world know and act. I am thankful to Ananke for giving me the opportunity to contribute a few articles to the Magazine as an external contributor since its inception. Following my work as a lawyer in the human rights field, I certainly have so much to share on the rights of women, and Ananke just came at the right time. On 8 thMarch 2018, I was extremely humbled to appear on Ananke?s list of 100 Global Trailblazers in women empowerment. It was a big honour indeed. Ananke is also on a quest to equip young women with digital skills and mentorship and has benefited girls from around the world through its Internship program. I am excited to be selected as a mentor for the next round of Ananke interns. I certainly look forward to continue collaborating with Ananke in more ways with the aim of creating a better impact in the field of women empowerment. My vision for Ananke is to see the magazine grow to transform into a larger global Organisational network with the same mission and the ability to engage directly with the women and girls facing such violations. I celebrate Sabin for creating this incredible initiative to empower and transform lives. I celebrate the entire Ananke team, collaborators, partners, mentors and interns for your role in supporting this initiative. I celebrate all amazing women whose brave stories highlighted by Ananke continue to inspire and empower. And to our dear readers and social media followers, Thank you for your time and commitment in keeping the Ananke dream alive. I celebrate you all. Happy International Women?s Day
Goi ng beyond th e Gender Rul e Debate Garnet t Achieng Oballa on w hy t he gender bill discussion in Kenya needs to go beyond t he ? Gender Rule debate. In 2018, the Kenyan parliament went into a debate on the Gender Bill. See, Kenya?s parliament is currently unconstitutional. According to the 2010 constitution, elective or appointive bodies should be made up of not more than ? members of the same gender. W hen this quota is not met, the Supreme Court is supposed to dissolve the parliament and call for an election re-run. Currently, Kenya?s representation of women in parliament stands at 20.7%, which is way lower than the constitutionally mandated 33%. It does not make it any better that Kenya has the lowest representation of women in parliament in the East African region. W hile the implementation of the Gender Bill has continuously failed, I believe that there is more to increasing the number of Kenyan
women in active politics than putting a numerical quota in place. This is because while the quota seeks to increase the number of women in decision making positions, it does not solve the challenges that keep them from attaining or vying for those positions in the first place. According to a 2017 report by the Rift Valley Institute in Kenya, women vying for political positions in Kenya face barriers such as political violence, patriarchal structures in political parties, entrenched traditional gender roles and lack of finances. And while political violence and lack of finances is not exclusive to women, these factors are extensively used as tools to control and subdue them from taking on political positions. The report goes on to further state that once women get into political positions, they still have
trouble influencing decisions made because of reasons such as low budgetary allocations, negative media representation, and the perception that they only made it to those positions because of quotas. It is also not shocking that culture is a huge contributor to the low number of Kenyan women in active politics. This is because culture and society dictate that women play to traditional gender roles which state that they should stay at home and be motherly figures. And while women stay at home, they are often unable to attend late night political meetings, a space where key constituents gather and a great deal of information sharing takes place (Bokua,2017). In a space where visibility feeds into one?s electability, these expectations of what women ought or ought not to do makes them lose out on votes. Culture also extends its hand to dictate how women in politics should present themselves. This is why a lot of women vying for positions play into their beauty and sexuality to attract voters. It also shuns women who do not conform to conventional beauty standards. One Samantha Maina, who was vying for the Kileleshwa MCA position, had comments such as ?unprofessional? and ?un-politician like? thrown at her natural hair. It is also not shocking that people take advantage of the conservatism expected of women and use it against them. A female aspirant in the primaries for the 2017 general electionstold Reuters that an opponent hired goons to litter the polling station with condoms that had her name on them. This is because painting women as promiscuous make them lose conservative voters?support. These instances are just examples of why there is work to be done to make politics a safer space for Kenyan women beyond implementing the
Gender Bill. As a country, Kenya needs to have a cultural shift on expectations of women. It is time for us to see women as full human beings and stop pegging our expectations on them. We also need to shun violence against women. Instead of asking female politicians to hire bodyguards, we should address the problem by implementing the laws we have that are supposed to protect women,. Finally, for there to be support for the quota, there needs to be education around the need for the gender quotas. The government?s complacency when it comes to implementing the Gender Bill can mostly be attributed to Kenyans? negative perception of quotas and affirmative action. Women who are beneficiaries of quotas and nominations are viewed as less capable than women who are elected into positions. This has led to the rise of the term ?flower girls,?a term that reduces female politicians to decorative pieces and infers that they only have their physical attributes to bring to the table. This perception is even held by male politicians who in 2016boycotted a voting session for the Gender Bill, citing it as an affront to democracy to give women ?free seats?. ?This House is already bloated. This is another way of giving people?s girlfriends free tickets. Women should fight on an equal footing with men,? said John Karanja, the then representative of Kasarani constituency. The expectation is that Kenyan women should fight for legislative seats on equal footing with men, yet t here is no equal foot ing. As a result, women also shun the quota because of the stigma that comes with benefitting from it. There needs to be massive sensitization on the need and the benefits of the quota because until this happens, the Gender Bill discussion will not bear fruit. Garnett is a creative writer, researcher, and storyteller. She is passionate about using storytelling to highlight struggles of African women and her mission is to produce literary works that uplift and empower African women. She is a former Ananke Mag intern, and currently sits on the Editorial Board at Women?s Media Center- The F-Bomb, an intersectional teen feminist media platform created by and for socially conscious youth.
Garnet t Achieng Oballa
Th i nk Eq ual , Bal ance f or Better! Melanie Bublyk celebrates Women?s Day 2019 by delving into the essence of empowerment. Empowerment is the process of gaining confidence and power to achieve control over one?s life and to claim one?s rights. Issues that are important to one?s own life can be addressed by and acted upon through empowerment. Women who are marginalised from decision making can become part of it through empowerment. Raising the status of women through education, awareness, advocacy is central to empowerment. Women?s rights and development cannot be achieved without empowerment and the absence of women?s empowerment leads to alienation. Empowerment is significant to development because without empowerment the sustainable development of a country can be compromised. Women are encouraged to realise their value whilst transforming their families, communities, economies and the environment through the process of empowerment. The ways in which empowerment is achieved can be quite contrasting among different people, however raising the social, economic, legal and political status of women and girls lies at the heart of empowerment. Erin Murphy-Graham articulates in her book Opening Minds, Improving Lives: Education and Women?s Empowerment in Hondurasthat ?education does not automatically result in women?s empowerment because of the social and
economic context in which women live can pose overwhelming constraints on their choices?. This is true for Australian women, significant gains have been made in parity of educational attainment and Australia consistently ranks number one for educational parity, but women endure an accumulation of poverty over the life course. UN Womenarticulate that women remain disproportionately affected by poverty, discrimination and exploitation and that sex discrimination through gendered norms can profoundly impact on women?s full participation in social and economic policies. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentincludes gender equality as one of the global goals. The 2019 International Women?s Day theme is # BalanceForBetterand UN Women?s 2019 theme is Think equal, build smart, innovate for change. W hat this means is to focus on ways in which social protection systems, public services and sustainable infrastructure can be advanced through innovation to improve gender equality
and women?s rights. It also requires effort to ensure that there is balance between men and women in governance, leadership, the media and the economy. To achieve this and for women to truly feel empowered will take courage to speak out about the oppressive forces that are hindering women?s economic and social well-being. It is to advocate for respectful relationships and to value women?s worth in society. To recognise their contributions and their unpaid care labour that contributes to their poverty. The well-being of a society is compromised when gender equality is not achieved or sustained, it hinders poverty reduction and diminishes the overall health of women. There have been considerable gains for women in the context of equality before the law, however women?s social and economic equality is abated. Goldblatt and Fredmanargue that in the context of women, understandings of making the economy work for women requires elaborating on the principle of substantive equality along four dimensions: t he redist ribut ive dimension: which aims to redress women?s specifically gendered disadvantage t he recognit ion dimension: which aims to address stigma, prejudice, humiliation and violence t he t ransformat ive dimension:which aims to reconstruct basic institutional features that function as obstacles to women t he part icipat ive dimension:which aims to enhance women?s voice and social inclusion They argue that substantive equality should be unequivocal in International Human Rights Law and that policies based on substantive equality would help address gendered inequality. As we mark another International Women?s Day and celebrate achievements, milestones and women working together for women, we must too reflect on the realities of gender-based poverty and the women who bear the burden of its effects.
Th e 2019 I nternati onal Women?s Day th eme i s #Bal anceForBetterand UN Women?s 2019 th eme i s Th i nk eq ual , bui l d smart, i nnov ate f or ch ange. Wh at th i s means i s to f ocus on w ays i n w h i ch soci al protecti on systems, publ i c serv i ces and sustai nabl e i nf rastructure can be adv anced th rough i nnov ati on to i mprov e gender eq ual i ty and w omen?s ri gh ts.
INVIGORATING WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT Th rough a M i l l enni al Lens
Two and a half years have been passed since I interned at Ananke mag and played my part in celebrating visionary women across the globe. I was given this tremendous opportunity by Women Engineers Pakistan. During my internship I met women from Africa and got to know their challenges and strategies to overcome them. I made good friends with them that our communication persists. Before the internship, I was a believer of women empowerment. Ananke gave me a platform to eradicate women?s suppression and polished and strengthened my beliefs. It has been eight months since I graduated as an electrical engineer. Currently, I am working in a private company as a Power Systems Engineer. I was recently awarded with a Gold Medal by the President of Pakistan for securing first position in my Bachelors. The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that overtook me can not be put into words. Studying for a degree, that is considered to be male centered, and in a male dominated institute,
A nank e?s f ormer I ntern Sani ya A deel w ri tes about h er ex peri ences en-route to adv ocacy and empow erment, and h ow w omen are l i f ti ng one anoth er by l ev eragi ng tech nol ogy i n Pak i stan.
topping and winning the medal was a completely different feeling. Not that I look down on the male colleagues; some of them had better skills than me, but my hard work paid off in a way I couldn?t imagine. In the course of four years, I have seen a remarkable rise in the movement for women?s empowerment in various fields in my society. All through technology! Four years ago, I just encountered women who wrote articles online or did small scale businesses, which were very few. But now, oh that vigorous change! I can see bloggers on social media, like Facebook and Instagram, boasting about their own skills and expertise. From solo travelling to tech entrepreneurship, from photography to environmental cleansing, from fashion industry to commute services, women and girls are spread over. Women led startups are flourishing, and the fact cannot be denied that women will continue to leave the world in awe. They are helping one another through social media platforms; there are several women only groups. For instance, ?Desi Wedding Diaries?is a group on Facebook that connects the women in Pakistan so that they can seek help and ideas for their wedding planning from scratch. A group named ?W ings to Women? helps unemployed women seek jobs; some of the opportunities even include work from home. And the list goes on. These are the superwomen who are going to great lengths in encouraging and lifting others. I am not saying that women have grown stronger in this era. Women were stronger before, they are now, and they will remain strong. It?s just the mediums which have showcased their strength so that many others can benefit. I still remember so many of my friends? mothers involved in businesses and corporate sector, my teachers and their tremendous intuitive and novel ideas. However, there was limited to negligible means they could tell the world of their capabilities. I believe and hope that this impeccable pace doesn?t slow down, and women continue to showcase their talents, help each other, make the best use of technology and refrain from negativity. W ith the successes and achievements, they should embrace their femininity and inspire the same genders to grow inside out. W ith a strong dose of respect for all the people in the society, they can put an optimistic image out in the world and inspire others to live like visionary women!
Ananke?s former Intern Saniya Adeel
coh or t on h igh cou r t session w it h com m it t ee m em ber s an d gu est lect u r er adv u sm an ch au dh ar y
Di Divversi ersiffyi ying ng th thee Legal Legal Sector Sector iinn Pak Pakiistan stan A nank e?s Dari a Leontev a i nterv i ew ed M rs. Ni da Usman Ch audh ary and M r. Hassan Ni azi f rom th e Gender Eq ual i ty and Di v ersi ty Commi ttee of Th e Lah ore Hi gh Court Bar A ssoci ati on about th e i mportance of gender eq ual i ty. Gender eq ual i ty i s j usti f i ed, because th e si tuati on rel ated to th e recogni ti on of w omen's ri gh ts i s sti l l rel ev ant and w omen remai n a v ul nerabl e group. Th ere i s th e M i ni mum Set of Gender I ndi cators th at w as agreed upon by th e Uni ted Nati ons. Th e M i ni mum Set of Gender I ndi cators i s to be used across countri es and regi ons, f or th e nati onal producti on and i nternati onal compi l ati on of gender stati sti cs. A ccordi ng to th i s prov i si on, gender stati sti cs are based on th e f ol l ow i ng i ndi cators: Economi c structures and access to resources, Educati on, Heal th and rel ated serv i ces, Publ i c l i f e and deci si on-mak i ng, and th e h uman ri gh ts of w omen and ch i l d. Th i s i nterv i ew h as f ocus on th e l egal aspect of gender eq ual i ty and th e gender i ndi cators rel ated to publ i c l i f e and deci si on-mak i ng and w omen?s h uman ri gh ts. Nida Usman Chaudharyis Chairperson of the Gender Equality and Diversity Committee, Founder of Lahore Education and Research Network (LEARN) which aims to bridge the gaps between education and practice through research and capacity building workshops and the founder of the 'Women in Law' initiative in Pakistan. Nida holds LL.B. (Hons) and LL.M. in Law & Development from University of London. Mr. Hassan Abdullah Niazi is a Co-Chairperson of the Gender Equality and Diversity Committee. Hassan Niazi is an Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan with 5 years of litigation experience.He completed his LL.M. from New York University, where he was a Hauser Global Scholar. He has an LL.B. (Hons.) degree from University College Lahore, where he held the highest aggregate grade in the University of London?s International Program globally in 2012.
1. Daria: Nida Usman and Mr. Hassan Niazi, we w ant to express our grat it ude for t aking t he t ime to be interviewed by Ananke magazine. Can you bot h explain t he main goals of t he Gender Equalit y and Diversit y Commit tee est ablishment ? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi:The Lahore High Court Bar Association 2018-19 appointed the Committee on ?Gender Equality and Diversity? with the following objectives: a. To promote full and equal participation of all members of the profession without any prejudice, bias, discrimination or difference for advancement of legal profession in Pakistan in line with global trends, b. To assist the Bar on policy and strategic reform frameworks that encourage greater integration of all members for full participation in the profession. c. To conduct educational seminars and workshops for capacity building of lawyers, staff and other personnel in matters related to or associated with ensuring equality of treatment and opportunities as well as inclusivity and diversity of all members pursuant to their fundamental rights in the Constitution and laws of Pakistan. 2. Daria: Internat ional Women?s Day 2019 is approaching, and t he UN Women t heme is "Think equal, build smart , innovate for change". I t hink t his t heme sounds very inspirat ional and t hese are t he t hree basic element s of our fut ure. W hat do you t hink about it ? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: A 21stcentury workplace and society cannot operate with the tools and policies of the 20th century. The world has come a long way and with advancements in technology and communication, new opportunities and new methods of engagement have evolved. These have been instrumental in giving voice, space and opportunities of growth to an entire segment of society that was previously excluded or to whom the same were inaccessible. In this way, technology is a great equalizer so the UN Women theme ?think equal, build smart and innovate for change? is perfectly in line with modern dynamics and is very empowering in my view.
TM UC Law Sch ool St u den t s
3. Daria: From your point of view, how do we make t he legal profession more inclusive? Can you explain t he current sit uat ion regarding gender equalit y in t he legal profession in Pakist an? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: Pakistan is the second worst country in the world in terms of gender parity ranking at 148 out of 149 countries, second only to Yemen, as per the ?Global Gender Gap Index Report 2018? by the World Economic Forum (W EF). According to the most recent ?Punjab Gender Parity Report 2018?compiled by Punjab Commission on Status of Women (PCSW ), the situation is similarly very dismal. Specifically, in context of the legal profession, the report found that out of 1771 judges in Punjab only 15% were women. Out of 907 prosecutors in Punjab, only 14% were women. Only 2.7% of the women make up the women in police while only 11% of the 89,143 registered members of the Punjab Bar Council were female lawyers. Out of these women in law, only a very negligible number reach senior managerial positions within law firms and other offices. Till date, Pakistan has not had a woman as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and only very recently, in 2018 did Mrs. Justice Tahira Safdar become the first female Chief of a High Court in the country. Currently, in Lahore, out of 48 judges of the Lahore High Court, only 2 are women. This suggests that women are underrepresented in the judiciary and law enforcement agencies as well as in important policy level and senior managerial level positions such as commissions or committees established under various laws to investigate or propose recommendations for certain matters relevant to legal profession and its advancement, for instance, the committee formed by former CJP Saqib Nisar to reform the legal education in Pakistan featured no female. The legal profession in Pakistan therefore, faces a tremendous challenge in terms of ensuring access and space for women and other marginalized groups.
Pak i stan i s th e second w orst country i n th e w orl d i n terms of gender pari ty rank i ng at 148 out of 149 countri es, second onl y to Yemen, as per th e Gl obal Gender Gap I ndex Report 2018 by th e Worl d Economi c Forum (WEF).
diverse? Regarding making the legal profession more inclusive, it is imperative that there is recognition that disparity even exists. In this regard, the work done by Lahore Education and Research Network?s (LEARN) Women in Law Initiative Pakistan has been instrumental. They first highlighted this issue in 2016 through their women in law dialogue series which continues to highlight challenges facing female lawyers and their opportunities till date. They have also played a strong role in uniting female lawyers towards this cause across Pakistan and have successfully networked them with each other through various endeavors and initiatives. It is important for this momentum to continue and to be supported to create the awareness of why a more inclusive and diverse legal profession in Pakistan will promote access to justice for all. In addition to awareness and networking, it is important that at a policy level, women are represented and are given a voice and space to contribute towards the advancement of legal profession. Not only should women be encouraged to participate in all facets of the profession and its key official posts, but there is a need to review the system of appointments and elections overall to see whether the process discriminates against their advancement to senior positions or appointments say for judiciary at any structural or institutional level; and if so, it should be made more transparent and more conducive to cater to diversity and representation of its marginalized classes. Then off course there is that issue of workplace harassment (both sexist and sexual) and at times hostile environment that caters to an exclusive men?s club which makes access to courts and legal profession difficult. These are challenges that will be addressed mainly through implementation of the Workplace Harassment Act 2010 and through gender sensitivity trainings and workshops for lawyers, judges and staff. 4. Daria: There were Lahore Bar Elect ions recent ly, w hat can you say about a new ly formed cabinet ? Has it become more
Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: Lahore Bar operates at the district level and we also have the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) (under which we are a committee) elections coming up on Feb 23rd,2019. At the district level, only 1 female candidate participated and she lost. For the upcoming LHCBA elections, 2 female candidates have filed nominations, one for post of ?vice president? and the other as ?finance secretary? of the association. We hope they emerge as winners however, currently, it cannot be said that the bar associations or the bar councils at Punjab or even at Pakistan level are representative of the diversity within the profession, let alone gender equality. 5. Daria: As a woman in t he legal profession, in your recent interview you said t hat our gender should not t ake precedence over our competence and skills. W hat kind of personal and professional skills do women need to become a successful law yer? Nida:As I said in that interview, the skills ought not to be gendered so in order to be a successful lawyer, the skills one needs are the same for any man or woman pursuing this field however, what women in law may need in addition to the standard skill set (commitment, good communication and analytical skills, ability to think on feet, confidence) is the belief in themselves,that they can go to the court and argue a case. ?Discouragement?starts within the home and continues to be handed down by professors and then later by colleagues and senior staff, it is the single biggest obstruction in the way of women from exploring litigation as a career option. 6. Daria: In keeping w it h t he t heme of t his year?s Women?s Day, w hat needs to be done to incorporate innovat ive policies w it h regards to gender and especially care work (w hich should be a responsibilit y shared by all
st akeholders) in order to build a smart societ y? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: We are big advocates of ?flexible work options?because a smart, innovative and inclusive society is one where physical space is not a limiting factor. We consider use of ICT, E-Courts and online filing portals to be extremely useful in terms of capitalizing on time and space which can be utilized to a great deal to cut down on working hours for practitioners. In addition to that, our maternity leave laws need to be amended to ensure there is no discrimination against an expectant mother by reason of her maternity along with a potent implementation and redressal mechanism that enables her to pursue her claim if need be. Not only do we need to upgrade the maternity leave laws, we need to also work on developing paternity leave rules for public and private employees and workers so that there is at least equity if not equality. This would enable fathers to play a more potent role towards domestic responsibilities and will consequently, remove the existing bias towards hiring women in workforce by employers. Currently, the law in Punjab requires employers to provide for day-care if they hire 25 or more ?women?in their establishment. We believe that provision of day-care must not be linked to number of ?women? but on the number of ?employees? (which is a gender-neutral term) working in an organisation so that a degree of operative equality can be achieved between men and women workers and so that a more enabling environment at workplaces can be harnessed by providing the fathers the option, opportunity and space to share in the care of their children at work if the need be. The implementation of these policies will make way for a more inclusive society and not just a more inclusive legal profession. 7. Daria: Cont inuing discussion of Internat ional Women's Day, w hich act ivit ies are usually t aking place in Pakist an on IW D? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: March 8 is celebrated with much zeal and fervor and it is the one day where we see government and its ministers making several commitments
towards advancement of women, their rights and their health and well-being. A lot of projects are often inaugurated, ribbons are cut and long speeches often made. The media also contributes in creating an awareness of various issues. TV programmes and talk shows cover various topics related to women however, one of the most impactful activities that is set to take place this year is the celebrated ?Aurat March? being organized by ?Hum Aurtain?? a collective of feminists and women human rights workers, activists, institutions and organizations who come together to not just reclaim the public space, but also to reclaim autonomy over their bodies, their rights, their decisions and to highlight any other cause that needs attention. In this way, women beat taboos, challenge patriarchy, toxic masculinity and even cultural norms rooted in religious cover and handed down over centuries to entrench and reinforce traditional gender roles. 8. Daria: W hy is it import ant to develop equalit y and diversit y in a global context ? W hat act ivit ies does your Commit tee do in t his case? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: By ensuring equality and diversity one is not merely ticking checkboxes to advance in international rankings. No! that isn?t the objective. The purpose is more personal, and deeper and the idea is to ensure that a cross section of the society finds itself represented and included so that their fundamental rights can be secured. W hen a person from a marginalized class reaches the corridors of influence, power and position, he or she is able to make a good case for the people they represent. Inclusion therefore, brings diverse opinions, experiences and needs to the table which a non-inclusive forum/ society is very likely to overlook or miss. Resultantly, the laws or policies they would enact would similarly lack suitability and relevance to those diverse group of people whose interests and needs have not had the chance to be adequately represented. This is why it is crucially important to develop a diverse and inclusive society and a diverse and inclusive legal profession. For the first time in history of LHCBA our committee was established this cabinet year (2018-19). We commenced our activities with a conversation on ?Equality of Access?to create a groundwork awareness amongst the lawyers who even questioned the need and purpose of setting up this committee. Clearly, there was much too speculation about the concepts that we were trying to introduce but the dialogue we initiated did have its positive impact in terms of getting the conversation started within the corridors of the bar association and the Lahore High Court. This was because we incorporated a
Pan el on Equ alit y of Access
segment on ?gender sensitivity training? and were supported in this endeavor by two leading and very learned and respected judges a. learned additional sessions Judge Mr. Amir Munir and b. Mrs. Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Judge Lahore High Court. From the conversation, we moved on to our research survey that we conducted in association with Lahore Education and Research Network (LEARN) on ?Equality is a State of Mind: Addressing Mental Blocks? with law students. The purpose of the survey was to understand the perceptions and apprehensions of the law students, due to enter the legal profession as young associates. During that research, we found that one of the bigger challenges for law students in general and female law students in particular was lack of access to any acclimatization or training programmes that gave them a chance to independently get an insight and exposure to legal practice. Young associates were expected to learn on the job by shadowing their senior counsels and in this way, inevitably, a lot of female students were often left behind. We therefore, launched the first ?professional orientation program?along with LEARN, that ran from September to December 2018 to acclimatize the students with legal process, environment and personnel. We had a cohort of ten students for our first batch, seven of whom were female law students from different law schools from across Lahore. Their feedback was very positive with 90% of them reporting that they feel much more confident in considering litigation after this program while one of the female candidates would even consider joining the judiciary. The committee, if reconstituted for the year 2019-20 post elections on 23rd, plans to undertake a more detailed review of laws, rules and issues that need its attention. It will support plaintiffs in their motions towards a more inclusive society. We will continue to do our part, research and input in whatever way we can and will continue to run our existing orientation program as well to further develop capacity. We also look forward to liaison with law firms, bar councils, and other organisations to work on equality, access, inclusion and diversity because we believe that an equal and diverse legal profession is a cornerstone for an equal and inclusive society. It is through this profession and platform that fundamental rights are sought and ensured so it is this profession that needs to be an equalizing force before anything else. 9. Daria: W hat is t he role of law yers to promote access to just ice for all people regardless of t heir gender, age or race?
Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: All lawyers must understand that access is essentially about giving space to the people who approach the corridors of justice, be it the victims, the accused, the lawyers, the judges etc. It is about creating an environment that is professional and mindful of the dignity and rights of all present so that they are enabled to speak up and seek justice without any fear or intimidation and abuse. It requires the lawyers to be sensitized to inherent misogyny and bias which they may themselves be unaware of. It is where legal ethics come in and these must be implemented in letter and spirit so that a conducive environment that is respectful of needs of all stakeholders, including the differently-abled is created and so that no woman is asked any derogatory questions on her attire or character whilst seeking justice for alleged rape for instance. This would require a lot of training and the recently established Gender Based Violence (GBV) Court in Lahore ? which is Asia?s first is a great example. The SoPs of the GBV Court, together with training of the judge and public prosecutors has been designed to inculcate dignity in accessing justice and all steps to facilitate the victim/ survivor have been introduced to make them feel comfortable. Similar investment and training are required to be delivered on a broader scale to the legal community and it would be great if it can be made part of their process to apply for license to practice law. The license should in turn be renewable every 3 - 5 years as opposed to for life as it is now and be contingent upon the lawyer successfully completing a certain number of trainings, including on gender sensitivity, access and inclusion. 10. Daria: The equalit y and diversit y in a just ice system. How to achieve t his goal? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: Through amending discriminatory laws, introducing quotas as a corrective measure for some time to appoint women on senior and policy level positions, investment in infrastructure and training to make the building and the environment more conducive and user-friendly, to establish the harassment committee in bar associations and councils as required under 2010 Act and through training and investment in human capital.
Equ alit y of access session 11. Daria: W hat is your vision of gender friendly environment ? Nida Usman and Hassan Niazi: A gender friendly environment is one where the different needs of all genders are given equal value and space legislatively, structurally, and linguistically. It is an environment that allows everyone to pursue their life and their rights with dignity without fear, incapacitation, dependence or intimidation.
I nterpreti ng Women?s Empow erment M aryam Taf resh i i nv esti gates th e i nterpl ay of w omen?s empow erment w i th th ei r mental and ph ysi cal h eal th , sati sf acti on i n l i f e, and q ual i ty of l i f e. The five global issues of concern to International Psychologists (IP) are the study of disempowered groups, global mental and physical health, the environment, terrorism, and the poor (Stevens & Wedding, 2004). As an International Psychology candidate, I have an interest in empowerment and global mental and physical health. This interest has motivated me to search for the understanding of the perspectives of women on how attitudes and policies affect their empowerment at multiple levels (individual, family, society, and larger context of the country). Furthermore, I am interested to discover the interplay of women?s empowerment with their mental and physical health, satisfaction in life, and quality of life. International Psychology (Stevens & Wedding, 2004; Stevens, 2007) and two empowerment theories (Malhotra & Schuler, 2005; Zimmerman, 2000) suggest that this topic is a complex phenomenon and can only be understood and supported when a multi-dimensional, multi-determined, and multidisciplinary lens is used combined with a top-down, bottom-up, and middle out approach. As Shulman and Watkins (2012) stated, in order to empower vulnerable groups, we need to respect and hear their voices, needs, and solutions to their needs. Therefore, in order to support women?s empowerment, it is imperative to understand the perspectives of
each woman about this definition and the factors they suggest to influence their empowerment. Additionally, women need to be included and their diverse views respected on finding best solutions in support of their empowerment. W hat empowerment means to one woman can be different to another woman. The goals, values, needs, life conditions, and the context that women live in could be different from one another. As a result, the factors that assumed to empower one woman could be a source of distress for another. For example, often in research, we read that education and financial independence are two major factors in women?s empowerment. However, for a highly educated woman, who has recently given birth to a child, staying at home and taking care of her child for few years might be a major value that precedes her wish to grow professionally. Another woman might define empowerment in staying at home and taking care of her children, making sure the family has healthy homemade food, nourishing family and social connections, have energy to bring peace for her family, and take care of herself (rest, exercise, attend to her health and other meaningful dreams and hobbies). Therefore, she might not see fit to add a profession into her already overwhelming, culturally expected multitasking roles. The extra pressure could compromise her health, patience, and the quality of life she brings for herself and her family. Some women might thrive in traditional multitasking while pursuing a profession on top of it. This can be due to many factors in any combination, such as having a high energy level, priority of values and goals, role models, individual and family needs, how strongly they identify with the role they play; the
stage in life; having special financial, professional, and educational opportunities; family and/ or partner support; and how laws, polices, and sociocultural attitudes support them. Confidence, self-belief, and agreeing to or peacefully disregarding with social expectations, are other factors that motivate women to follow their dreams and prioritize them; weather it is the decision and desire to stay at home or to go to work or switch as needed. Financial independence and decision-making power are two major factors of women?s empowerment that are repeatedly noted in research (Gholipour et al., 2010; Vakili et al., 2010; W HO, 2014). Therefore, if the society is coming up with new modern gender roles for women that are highly praised, such as working, then the society will need to define new gender roles that allow both men and women take good care
of themselves, their partner, and their children in the most balanced way. Some societies create new, additional gender roles, such as expectation of women to have a profession. However, they still continue to give high importance to children, highly values mothers? care of their children or see parental care of young children to be important for the future of the society. Therefore, these societies need to realize that the creation of other new social norms is needed in order to balance all these social values and needs. Additionally, country and organizational laws, polices and infrastructures will need to change in a way that they could support new norms. Best decisions for each country can be found through a national team brainstorming that includes policy makers, women themselves, men, professionals of multiple disciplines, and diverse organizations. Examples of issues that need to be addressed will be about maternal and paternal leave; benefits given to parents during leave; job security; options for working from home; flexibility of sick days that could be used for employees or employees? children; financial security for stay at home mothers; and creating long distance jobs that are hourly, part time or full time for stay at home partners. It should be notes that the median annual salary of a stay at home mother considering the multitasking and overtime work they do is estimated to be about $117,000 (Forbes, 2016) - $162,581 (Salary.com, 2018) USD. Feeling empowered creates a sense of confidence, self-belief, motivation, and determination. It positively affects ones mental and physical health, increases one?s energy level and sense of hope. This makes the individual want to go through challenges, and the individual is more motivated to attend to his/ her health. Empowerment increases individuals? sense of peace, and positively affects their life
satisfaction and quality of life. Supporting the empowerment of both genders within a society is a key factor in supporting the crisis of global mental and physical health and decreasing its related financial national burden. In order to support the empowerment of one gender, the other gender?s empowerment will also need to be supported. Empowering men while disempowering women will mean men will have partners who have compromised mental and physical health, satisfaction in life, and quality of life. To support men?s empowerment and societies? economic power, we cannot forget the empowerment of women. On the other hand, to empower women we cannot become one-sided and think men and boys have it all right, and their gender roles serve them fully right! In August 2018, APA developed guidelines for psychology practice with boys and men. It explained the distress that men and boys could go through due to their culturally expected gender roles. We expect men to be strong and we teach them to not show emotions, such as sadness, because those emotions are weak. We teach them not to cry, because it is a weak behavior. However, aggression and anger are allowed, since those emotions are socially translated into power and strength, which is expected of both boys and men. The sad part is that when men face difficulties and challenges or experience these so called weak emotions, they are taught to never show them and keep all to themselves, because they do not want to be perceived as weak. They are expected to be strong and only strong! They assume, since every other man is silent then that means those men do not have any issues and they are all strong and perfect men. However, men do not know that every other man is dealing with the same issue; keeping their emotional distress and problems silently within, and similarly assuming no other man has a problem! The above view has been written based on the many research papers that I have read for my dissertation work, the interviews and
pre-coding that I have conducted on women?s empowerment, an APA credit that I have gained for passing an exam on the guidelines for psychology practice with boys and men, and my training in positive psychology. Additionally, the approach towards women?s empowerment comes from my training as a PhD candidate in International psychology. As International Psychologists, we are trained that in order to understand and find solutions for large-scale global issues, such as women?s empowerment a multidimensional, multidisciplinary, and multi determined lens need to be used. The guiding principles used in IP work are APA ethical principles of psychologist and code of conduct, Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles, UN Global Compact, and ISO26000. International psychologists attend to global issues with a consideration of national laws, psychological ethical principles, cultural values, context, history, needs, and resources. Additionally, a mix of top- down, bottom-up, and middle out approach are used for addressing these issues. Issues such as women?s empowerment also need attention to intersectionality, such as the effects of the intersection of gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, financial and educational statues, class, and ability (Nakhid et al., 2018; Shileds, 2008). I look forward to finalizing my dissertation work and share its results in a future article. To the health, happiness, and empowerment of women, men and children! Global peace will require supporting the empowerment and global mental and physical health of both genders.
Maryam Tafreshi is a PhD candidate in International Psychology (IP) concentrating in Systems and Organization from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP). Mrs. Tafreshi has a Masters degree in IP and Bachelors in Microbiology. Her thesis developed a program to support expatriate couples' happiness and her dissertation work in progress is ?Women?s perspectives on empowerment: A phenomenological research on attitudes and policies?. Maryam envisions a world where people can thrive in life through sustaining optimum overall health.
Di gi tal Ri gh ts Foundati on Pak i stan M arch i ng Forw ard
Di gi tal Ri gh ts Foundati on Pak i stan (DRF) i s an aw ard w i nni ng organi zati on l aunch ed by i ts f ounder, emi nent l aw yer and I nternet acti v i st Ni gh at Dad. Th e organi zati on w as f ounded i n 2012 w i th a v i si on to empow er f emal e I nternet users th rough di gi tal securi ty trai ni ng courses, publ i c aw areness campai gns as w el l as oth er groundbreak i ng i ni ti ati v es.
1. Tell us about Digit al Right s Foundat ion Pakist an, w hen w as it formed? Digital Rights Foundation was founded in 2012 and is a registered based advocacy NGO which focuses on ICTs to support human rights, democratic processes and digital governance. DRF also focuses on privacy in the digital age, data protection and online harassment and its implications on the offline world. 2. W hat is organizat ion?
We started the organization with one time sessions in universities across Pakistan under the Hamara Internet banner in which we focused on online harassment and the prevention of electronics crimes act. We would encourage women to reclaim online spaces and use the internet in a responsible manner. The response we got through these sessions was overwhelming, however we also identified the lags that were prevalent in terms of cyber crime reporting. The challenges were immense and when Qandeel Baloch's case came through in which her information was shared online due to which an honor killing took place, we realized we needed to do much more in order to avoid cases like Qandeel's from happening again. 3. DRF and it s founder Nighat Dad challenge some of t he toughest issues across t he Pakist ani societ y, from being t he advocate of t he nat ion's digit al right s to t aking mat ters head on relat ing to Qandeel Baloch and Meesha Shafi, W hat is t he drive behind? It is never easy to take a stance in Pakistan especially if you're a woman because the dynamics are so very different and our experiences vary due to our gender. DRF has always been an organization which adopts the feminist approach and tries to tackle the gendered aspect of these issues in a careful manner. Qandeel and Meesha's case were two such cases in which not only did Nighat Dad take a stand but the entire organization came to a consensus about supporting them and working to make
offline and online spaces safer for women. In a patriarchal and conservative society like Pakistan it is important to be headstrong and true to your principles which is something that has also been a top priority in DRF. 4. In your opinion, w hat needs to be done from a policy and legal aspect to alleviate t he plight of t he ordinary women? Pakistan is trying to adapt to the changing times and trying to introduce policies which are women centric, however we have a long way to go before we can make online and offline spaces safer for women. Policies by legislators in the country are being introduced on a regular basis, however there is lack of awareness amongst individuals regarding what the law says and how much safety does it actually provide to women. Apart from that implementation of the law is extremely limited and with lack of sensitization within the law enforcement agencies, new problems emerge on a regular basis which is why the ordinary women of Pakistan aren't able to exercise their legal rights within the country. In order for women to have their full legal rights, it is important to go to the grass root levels and teach them about the law and also change these patriarchal and conservative mindsets regarding women having an online presence. 5. Can you tell us about Hamara Internet and how can we raise aw areness about t he digit al right s of t he Pakist ani people? Hamara Internet is a campaign which talks about reclaiming online spaces for women and focusing on these spaces being safe and secure for all. In Pakistan we have seen how just like in offline spaces women are discouraged to express themselves online and since there is an imminent threat to women in these spaces then in turn women tend to avoid these spaces. It is important to cover more about the developments in digital rights discourse in the country and also for the media to acknowledge that the online spaces are evolving and the threat in these spaces are serious and should be
taken seriously by every individual. 6. W hat , in your opinion, needs to be done to empower t he Pakist ani woman digit ally? The most crucial thing that needs to be done to empower women in online is to provide them access to technologies so that they can use online spaces. We already see a wide digital and gender divide between men and women in the country and how most women are afraid to reveal their identities online because of this very divide. Making sure that women have access to technology and the concept of women using the internet isn't a taboo in our society. It is also important to ensure that the implementation of laws takes places in the country and women aren't discouraged to exercise their rights online which can only be done if there is good legislation and if the implementation is also done at the grassroot level. 7. PECA has been quite cont roversial - can you tell us w hy and how it could be aligned to t he w ill of t he people and in line w it h basic human right s? W hen the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act was introduced to the public it was said that the law will create safe avenues for women in online and the primary use of the law was to make online spaces safer for women, however that being said the law itself has some very problematic sections which directly target our fundamental human rights. The law is extremely vague and can be taken out of context in terms of our freedom of expression. The law also gives a lot of power to the law enforcement agencies in the country which further creates a hindrance in terms of transparency and accountability. Now that PECA has been out in the public for about two years and we have seen some convictions happening around it , it is important to learn from our mistakes and rectify
these within the law so that further problems do not emerge. Any legislation in the country should align with the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the constitution and if a particular legislation does not do so, it is important not only to acknowledge that a problem exists within the law but also to analyze it and rectify it. 8. Can you tell us about DRF's cyber harassment line and some of t he major issues t hat t he organizat ion has come across t hrough t his init iat ive? DRF started the cyber harassment helpline back in 2016 and till now we have received a total of 2781 complaints on it. The three basic services that helpline provides is digital security assistance, psychological help and legal aid to individuals. We have had an overwhelming response on the helpline and over the years we have seen the menace that is online harassment and it is only increasing as we go on further. Through the helpline, we have realized that further awareness regarding the safe use of technologies is important and it is also important to educate people regarding PECA and how they can exercise their rights and not be blackmailed into something for the rest of their lives. The helpline functions every day from 9 am till 5 pm and aims to create awareness regarding how to use online spaces in safe and secure manner. 9. Tell us about your recent ly launched init iat ive Ab Aur Nahin? DRF just launched the Ab Aur Nahin legal portal for victims of abuse and harassment. The portal is a directory of lawyers from across the country who have signed up to provide pro bono services to victims of abuse. In light of the # Metoo movement we saw how Meesha's voice gave strength to many individuals to come forward with their stories and share their experiences. We also saw how most people identified that they weren't aware of the current legislation dealing with abuse and harassment and how getting legal help was a cumbersome process. DRF received a number of cases from women sharing their stories and that is when the team decided to sit down together and come up with this directory. The team worked on this portal day in and day out on volunteer basis and ensured that whoever joined the initiative would know the responsibility that is being bestowed on them. The legal portal compromises of more than 50 women and we have to expand it further and also address the mental health issues the victims face. Ab Aur Nahin has been the product of the blood, sweat and tears of many individuals and we hope the initiative provides help and proves to be a good resource for all.
Sh ared Responsi bi l i ty For Ch ange Z i a S. Hasan w ri tes about th e emergence ch ange f or gender eq ual i ty ? a stronger f emi ni ne era and soci ety?s responsi bi l i ty to create an eq ual w orl d. After centuries of male dominance, we are viewing a threshold of change ? an emerging stronger feminine era. As a result of continuous gender equality awareness campaigns, many women can now make their own choices, have their voices heard and respected. However, the struggle is not yet over as women are still fighting for their role in society. Although the glass ceiling is being raised compared to recent years, it still exists. Interestingly, women have always been strong and fearless from the inception of mankind. But only until recently, society has started to understand and accept the true strength of this gender. It is a continuous struggle as many among us are still disempowered. Women are still being ridiculed, unequally treated and ignored. This emphasizes the significance of a continuous movement to trigger a change in the mindset, belief systems and the elimination of patriarchy. Change begins from within. As one person changes, he influences the ones around him and so on, creating a ripple effect that brings a revolution of change. As I write of change, we must understand that the change I am mentioning here is the change in our thinking, and firmly believing that men and women are equal and have a shared responsibility in
the society. Equality by no means is going against men or to create any negative competition between men and women.Both are certainly different physically, mentally, and emotionally yet similar in many aspects - both are human, imperfect, and need each other?s support to grow, excel. So it is definitely not rocket science that both should strive to complement each other in their shared struggle to improve life.Gender rights do not mean superiority of one gender over the other; but about how others treat you (among other things), especially those with authority over you. As the famous American musician, John Legend, says, "All men should be feminists. If men care about women's rights, the world will be a better place."Men are greatly influenced by their upbringing, and social environment in which they have grown and matured. Going forward, we can overcome the gender gap by starting to teach men, from a young age and continuously as they grow and mature, about the true strength and value of women in their lives whether they are their mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, friends or colleagues. Let?s not forget that equality for women does not fall entirely on women?s shoulders. As much as we love to put all the blame on mothers in raising good sons, we rarely highlight the importance of promoting ?Feminist Fathers?. Equality begets equality. The feminist father raises happier, balanced, and more successful kids. Both sons and daughters benefit when they are nurtured as equals. Kids? confidence and beliefs about themselves and others are shaped by the world around them specially by the parents. A Father must appreciate his daughter?s leadership skills when she is being bossy. Celebrate her efforts to lead and help her build her confidence. Similarly, teach your sons empathy and respect for women around them. Boys who grow up in gender equal homes are more likely to create equal homes when they become fathers. In short, it takes everyone, and it is everyone?sresponsibility to create an equal world. Real men treat women with dignity and give them the due respect they deserve.For most men, it is critical to overcome their ignorance and chauvinism and need to believe in women. They can create a huge difference. Fathers need to believe in daughters. Brothers need to believe in sisters. Nations need to believe and invest in their women. Everyone is an influencer. Women should enjoy equal rights, not because men must ensure it, but because it benefits the society in the long run. It effects the growth and prosperity of the community and the future generations. Zia S. Hasan is the Co-founder and Director of NShield Solutions, a Nanotechnology based surface protection company in Pakistan and the UAE. She is the first and only woman in Pakistan who is leading the Auto Detailing and Ceramic Glass Coating business, breaking barriers and setting an example of change for other women to follow. She firmly believes that women empowerment can be achieved through awareness and education. She can be reached at: email@example.com
Th e A gony of I ncarcerati on and Parenti ng
A deronk e Egbedun w ri tes about f emal e i nmates i n Ni geri a. Law is not a respecter of persons when an offense is committed, the offender faces its wrath; which implies that judgments in the court of law is not gender biased, its sword pierces both genders. In Nigeria, however, many people have found themselves in prison for reasons they know nothing about. Some are even awaiting trials for decades for minor offenses. Nigerian prisons are overpopulated and overcrowded and there is an urgent need for intervention by the federal government. This is a major factor that makes life unbearable for prison inmates. In most Nigerian prisons, there are approximately 2,000 inmates. Out of this number, only about 10 percent are convicts serving their various jail terms. The remaining ones are 'awaiting trial' inmates, the cells therefore are overcrowded. For example, A cell (1 ward 2 cell) measuring 32 feet in length and 28 feet in width has approximately 100 inmates staying there. It has a capacity for only 40! Almost a hundred prisoners use only one bathroom and two toilets. Because of this people easily contact diseases, especially skin rashes, Apollo , Chicken pus, conjunctivitis and even STDs. Therefore I decided to write about the agony of female inmates in Nigeria , no one seems to be talking about them. These women " are the forgotten ones". I am not here to justify why and how they got there but I chose to lend my voice so we can all rise up to speak collectively and fight for their rights, their fundamental human rights. In Nigerian prison, the quality of food being served to the inmates is nothing to write home about. Their soup is called water soup, for obvious reasons, the beans, rice are nothing but a mess, the sizes of meat and fish served the inmates are as small as candy. Due to the poor quality of food served the inmates, they are malnourished. The health facilities in prisons are not adequate. It can only bear the care of minor health challenges that women experience, such as headache,
typhoid fever, measles, small pox, chicken pox. Retroviral drugs for HIV positive inmates are available. Health facilities at the prisons are unable to take care of female inmates with sight (eyes) problems, tooth aches, kidney problems, liver problems, mentally deranged fellows, pregnant female inmates, and serious cases that require surgery etc. Hence lack of adequate health facilities can be fatal. It has been reported that the Nigerian Prisons Service does not provide essential items such as soaps, tooth brush, tooth paste, chewing sticks, tissue papers, sanitary pads, body creams, detergents, inner wears (pants and singlet), and slippers for the female inmates. They only provide meagre amounts of food. This simply means that inmates are left to fend for themselves on essential items. W hilst the inmates from higher socio-economic backgrounds manage to access these items, inmates from lower socio-economic backgrounds simply end up as shadow of themselves. Poverty is another virus eating deep into women than men, which renders unable to hire lawyers, many female inmates are deprived of their rights of securing their freedom. As a result, many of them spend up to 10 years in prison (awaiting trials) without going to court. Furthermore, the National Council of Women Society (NCWS) reported earlier that 90 percent of female inmates in Nigeria prison are either pregnant or nursing mothers. It has been alleged that most of these female inmates were impregnated by their Investigating Police Officers who promised to assist them out of the case when they were detained at their respective police stations. There are some married inmates who were already pregnant before being remanded. Yet
others, reports allege, might have been impregnated inside prison premises "under special arrangement". Children born in prison also suffer immensely. Lacking love and attention, home-training, victims of psychological torture; they are stigmatized by society and even name tagged omo ?l?won. They are completely devoid of any knowledge about the existence of life outside the walls of prisons. Therefore, 90 per cent of children born inside prisons grow up marginalised and vulnerable and detached from society. It is our duty as upright denizens of the world that we rescue these forgotten women and their children from demoralizing agonies and wickedness. Violence against women in any form, from any quarters is a violence against womanhood; we all must stand up to speak and fight for their rights. I then call on United Nations, International Organisations and individuals that as we celebrate this year International Women's Day, we should all remember the forgotten ones, the women and children under incarceration. Suggesti ons 1. There should be special amnesty by the Nigerian President for inmates (both convicts and awaiting trials) who have spent 15 years and above. The only criteria for this special amnesty should be good behaviour, positively changed character and fear of God, attested to by prison authorities. This special amnesty by the President should take place twice every year, precisely on (a) Independence anniversary day, October 1, and (b) Democracy Day, May 29. 2. Patriotic citizens of Nigeria and organisations should play their roles by visiting prison inmates scattered across the various prison yards in the country with items such as packaged foods, tissue papers, detergents, bar soaps, toilet soaps, sanitary pads, tooth brushes, underwear, slippers, body cream, tooth pastes. 3. Decongestion of prisons by setting up of special committees across the states to review cases of inmates who are awaiting trials, but who have not gone to court for trials after being remanded for two years in prison should be supported. The committees should have the following personalities as members: i. State Chief Judges ii. Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice iii. State High Court Registrars iv. Administrative Judges v. A responsible elder statesman vi. A respected Catholic or Anglican or Pentecostal bishop. 4. Adjournment of various cases should not ideally go beyond one week. Through this method, inmates who are innocent of the crimes for which they were remanded in
prison would be released, discharged and acquitted, while those who committed crimes are sentenced with various jail terms as quickly as possible. 5. Special concessions should be given to women who gave birth to babies in prisons. They should be granted bail, depending on the crime, so that they attend their court cases from their various homes.
6. Establishment of women?s empowerment centers, where women can get training in various skills. A time wasted is life wasted. 7. There should be improved health facilities at the prisons. 8. Women lawyers should volunteer to assist awaiting trial female inmates who are unable to fund their cases in courts. Through the outlined strategies, the challenges facing female inmates in Nigeria would be ameliorated, and the larger Nigerian society will be better. Ref. - Citizen Iwuoha, former Senior Special Assistant on Media. Source News Express Posted 18/ 09/ 2015 -The Publication of National Council of Women Society (NCWS) in an online news of Dec 15, 2016
Aderonke Egbedun is a professional teacher who started her teaching career in the year 2005, she is committed to advocacy and environmental protection. As a graduate of Biology Education and a former intern of Ananke, she is taking various climate actions by fighting the menace "climate change" through tree planting, advocating for everywoman and girlchild on pressing issues such as #GBV, #FGM, #girlsnotbride that affect them so as to ensure their total liberty and fulfillment.
Gender Eq ual i ty Sh i f ti ng Paradi gms Roch el l e R. Dean w ri tes about soci etal norms, tradi ti onal v al ues and a sh i f t i n th e West i n adv anci ng gender eq ual i ty. Psychological prejudices in Western societies toward gender equality has been the accelerator to affirmative action policies that increase female representation. Affirmative action policies have been the key to counteract prejudices that have become norm within society and perhaps the most transformative to address the systematic discrimination that women endure. As traditional values and societal norms are replaced for unconventional values, the Western world has seen a shift in advancing gender equality. Gender equality is not about males and females mirroring each other to achieve fairness. It is about men and women being of equal status and value. It is about women being respected for who they are and being valued for their role in society rather than focusing on reversing gender roles. It is about women embracing their strength and without fear of oppression or being considered dangerous or uncontrollable. It is about removing prejudice?s that are still so widespread that we often aren?t aware of them because they have become acceptable to our very existence and in our own biases and prejudice?s that dictate who we are as individuals. In Western societies it?s normal for men to be charismatic and successful when he dresses well and is charming far outreaching his ability, skill set or intellect. The disparity can become dangerous to equal opportunity when women who exhibit
the same characteristics are viewed as showy, shallow or promiscuous. It is difficult for women to advance her career in any industry unless attaching herself to a male who may not be as good as she is but is thrust into the leadership role. And then there are the females who are perceived as threats and their assertiveness is confused for aggression or bitterness when men can exhibit the same behavior and be the leader in the room. Society gives men a pass because of patriarchal norms and we must embrace and therefore we should celebrate the few success stories including the men who have had so many obstacles and statistics. Conforming to patriarchal norms is harmful to women?s rights. The tradition of female genital mutilation that is deeply entrenched in some cultures and the women who embrace this thinking are as complicit as the midwives who perform FGM on young girls. We must be fair to our girls and women and recognize our need to support women in all areas and sectors. From the home as mothers to the board room. We must develop a sisterhood that sees the need to embrace girls in the unconventional areas of our lives so that our values can remain an intrinsic part of what gives us equality. For values to remain, we must allow room for corrective measures in our lives that make women accountable but also can navigate them back to the right path. Its easier for men to be redirected toward success while women are left with these biases and prejudices and usually influenced by other women. On this International Women?s Day, I encourage women everywhere to embrace who we are and the roles that we play as women. There may have been progress made with implementing laws and sex discrimination policies that suggest that gender equality itself has been achieved but women still face challenges because of their biological sex. Therefore, perhaps we simply continue to live in a patriarchal society and not so much an equal one. Rochelle R. Dean CPC, MCP is a Columnist, she sits an editorial board member of a scholarly journal in the field of economics and is a honorary staff member of Ananke. She is also a contributing writer with the Bahamas Weekly and a 2016/ 2017 Empower Women Champion for Change.
?Teenagers ?Teenagers Hav HaveeOth Other er IInterests nterestsGoi Going ng on on Besi Besides des Book Books? s? Teen Teen Fantasy Fantasy AAuth uthor or on on Wri Writiting ng and and Contemporary Contemporary Youth Youth
Teen f antasy w ri ter and a moth er, Ev geni a K retov a f rom Russi a i s a creati v e w ri ti ng prodi gy h av i ng w on mul ti pl e nati onal l i terary competi ti ons and aw ards. Sh e speak s to A nank e?s A nastasi ya Pantsi al ei about Russi an cl i mate, f ami l y, contemporary youth ? readi ng h abi ts and h er success secrets. Ev geni a K retov a became popul ar af ter w i nni ng mul ti pl e nati onal and regi onal l i terary competi ti ons. I mage f rom th e personal arch i v e of Ev geni a K retov a . You got a degree in Law in Moscow City Pedagogical University. When did you start writing? I have been writing since school, when I was about 15. But I didn?t see this as a possible career path. That?s why I devoted myself to getting a Jurisprudence degree. But a habit of collecting notes, pieces of ideas persisted. Gradually the folder on my desk was filling. I took the creative writing as a profession seriously back in 2014, when I was awaiting for my younger kid to be born. I had a difficult pregnancy with a long stay in hospital. I had much free time and a need to get distracted from anxieties
connected with the baby waiting. That was the time I started working on Vershiteli (trans.Foremen ? journalist remark), called ?Tayny Velikoy Tartarii? (trans. The Mystery of the Great Tartarland ? journalist remark) back then. This narrative got to the long-list of the ?Novaya Detskaya Kniga? (trans.The New Children Book ? journalist remark) competition in 2015, and, after modification, ?Vershiteli?was recognized as the Best Teen Fantasy, according to the literary award ?Rukopis goda? (trans.The Manuscript of the year ? journalist remark). When was your first book published? How did it go, hundreds of emails to the
publishers or one lucky try? Of course, hundreds of emails took place. But my first publication, a children?s fairy taleabout a mouse called Kysh, was after the competition participation. My other books are still published only electronically, and the publishing negotiations have not been finished yet. How did it happen that you have won so many literary competitions and awards? And how many of them I haven?t won! But at a particular stage only competition winning can bring attention to your work and lead to publication. Besides that, almost all of the competitions are held in the Internet, which is an opportunity to find new readers. Why teen literature? I do like this direction myself: adventures, the romance of new worlds and discoveries, risk, desire to find yourself and understand yourself. And almost always it?s a happy end. It is exciting. Of course, sometimes I have thoughts about ?big? prose, a serious character, ?adult? world. But right now there is no such character in my head that would captivate me enough to start writing about it. It is t hought t hat teenagers are reading less and less now adays. W hat is your opinion? Teenagers have different reading habits. It was always like that. Did everyone read in our generation of nineties? There was always some potential conflict between ?the fathers and the children?, you know, ?in our time??I do communicate a lot with teens and the youth. They have a saturated life. There are many opportunities and challenges, which means much interesting besides books. Sport, music, cinema, hobbies, mastering the future career, and clubs are also important. And the contemporary teenager can?t live without that. But when adults start imposing their opinion, it often causes rejection. This is one situation. Many stop reading because the books offered by the adults do not represent the issues teens encounter. They do not give advice a teen looks for. It is a completely different situation, but it is also quite widespread. There are not many books of contemporary authors in the library, and
they are difficult to find in the bookstore. We lack popularization of contemporary authors. What is the secret of an interesting book? The character. If you are interested in the character, you won?t put the book away. Do you read a lot? Who are your favorite authors? I do read a lot, but less and less fiction, cause I work much with the specialized literature for creative writers and also with Physics, Chemistry, Biology books. Right now I am reading about the mythology of Eastern Slavic people and psychiatry. There are so many interesting contemporary authors who I read with pleasure, for example, Dina Rubina, Ludmila Petrushevskaya, Mariam Petrosyan,Narine Abgaryan, Tamara Krukova, Julia Lavriashina, Daria Dotsuk, Lada Kutuzova, and Ekaterina Karetnikova. From the foreign literature I like Dan Brown, David Brin, and John Connolly. Why did you decide to move to Blagoveshchenskafter living in Moscowand Tbilisi? How do you sustain the cold climate? I also lived in Yakutiafor 5 years, which is what is called ?cold?.But it is a question of habit. W hen you live in such climate, you don?t really notice it. As <Michail> Zoshchenkosaid, ?A man is not cattle. He can get used to everything.? How did I appear here?... I came with my husband to work. It was a very interesting period of time in my life. And it was a unique experience taken with pleasure by the readers. One of the characters in the second part of ?Vershiteli? is a granddaughter of Evenki shaman, and the legend itself is placed around the legendary Yakut Kigils. The female character of ?Navigator iz Nerungri? (trans.Navigator from Nerungi ? journalist remark) is a citizen of this small town in southern Yakutia. She later became a unique specialist of the Uniform Galactic. So it?s all happening not just like that. Tell us a little bit about your family. Does your daughter Varvara read your books? Of course, she does. She is my first critic and beta-reader. I would like her to read
my books after publication, when the text is completely ready. But she doesn?t wait for that, she takes the printed pages before they cool down sometimes even earlier than me. If she read it quickly without being distracted by her girlfriends, the chapter is good. If she asks if I wrote another chapter by the evening, the chapter is really good. And if she starts washing the dishes saying, ?Go write further, I?m dying of curiosity?, it?s all super and I am very happy as a writer.
Teen mystery author, Evgenia Kratovo judges the quality of her books by opinion of her 15-year old daughter. Image from the personal archive of Evgenia Kretovaa
Have Varvara ever been the prototype for your characters? Did she give you ideas for your books? No, it hasn?t directly happened yet, except for some characters? traits or replicas. Does your daughter want to become a writer in the future? What does she dream about? My daughter either wants to become a journalist or a singer. She in some way succeeds in both. We will support whichever she chooses. The most important thing is that she loves her future career. How did your childhood influence your oeuvre? Family is the most important thing in life. My parents have a huge library they?ve been collecting for all their life. My father is military, so we moved many times. And the biggest part of our luggage has always been books. We read out loud and discussed and debated. Of course, it influenced my love towards books and my taste. My parents are a bit shocked by my career change. But it seems they are glad. Is writing still your hobby or profession? Does it bring revenue? Right now it is already a profession. And, of course, it brings revenue.
Did your sex affect your career? Have you faced prejudice or discrimination? I haven?t faced it yet, except for the fantastic detective ?Navigator iz Nerungi?. There is something here and there. But I don?t pay attention to that. It is a youth thriller, and the youth doesn?t pay much attention to that. I received most of the interest from the young men on the last meetings with readers. Where do you find inspiration for your books? Most often the life itself gives ideas. It is so different that it created it all for us. I just observe and write it down. Sometimes I come up with ideas while reading an article about scientific discoveries or hypothesis or while watching the documentaries. How is the writing process held? The most difficult part is research and the world creation, its laws, location. Then I systematize all that, I take the essential and throw away the unimportant. I work on the characters as descriptively as possible. I have to know everything about them, what they like and hate, which side of the body they sleep on, what they are allergic to and which form, their beliefs and
passions, skeletons in their wardrobes, fears, habits, and specific words. I sometimes use only 10 to 15% of that information in the text. Then I build the outline of the plot, its main direction. I fix the points where characters have to behave in a certain way. Then each block, each point is worked on more precisely. And only then I start working on the text itself. What do you dream about? If you tell your dream in public, it becomes a plan. Yes, I do have a dream. I hope it gets real. I work on that. I plan to continue working on ?Vershiteli?, write the second part of the ?Alteraty? and ?Navigator?. Probably there will be some competitions I will take part in. Do you plan to translate your books to other languages? Yes, I do have such plans. What advice can you give to young ambitious authors? Oh! It?s difficult. And it looks like I am ?old and experienced.? I am still a young author myself. But, anyway, go ahead. You can?t succeed if you don?t try. The interview was translated from Russian to English by Anastasiya Pantsialei
M adi na K al i mul l i na
A Woman Of Substance I lsi i a I delba eva wr i t es a H ERst or y on M a di na K a li m ulli na ,Execut i ve secr et a r y of Russi a n Associ a t i on of Exper t s i n I sla m i c fi na nce, m em ber of t he Wor ki ng gr oup for pa r t ner shi p ba nki ng under t he Cent r a l Ba nk of Russi a , m em ber of t he Exper t Counci l for legi sla t i on on pa r t ner shi p econom i cs a nd fi na nce under t he St a t e Dum a of Russi a .
Madina Kalimullina holds a PhD in economics, is executive secretary of Russian Association of Experts in Islamic finance since 2010, member of the Working group for partnership banking under the Central Bank of Russia, member of the Expert Council for legislation on partnership economics and finance under the State Duma of Russia, lecturer on Islamic economics and finance. Director (2010 ? 2015) and managing partner (2016-2017) of Moscow Halal Expo. Since 2015 Madina Kalimullina is a founder and managing partner of Alif Consult LLC. The company's main activities are related to Islamic finance and halal industry projects development and marketing and as well conducting the Halfood exhibition. Coordinated the project for AAOIFI Shariah standards translation into the Russian language (2016-2017) as well as preparing for publication translation of a number of other outstanding books on Islamic finance. Since 2018 Madina joined the project of Higher School of Economics for agriculture export promotion and Islamic investment tools implementation. Madina Kalimullina was also a teacher of several study programs such as Islamic
Finance (MIRBIS Business University), Islamic Financial Markets and Financial Instruments (Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation), Islamic Economic Model: Concept and religious and ethical foundations, Features of Islamic Business Law (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Islamic Economics at the Islamic College of the Moscow Region, and a lecturer on Islamic finance in various seminars and workshops. In 2015 she was awarded by the annual Banking award of Russia for the contribution to the development of the alternative banking in Russia. Member of ISLAMICA 500 (since 2015). In 2016 was awarded a diploma of the National Rating Agency for the contribution in Islamic Finance Development. Included in the list of TOP 50 / 100 women in Islamic Finance in 2017 / 2018. In 2018 awarded a prize of the International Association of Islamic Business for the
Madina Kalimullina is moderat ing a panel discussion on Islamic finances at Halfood exhibit ion.2018
contrition of entrepreneurship development. Madina Kalimullina was born and grew up in Magnitogorsk city of Russia which is in the Urals. She studied in a secondary school ? 33 specializing in English language. As she noted, love to knowledge and self-perfection have always been natural in her family. In the 11thgrade she won the city Olympiad in mathematics and before that ? in technical drawing. After graduation of school like her elderly brother (and later ? her younger brother) she decided to try her chances in entering a university in Moscow, the capital. MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) was one of her choices and she succeeded. Later Madina Kalimullina?s main specialization became Islamic finance and business to which she devoted over 10 years. In 2014 Madina Kalimullina met a young man whose life understanding was close to hers and they married several months later. In 2018 their daughter was born.
Madina Kalimullina finished the Bachelor studies at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, after that in 2007 Madina Kalimullina received master degree in World Economy at the same university. The same year she graduated from Moscow Islamic Institute getting the status of a teacher of Islamic studies. That period she had already started studying Islamic economics and finance and devoted to it her master thesis. And in the Islamic institute she wrote the diploma paper on zakat,obligatory charity in Islam,and its practical issues (later in 2009 a practical manual on Zakat was published). Before graduation she was invited to join the International Relations Department of the Council of Mufties of Russia to start and manage projects related to education abroad and implementation of the IDB (Islamic Development Bank) programme for providing interest-free loans to the local students. Madina Kalimullina has PhD in Economics. A topic of her post-graduate degree which she wrote and defended in 2011 at the Finance University under the Government of the Russian Federation was the Institutional aspects of Islamic business. Her studies were in parallel with her work in Russia Muftis Council (RMC) where in 2008 together with her colleagues and supported by the expert community with the blessing the RMC chairman Mufti sheikh Ravil Gaynutdin they initiated
programs and projects related to Islamic economy and finance development. In 2009 ? 2011 they held several conferences, created the Russian Association of Experts in Islamic Finance, implemented professional courses on Islamic finance in MIRBIS, and with the support of the embassies and inviting organizations several visits abroad were organized for the Russian expert community to study the international experience in Islamic finance (Bahrain, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan etc.). As well within the same period of time the Moscow Halal Expo project was started where Madina Kalimullina acted as a director. Since 2015 Madina is a founder and managing partner of Alif Consult LLC. The company's main activities are related to Islamic finance and halal industry projects development and marketing and as well conducting the Halfood exhibition. About Alif Consult LLC The company?s mission is to provide professional services, based on ethical values of Islam, to the market players, particularly those working on the halal market or wishing to enter it. The aim is to increase understanding and practical realization of the Islamic business ethics among companies and entrepreneurs and raise market transparency. So far the company has established a professional b2b platform for halal
Madina Kalimullina at the 6th moderating of a panel session at Moscow Halal Expo. 2016
business promotion in the form of a show under registered brand HalfoodÂŽ. As well among current achievements are organization and initial running of core business processes related to providing services in such areas as conducting professional seminars and trainings, preparing and publication of the professional literature, business consultancy, marketing services, contracts expertise and Shariah control and audit over specific financial tools and business operations. About Halfood brand and MuslimEco blog Halfood brand appeared as a logical extension of the expertise on conducting Moscow Halal Exhibition. ?The halal market in Russia is very young and scattered and characterized with a permanent lack of cooperation. Unregistered names and brands using the word ?halal? are very common, but a registered brand is a necessity to protect your idea or a project? as Madina Kalimullina mentioned. Halfood is a professional b2b offline platform aimed at providing halal producers a profound marketing support and new business contacts. The company started organizing the expo platform in 2016 and the new brand was registered in 2018. Halfood 2018 took place in Crocus Expo and alongside with the Russian, CIS and Pakistani halal producers united broad national segments for Indonesian and Syrian producers. MuslimEco was established in 2009 as a news and analytical website to support the activities of the Office of Economic programs and later ? Economic department of Russian muftis Council which Madina Kalimullina headed in 2011 ? 2015. After her termination of work in RMC and her marriage in 2015 less time was available to development the website as an analytical platform and after two years it was decided to transform the website into a personal blog, which was also in line with the common trend in online media. Madina Kalimullina: ?I believe that the best and a truest way of encouragement is a personal example. I never had an aim or an objective to appeal to women for certain actions or following some way of life. I just do and follow what I believe is true and correct. But I often received a feedback from young girls and women and my example had become a kind of motivation for them. And not only from women. The truth is inside us, in case you are sincere with yourself and follow your heart and mind, they will always guide you.?
M ESSA GE Sh ei k h a A i sh a A l Qasi mi Di rector, Saj aya Young Ladi es of Sh arj ah I nternati onal International Women?s Day is an important occasion when women are recognised for their achievements around the world. The day calls for gender equality and justice to enhance stability and wellbeing of the global community. We, in the UAE, are proud of Emirati women, and recognise their efforts and achievements every day. The nation?s leadership ensures that they have ample opportunities to play a key role in the national development process, boosting their participation in scientific, economic, political and sporting fields. ?I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the nation?s visionary leadership, especially the support we have received from His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness, and Chairperson of the Rubu?Qarn Foundation for Creating Future Leaders and Innovators,who are relentless in their efforts to providing girls and women the opportunities they need to build their skillsets and thrive in in all walks of life. Here at Sajaya, we seek to build a generation of empowered ladies who are able to be active partners and contributors to the nation building process, and to the creation of a more stable and safe future for generations to come.
Sadaf Naz, i s th e f ounder of Her Ground, a pl atf orm born f rom terri bl e ex peri ences of buyi ng sani tary pads ov er and ov er agai n. A f ter col l ege, sh e started w ork i ng i n a ph armaceuti cal company but sh e k ept th i nk i ng about th ose ex peri ences and deci ded to l aunch h er brai nch i l d. I nterv i ew by Sabi n M uzaf f ar.
Layi ng th e Groundw ork to Empow erment
Tell us a lit t le about yourself and your journey t hat led to Her Ground? I am Pharmacist and entrepreneur by profession and did a job in a Pharmaceutical company four years. Now running a social enterprise name ?Her Ground?.Growing up in a middle-class family in Okara, it was a taboo to discuss menstruation. W hen I got my first periods, I thought, I had cancer and will die soon. Frightenedly, I told my mother and she gave me a piece of cloth and told not to wash that in front of others because it was kind of sin. It was not until I moved to Faisalabad for my college, where I discovered that you are supposed to use sanitary napkins. Many women in Pakistan go through similar and in many cases worse experiences around their periods, although it is a natural part of a woman's life. I kept thinking of this experience even after college, also because I started working in a Pharmaceutical company, and thought I could do something about it. I did not find my male friends/ family members encountering such issues in their life or health. This inequality really shook me, especially when I learned about more horrible experiences of shopping sanitary pads in Pakistan. The biggest motivation to me is the size of the problem, I feel, I can touch so many lives and in ways help my fellow women life a healthier and more confident life, and they can go on to do amazing things. Starting a start-up is easier part, the building turned out to be more difficult. W ith no background in technology or online commerce, I set out to launch a website. So, I quit my job in Feb 2017, when I could not find a good developer, I learned how to set up the website by myself, add products, write content and promote it. I reached out to a few online communities, watched a YouTube tutorial and learned to use Adobe Photoshop as well. It was a great learning experience for me, especially it gave me confidence that I
can go on to build an online business and grow my skills in internet marketing etc. Officially I have started ?Her Ground? in 1st Sept 2017. W hat is t he idea behind Her Ground and your vision? The Idea is to provide convenience and to break the taboo and myths associated with female reproductive health especially related to menstruation. Because almost half of the population are females and in which 79% don't have an excess of feminine hygiene products due to lack awareness and availability of feminine products at a cost-effective price. We have made an online portal, from where women can easily select their desired products according to their budget, even women can choose their desired date and time of delivery. We delivered ?Her Box? at doorstep every month. We believe in providing good experience and privacy of the customer is so important for us, so the woman can buy their feminine hygiene products without any hindrance. Second, we believe in delivering awareness, so, the woman can take care of their bodies with proper hygiene. So, every month we collect a pool of money from our
profit margin and go to public school to provide awareness on health, hygiene, and nutrition. Every online sale helps us to offer the sanitary pads at an affordable price to girls living in smaller cities. Our vision is to provide good health products services, so the woman can spend their lives full of health and confidence. The name of t he organizat ion/ your enterprise 'Her Ground' w hat is t he story behind it ? The story behind the name of ?Her Ground?, is that 'Her' called for female and Ground mean the basic thing the female need when they reaching to their puberty level. ?Her Ground? means that portal which has all the accessories which a female needs at the time of the month. Now, we are adding more products in our online portal like vitamins, supplement and birth control pills to make woman life healthy and more productive. Women's healt h & Hygiene have been quite t aboo topics especially in Eastern societ ies, did t hat pose as a challenge or do you t hink t he mindset has changed? It is a challenge in Pakistan. The reason
behind is that we are not talking about female bodies, don't know what is happening inside our body during periods. Even female to female felt shy if she is facing some reproductive health issues like irregular periods, PCOS, polycystic ovaries and PMS etc. In our public schools during science study, a paper is put on a female reproductive picture because you are going toward sins if you have seen it. Now, female have shown their interest when we went to schools to address on female health. In starting, they felt shy, but we make them comfortable by sharing stories with them. We have given them the environment from where they can ask any question related to their reproductive health. W hat need did you see in t he market t hat made you embark on t his ent repreneurial journey? Before starting the ?Her Ground?. I did a research and was quite amazed to see that only 21% females in Pakistan have an excess of feminine hygiene products (sanitary pads) and most of them felt shy to buy it directly from a shop. Because in Pakistan, sanitary napkins are sold like illegal drugs, first selecting from the shelf, putting into an envelope then taken to the counter where male shopkeeper make the situation very uncomfortable for young female buyers with stares and remarks. Remaining 79% even didn't know about pads, due to lack of education and availability of pads at a cheap rate. I thought I can tap many females by providing them an online platform from where they can easily buy their feminine care products. Do you t hink your enterprise is aligned w it h t his year's IW D2019 t heme: Think equal, build smart , innovate for a change? Please explain. Yes, ?Her Ground? is aligned with this year theme innovate to change, where markets have failed.? As a customer of sanitary napkins, I see how poorly women are served by these companies who claim to sing the song of women's health. Upon learning and by doing
I n Pak i stan, sani tary napk i ns are sol d l i k e i l l egal drugs, f i rst sel ecti ng f rom th e sh el f , putti ng i nto an env el ope th en tak en to th e counter w h ere mal e sh opk eeper mak e th e si tuati on v ery uncomf ortabl e f or young f emal e buyers w i th stares and remark s.
?We need to stand up f or w omen's sex ual and reproducti v e h eal th and ri gh ts?
Ahead of International Women's Day 2019, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatovi? issued the following statement today: "Women's rights are human rights and gender equality is a fundamental value of our societies, enshrined in human rights treaties. Nevertheless, progress Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja in advancing women's Mijatovi? rights has not been straightforward. We need to stand up for gender equality and reverse any stagnation in its implementation. Past advances in sexual and reproductive health and rights have been closely associated with women's rights and have enabled women to make autonomous and informed decisions about their bodies, health, sexuality and whether or not to have children. States have an obligation to ensure that women can access affordable, safe and good-quality reproductive health services. However, many women in Europe continue to face denials and infringements of their sexual and reproductive rights. A few states still maintain highly restrictive legal frameworks which prevent or limit women's access to safe and legal abortion care, and criminalise assistance given to it. In recent years, some countries have also adopted laws and policies rolling back previous provisions by introducing new preconditions for access to abortion care, such as mandatory waiting periods and biased counselling requirements. In addition, there have been attempts, so far unsuccessful, in a few countries to introduce near-total bans on abortion. Refusals to provide abortion care by medical professionals on grounds of conscience have become a serious barrier in countries in Europe where authorities have failed to regulate this sector or to enforce existing regulation sufficiently to guarantee availability. Too many women also experience violence and abuse during maternal health procedures which is an affront to their human dignity. Women's organisations defending sexual and reproductive rights and health professionals working in this field have been subject to violence, threats and hate speech. The high cost of contraception and lack of comprehensive sexuality education are further problems. Women have the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health without discrimination under international and European human rights law. Several countries are currently in the process of reforming their legislation on sexual and reproductive health to meet their human rights obligations. I urge all governments to uphold women's right to self-determination about their sexual and reproductive health, and to ensure women's effective access to health care facilities, goods, services and information. Instead of stagnating, we need to move forward on women's sexual and reproductive rights."
Bri dgi ng th e Gap Th rough
A nank e?sI l si i a I del baev adi scusses w i th Emi l y Courey Pryor, Ex ecuti v e Di rector of Data2x , about th e enti ty's new proj ect - Bri dgi ng th e Gap: M appi ng Gender Data A v ai l abi l i ty i n A f ri ca.
Can you tell us w hat t he project Bridging t he Gap is all about ? W hen w ill it be launched and w here? W hat are t he main object ives of t he project ? Bridging the Gap: Mapping Gender Data Availability in Africais a new project from Data2X, and our partner Open Data Watch, that seeks to contribute to international efforts to understand, identify, and respond to the ongoing challenge of producing policy-relevant data about the lives of women and girls. Bridging the Gaplooks at the availability of data about women and girls in 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa across six domains of women?s lives: health; education; economic opportunities; political participation; human security; and, the environment. Our goals are to understand regional gender data gaps and to learn from countries that have managed to close the gaps, pinpoint actionable, replicable solutions, and share these lessons broadly. We launched the technical report[NRB1] andsummary of findings[NRB2] on March 7thalongside the 50 thsession of the United Nations Statistical Commission in New York. Is t here a link to/ connect ion bet ween t he current and previous work Mapping Gender Dat a Gaps? W hat , in your opinion, has improved and/ or changed in gender dat a mapping since t hen? Yes, this work builds on our original Mapping Gender Data Gapsreport. That work, published in 2014, was the first independent study to explore gender data gaps in international databasesand launched efforts to find and test innovative solutions to fill gender data gaps. In the five years since that report was published, the Sustainable Development Goals were agreed by 193 countries, resulting in a whole set of indicators that countries need to be able to measure. Gender data is a critical piece of the SDG puzzle ? without it we will not be able to track progress across the goals and meet our shared promise to ?leave no one behind.? However, we only have data to measure about one-third of the gender-relevant indicators in the SDGs which demonstrates the urgency of this issue. Bridging the Gap helps us address this urgency by digging deeply into what gender data availability actually looking like at the country level. It shows that the coverage of gender data is still very uneven, both across countries and across domains. For example, while we have a lot of data on health outcomes for women and girls, we still know comparatively little about women?s economic activities, and very little about how women participate in political decision making at a local level or how environmental changes impact women and men differently. We?ve seen a number of important projects aimed at improving how data on women and girls is produced
come to fruition in recent years. This is helping to build a strong bedrock for improved gender data but much more work remains to be done. According to Dat a2X website, Bridging t he Gap project orient s t he gap analysis of gender dat a at t hree different levels: internat ional, nat ional, and micro. How does t he level orient at ion impact on a gender dat a analysis? Bridging the Gaplooks at data in three ways. First, we examined international databases to assess the availability and coverage of their data. We then turned to national databases for each of our 15 focus countries to see whether those countries were producing the indicators we were studying. Our goal was to find out whether national level policy makers have the information they need to make informed decisions. Finally, to dig deep into the surveys and other sources for the data, including how often and to what level of quality, we looked at the microdata sources. This enabled us to see that, for example, while international databases produce indicators on a more regular basis, they focus on a smaller number of them. National databases produce a wider variety of information but on a less regular basis. We also saw that many countries get a large
proportion of their data from a small number of important international surveys. This means there is an opportunity to diversify sources to generate more actionable insights. W hat w as t he criteria in choosing count ries examined in t he report in t he upcoming project ? Bridging the Gapfocuses on 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We decided to focus on gender data availability in these specific countries for two reasons. First, we wanted to look at gender data availability within countries that have different income levels and statistical capacities to reflect the diversity of the region. We chose these countries to understand how gender data gaps can exist within different contexts, noting that these 15 countries represent 60% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa. How does Dat a2X collaborate w it h t he count ries w it hin t he project Bridging t he Gap? Data2X will be working more closely with the 15 Bridging the Gapfocus countries through our new gender data focal points program. Our work with these countries will be guided in part by the findings of Bridging the Gapsince it pinpoints where the gaps in gender data are in each country. Additionally, in the next phase of this project we will be producing individual country assessment reports to be shared with the relevant national statistical offices and other stakeholders. Can you tell us, how t he process of gender dat a gaps examinat ion goes in t he context of Bridging t he Gap project ? If it is possible, please, provide us w it h t he
specific examples of gender dat a analysis of t he five original sectors. To begin, we assembled a list of 104 gender-relevant indicators covering the six focus areas of this project (economic opportunities, health, education, human security, political participation and the environment). We chose both SDG and non-SDG indicators because we believe that these indicators, if produced regularly and to a high standard, would provide most of the information we need to be able to monitor and deliver on current commitments for women and girls. Next, we looked at both international and national databases to assess existing data, specifically examining: availabilit y(whether the 104 indicators were recorded at all in any form over the period 2010 to 2018); disaggregat ion(if the existing indicators were sex-disaggregated and whether they reported against additional disaggregations such as geographic location, age, income level, or disability status); adherence to st andards(whether indicators were being produced according to international standards); and, t imeliness(how recently the indicators had been produced and if they had a history of appearing frequently). W hy is it import ant to examine gender dat a gaps, how can it help as far as policy making, women?s access and part icipat ion in labour market s and t he fut ure of work is concerned? Examining gender data gaps? and filling them? is critical for understanding the unique experiences of women and girls and for enabling policymakers to make more informed decisions that improve their lives and opportunities. For example, gender data-informed policy can help improve women?s access to and participation in labor markets by recognizing their needs and time constraints, which could translate to better childcare policies, access to time-saving investments like electricity, and education or training opportunities. From this research we know that only 7 of the countries we studied produced an indicator on hours spent in paid and unpaid work (by sex) in the last 9 years. We need this data more regularly, and from more countries, if we want to increase women?s engagement
in the labor market and understand if policies are having the desired effect. If we do not properly measure and account for women?s current contributions to economies and their current disadvantage in accessing labor markets ? these disadvantages will continue to play out in the future, to the detriment of gender equality and to country economies. W hat does t he project cont ribute to gender equalit y in examined regions and worldw ide? Data2X believes that efforts to achieve gender equality must be underpinned by solid evidence. W ithout complete data about all people, women and girls and men and boys, our efforts cannot and will not succeed. Through this new project, we hope to spur actionable, country-specific solutions to help fill gender data gaps ? which will hopefully lead to data-informed policies and programs with the goal of gender equality at their core.
Col ors of Soi l
A social organization working for advocating and empowering the lives of widows and single women. Behind t he Name
Mitti Ke Rang, in Hindi means ?Colors of Soil?symbolizing the diversity of soils which form the foundation of this Earth. Similarly, women too, come from various cultural backgrounds and diverse households and form the very foundation of our society.We believe that ?Toget her we are St ronger?.MKR presents itself as a platform of information and a network of partnerships ?created on t he basis of t rust ?amongst all those working towards women empowerment.
Mitti Ke Rang (MKR) Organization, with widow empowerment and gender equality at its focal point. Today we have Mitti Ke Rang centres in Pakistan, Zambia, Gambia, Kenya, France, Nigeria, Fiji, Singapore, Nepal and of course India, with our primary centres at Pune and Hadapsar. By the end of this year, centres are being scheduled to open and start in some of the states. The story behind t he success and grow t h of MKR Amit founded Mitti Ke Rang (MKR) in 2014, to address Gender Equality and widow empowermentand toprovide widows
withresources and support. ?I lost my father when I was 3 years old. As I grew older, I witnessed the challenges widows and their children experience. Today, at the prime age of 27, I have resolved to bring forth a permanent change in thelives of widows and fatherless children. Inspired from my mother?s unfailing support, I startedmy organisation Mitti Ke Rang ? which is now, working in countries across the globe,rebuilding the lives of widowed and single women and their children?. He envisions a world where all single women and widows are accepted by their families andlive in a society where they shall be free to (re)build their own life. His family was a great support throughout.He thanks his grandfather for opening up a tailoring shop for his mother, which proved to be very valuable and helpful ,followed by his uncle and cousins, who as he says, were the very reason behind their survival despite the many problems they came across. Being a bright student, he wanted to pursue engineering but had to shift to commerce, due to financial constraints. Despite these constraints, he finally landed a decent job after pursuing his graduation in Commerce. He came to Pune with 1000 rupees and a B.Com degree in his hands. It was the year 2012, and getting a good job was not a cake walk. After struggling for a month and appearing formany interviews, he got his first job. His happiness knew no bounds! He worked hard and after two years, when he felt a bit comfortable financially, he rented a flat and called his mother to come and stay with him, in 2014.?Conditions began to improve once he started working and he climbed the corporate ladder rather quickly and had a lucrative career to look forward to.Amit tells Ananke that ?Life hasn?t been fair to me, but it did not make me a bitter person, on the contrary, I foundthe mission of my life - to not let others go through the same fear and uncertainty that I have been through.? Just like how Rome wasn?t built in a day,similarly, Amit?s organization wasn?t built in a day either. In 2014, when he along with his family, was living a
Founder, A mi t Jai n
somewhat better life, they realised that, now is the time to give back to the support they received from family members and other supporters. In the beginning, he didn't know whom to contact and how to get Volunteers but one fine day, an idea struck him whenheturned21,his cousins and family members, helped him with clothes, books, and other necessary essentials. Similarly, people in big cities have a lot of things to donate but aren?t aware of where and how to do so. He didn?t have any formal experienceworking in the social sector, hence, instead of dealing with a sensitive issue to start with, he decided to primarily gain some experience on the ground level. Just like how his relatives funded his basic essentials, he thought of ways in which he could help other deprived families as well.Thus, he decided to act as a mediator ? between willing donors and the NGOs who support poorer children andtheir families, popularising his initiative through Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. Every weekend he would go to different cities and collect clothes, books and other items from the donors who got in touch with him and later donate those to different NGOs.W ithin the mere duration of just one
and a half years, his campaign spread like a wildfire,involving more than 100 active volunteers, following which he decided to address the issue of gender inequality. Thus, Mitti Ke Rang saw the light of day in Pune. That was the starting point. For a trial, he posted on Quickr, got some inquiries, then started posting on social media and attended a few social events. During his collection campaign, he met an auto-driver in Indore, to whom he gifted his new shirt. W hile exchanging contact numbers, he excitedly told him about his campaign . To his surprise, he volunteered, to take Amit from door to door, for the collection drive, if he was allowed to keep 20% of the items. W hat he did with that 20% was unbelievable - he distributed all of it amongst his neighbours. His own wife, kids and mother were over the moon to get new clothes?. In one year they collected and distributed more than 2000 clothes, books, furniture and much more and this collection drive gained many dedicated volunteers as well.By the end of this year, centers have been scheduled to open atmore countries. Amit tells Ananke that ?Fortunately, I got to know about the Commonwealth Youth Summit and my application to be a member of the Commonwealth Youth Council was
approved in 2017. I met with social workers from over 40 countries at their annual conference in Malaysia. My idea of gender equality and rehabilitation of widows influenced many of them, who incorporated a similar campaign model in their own countries?. INITIATIVES UNDER MITTI KE RANG 1) Project Women. We are working with women, organising skill-based workshops for them, such as Rangoli designing, cloth and paper bag making, creating idols for the upcoming festivals, and handcrafting Diwali gifts. The other segment of Project W idows is to make these women aware about their rights and benefits. We also have occasional visits from our foreign counterparts for cultural exchange programs, who teach the women to read and write. 2) Project Reading - De Coding For the children, we have started a community centre with a library. Recently, Project Reading has integrated the uneducated widows and senior citizens from low-income backgrounds as well. 3) Project Advocacy Creating awareness is of primary importance especially when it comes to W idows and very few people are working towards it, while we as a country have more than 42 Million W idows in India. Therefore, it is very imperative to create an advocacy to involve more people in helping them. 4) Project Generat ing Curiosit y
A mi t Jai n w i th Pri nce Ch arl es
Here we call speakers from different fields, twice a week, to interact with the students and guide them with the correct knowledge for what they wish to become in future. 5) Project Hi tech Communit y learning resource center One of its kind, a Hi Tech & a Community Co working space. This is the first time that in a slum area we would be witnessing such a space. It won't be less than an actual Corporate office/ Co working area. Till 2020 - These will grow to 15 more Slums. 2020 - 2025 : We will be spreading across the globe, and have a vision to start a minimum of 200 more of such in India and 15 other countries where we have our offices. Affiliat ions 1) Hindustan Times 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs in Pune 2) Indian Correspondent - Your Commonwealth.org 3) Global Youth Ambassador - TheirWorld & World Literacy Foundation 4) Member - Asia Regional Working Group of the Commonwealth Students' Association 5) EX Extended Shaper ? Global Shapers Community Pune Hub ( World Economic Forum) 6) Co -Founder at Connecting 196 Countries 7) Member - Pune Austin Sister cities initiative
Mandy Sanghera is an international human rights activist. Since 1990 she has been supporting victims and survivors of honour-based violence and cultural abuse such as female genital mutilation, forced marriages, faith-based abuse and witchcraft. As a human rights activist, Sanghera has worked in various areas focusing on cultural abuse and crimes. She has been involved in documentaries on themes such as witchcraft, forced marriages, incest, female genital mutilation and ?honour?killings. Sanghera was involved in writing the guidelines on disability and HBV for the Forced Marriages Unit. Until 2018, she working with the European Parliament on forced marriages, to prepare a report based on the information from the 28 EU Member States and the selected associated countries and will be involved in the Goddard Child Abuse Inquiryl. Sanghera is an ambassador and advisor for several charities and social groups such as Psychreg, and has supported over 200 disabled adults who have been forced into marriage. She was one of the panel speakers at the United States House of Representatives and talked about honour based violence and cultural abuse. Mandy was on the team that worked on the "My Marriage My Choice" project at the University of Nottingham. Mandy Sanghera has been invited to speak at the United Nation on three different panels during Commission on the Status of Women in New York. During the Commission?s annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organizations and UN entities gather at UN headquarters in New York. Mandy is an expert in various development related fields. She has been driving innovation, building strategic partnerships, promoting advocacy and programming in the areas
M andy Sangh era Li f ti ng Women of human rights, gender equality, accountability and social justice globally. Mandy has helped hundreds of individuals and now reaches thousands through social media and her generous amount of worldwide TV appearances and public speaking engagements. Mandy has been asked by the the Punjabi Chamber of Commerce to moderate a panel with three women trailblazers. Talking about the event, Mandy said: ?It?s wonderful to see Asian woman leading the way globally and great to be moderating the panel Mandy has most recently spoken at the House of Congress in Washington Info: Wikipedia
Sex ual Harassment i n Ch i na A nank e?s i ntern Yi w en Wang f rom Ch i na w ri tes about th e #metoo mov ement i n Ch i na. Exposure to the issue of sexual harassmentin China has only occurred recently, it started gaining attention in Jan. 2018. Doctor Luo Qianqianfrom Beihang University alleged that her advisor Chen Xiaowutook advantage of his position by harassing students. Luo got hurt mentally because she was about to be raped once by Chen. She searched online and found out that there were lots of Chen?s students who had suffered the same. Jan.1.2018, Luo had accused Chen with her real-name of his harassment. Jan. 14, 2018, the Administration of Education in China, cancelled the ?Yangtze River Scholar? title (including the huge bonuses given) and professor position (including all the other positions in the university) of Chen. After this, the me-too campaign took off in China, which surprisingly involves education/ literature/ show business circles. People who
speak out about sexual harassment in this campaign are mostly famous predecessors or leaders. Though the harassment is easy for the perpetrators, the victims do suffer a lot. Lin from Taiwan was harassed by her teacher at the age of 13 and this led to depression, she took her own life. Lots of women and girls quit school/ work, or even go as far as committing suicide because of the harassment. Harassment has serious consequences on a woman?s well-being and her mental health is compromised. Women and girls who get harassed usually don?t speak out because they worry about their reputation and this leads to mental health issues. Jiang Fangzhou Jiang Fangzhouwas born in 1989 in Hubei, China, and is the deputy editor of Chinese young writers and magazines. The 7-year-old writing, the 9-year-old book, and the 11-year-old media column make her the shining girl in the eyes of the public. W hen she was admitted to Tsinghua University at the age of 18, she published nine books. Six months prior, Jiang Fangzhou met with the editor of the same publishing house. W hen she was seated, the editor said to her "Give up, you have no talent for writing novels?. It's good to write essays and read audio. If you do these things, you have a natural joy which you don't have in novels. The editor believed that Jiang Fangzhou struggled with the text of the novel in comparison to writing essays. This was not the first time that Jiang Fangzhou has suffered from the "no talent" evaluation. The outside world?s investigation and questioning of Jiang Fangzhou?s writing was critical of her work. The new essay "Tokyo One Year" score is 7 points, it seems to be a little improved, but the first comment is: "If the author is not Jiang Fangzhou, does the book have a chance to publish?" At that time, Jiang Fangzhou still did not recognize the "no talent" critique. She has talent in the writing of this super marathon. But after years of questioning and critique of her work, she began to feel hurt. W hen I was young, I traveled
with a lot of writers, what we discussed was uncertainty about the future. Is writing continuing as a lifelong career, or is it turned into a life outside of this? The ?metoo? campaign in China On July 25, 2018, a well-known media person, Zhang Wen, was exposed of allegedly raping and threatening girls. Later, Jiang Fangzhoupublicly voiced his story and spoke about her own harassment by the same person. "One morning in July 2018, I saw an article in a circle of friends, a girl who wrote of her own sexual crimes, and the person who committed these atrocities, had sexually harassed me a few years ago, I was hesitant to speak about my own experience. I hesitated for a second. W hat I think is not what I think will affect me, but whether it is useful to say about it. I have considered two aspects. First, my voice can increase the credibility of this matter for another victim. Second, as a public figure, I am less controversial. Because we have been educated since childhood, don't take the lead, because the guns are the first birds, don't lead the war, because they will ignite the upper body, but I was a controversial person since I was a child. So, I have learned how to do psychological construction for myself, and in public opinion, it has not had such a big impact on my daily life. However, for a non-public woman, it is different. She will be discussed. She will be torn apart from her daily life and will ruin her daily life. She will be deprived of her daily life. And my voice will protect her. After determining these two points, I sent an article on social media. W hen I spoke of my own experience, I got a lot of unexpected slamming. However, there was also unexpected support and encouragement. W hat surprised me even more was that there were more girls who were harassed and violated by the same male or who came out to testify anonymously or publicly, and I and other victims also adopted a legal approach. This significant event had ended in a short time, but the echo left to me was immense. W hat echoes to me the most, is about silence, the silencing of voices who dare speak out. Because I am writing novels and have been writing for many years, I may have a stronger feeling of language than others. W hen the protagonist of a novel begins to talk about their own experience, is the protagonist talking about the whole truth? Of course not. W hat the protagonist says is only a part that the reader chooses to believe. We want to define what kind of person the character is like through the experience he did not say. In daily life, there is also a classic concept in
narratology, called "unreliable narrator". It is said that the protagonist of the novel does not necessarily say the truth. How do we define the protagonist of the novel? Not through what he said, but guessing what he might not say. We define ourselves the same. We define ourselves not through the things we expose, but through the things we hide. We don't want to look directly at the parts of our hearts, those scars, those secrets, those shame, those hidden. Desire, in fact, these things define us, just like the famous saying of Borges - "W hat we avoid, we are like ourselves." I have read only sociological work from China that studies the sexually assaulted girl. There is a detail that impressed me the most, and the most uncomfortable detail, I am very sad, saying that a victim may not tell anyone about sexual abuse, not telling parents, not telling teachers, not telling friends. Despite this, society will find that victims will casually describe in the dirtiest and most obscure words about sex which makes the perpetrators seem innocent, degraded, vulgar, and not guilty. The reality is that these hurt girls and the words they learned is because of the violations that have been infringed on them. Yiwen Wang is from China, Hangzhou. She is an intern at Ananke Magazine. She is a Junior majoring in Information Engineering, but not so engineering. She has high interest in Philosophy and International Relations. She says ?I can?t define myself quite clearly and don?t want to. People always say that if you want to success, you should have specific goals as early as possible. But I refuse to foresee the future? because I enjoy the process to see the variety and possibility right now?.
Rose Mmbaga is from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. She is youth activist who works closely with the world merit platform to promote sustainable development goals around the globe. She is very passionate about empowering young girls and lifting women to achieve their dream. This has gained Rose recognition for her work and she has been multi awarding winning and her achievements include: 路 woman of influence in event hall of fame with association for women in an event in America in 2017 路 voted to receive 2017 Africa youth awards for youth empowerment 路 named as one among 100 women as star and Meghan award for lifting and empowering women at lifts effect conference in 2018, United Kingdom 路 named as 2018 most influential young Tanzanian at advance media Rose has used her voice in various International conferences and global campaigns. She supported and contributed to Ananke?s special edition magazine for the international day of a girl global campaign. She invited and engaged young role models both men and women from Tanzania and some trailblazers from African countries to share their perspective and stories. Rose worked for several years with different charity organisations in Tanzania to transform 1000's of young people's mindset and to engage them with volunteer work for UN sustainable development project. Rose shared her volunteer journey in schools and universities to influence other youth especially young girls to act on personal development growth and give back to their community. Rose shares some advice to our readers "yesterday I was a girl and today a woman, there have been many lessons on my journey and I?m proud to celebrate my story and her story and together we can # balanceforbetter.
Em pow er ed Wom an Em pow er s!
M el ani e Bubl yk , w ri tes a HERstory on Rose M mbaga.
Nkechi Coker is a simple and relentless woman, passionate about contributing to making Africa a better place. She is a digital strategist who manages Code for Africa's (CfA) local open-data and civic technology laboratory in Lagos, at Code for Nigeria (CfN). The lab, which has satellite teams in Abuja and Benin City, consists of software engineers, data analysts and data journalists who are helping build digital democracy tools that empower watchdog NGOs and the investigative media. The lab also coordinate's Nigeria's vibrant Hacks/ Hackers community of civic 'hactivists?and is custodian of the Wanadata network of data scientists and data journalists. Prior to joining CfN, Nkechi worked with the Microsoft's philanthropy team in Nigeria, building on her earlier work as the head for the Edo State Government's open data initiative, where she spearheaded the establishment of Nigeria's first open government portal at http:// data.edostate.gov.ng/ . Outside of her CfN work, Nkechi is a founding member of the grassroots Sabi Hub collective in Benin City, which supports youths to use technology to tackle developmental challenges through social entrepreneurism. Through this platform, they are contributing to reducing the unemployment level in Nigeria. She has led the training and incubating of over 100 businesses in the south of Nigeria while provide coworking space and community activities for them in Benin city. Aware that technology never stops evolving, Nkechi is currently studying towards a M.Sc in Information Systems Management at the University of Salford, in Manchester. She already has a Bachelor of Engineering (electrical) from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria. Her pioneering work has seen her featured and mentioned in various feats including:
Nk ech i Cok er A ch ange mak er i n STEM Chiamaka Adinnu marks the International Women's Day (IWD2019) by celebrating visionary women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?s such as Nkechi Coker, a Nigerian Open Data analyst. Policy Design Curricula as a Data Champion - Featured by the World Bank as one of the four leading Women of Open Data in Africa - School of Data Fellow, 2015 - Open Data Institute?s Open Data Leader?s Network (ODLN) as a government change agent - The Future Africa Award prize in Public Service 2014 and 2015
Recognized on # YNaijaPowerList for - Listed as one of the 100 most influential Corporate Governance in Nigeria young Nigerians in 2018 - Recognized as one of the SME 100 young - Mandela Washington Fellow 2016 enterprising women of 2014 in Nigeria - Global Shaper of the World Economic - Finalist, Mckinsey Next Generation Women Forum Cape Town Hub Leaders?Award - Featured in Harvard Center for Evidence
Femal e Leadersh i p M yth or Real i ty?
I s f emal e l eadersh i p a myth or a real i ty? To get an answ er to th i s and oth er q uesti ons, A nank e magazi ne's Dari a Leontev a i nterv i ew ed Ev geni ya M otori na. Eugene i s a successf ul entrepreneur, Presi dent of th e Pro Women communi ty, a h appy moth er of tw o ch i l dren and a real w oman l eader.
Daria: Evgeniya, thank you for the readiness of your cooperation with Ananke Magazine. Now you are the President of PRO Women community. To begin with, please tell our readers about the community. The purpose of creating a community, its values, and members? Evgeniya: The PRO Women community is an initiative of the Rybakov Foundation (a Russian non-profit organization which aims to support entrepreneurs). The main goal of PRO Women community is to unite women and promote changes in their lives and environment. Due to mutual support, exchange of competencies and resources, association and collective responsibility, girls and women develop their projects, which are very often social and aimed at improving the quality of life. Daria: The PRO Women community is built on creating interest groups, right? Please tell us how this community building helps women in their development? Evgeniya: These are not exactly interest groups in common sense. PRO Women community is based on a group of like-minded people who are ready for development. There is something in common with the psychological groups of support, where you are obviously accepted for who you are and do not devalue your ideas. In groups, we share our experience in solving certain issues or situations. We get the support of even the most insane ideas and are not afraid to make a mistake with a new business project. And collective responsibility forces one to move forward and not to leave ideas preventing of giving up. Plus, it is a huge boost of energy. Daria: Evgeniya, our congratulations regarding your assignment to a position of the community?s President. Please tell us about your career story and the way you manage to combine the position of the President and motherhood? Evgeniya: Now I have three big projects if we can call it like that: I am a mother of two children (4 and 1 year old), I am also co-founder of digital agency and I am a President of the community of women which means that I am a public figure.
Honestly, I do not have a formula for success. Everything is very interconnected. I have children and I communicate with many women in the same position. I was initially not interested in focusing my life just around my children. This is my inner need to do more, it is important that there are many happy people around me. Hence the perfectionism in the work, it is important for me to make my clients happy with my work and enjoy the joint result. Not everyone can afford to pay for the services of my agency, so I teach start-up entrepreneurs the basics of promotion on the Internet. They understand what part of the work they can do themselves and which part is better to outsource. Not everyone understands whether to delegate this work to contractors or not, then I advise, helping to sort out this issue. I am always very worried that unscrupulous contractors may get caught by someone and try to warn them as much as possible by telling some cases or news from the digital world. Once in the community of pro-women, I really wanted to help girls not to be disappointed in their idea, help to count, help present a picture of the ideal world. Conversely, I received a lot of energy of gratitude and actions that made me deepen my professional knowledge and give more. So, I came to the position of President of the community and now I try to inspire and help women of the whole country and abroad to develop themselves because groups of ProWomen are also formed in other countries. Well, children are just always with me accompanying me at events and meetings, thereby contemplating new interiors and new children's zones that are interesting for them, new people. I am lucky, and my children are very sociable and self-sufficient. They do not always need 100% of my attention, it is enough to know that I am near, and they are waiting for a new quest and a new journey. Daria: A popular topic today relates to female leadership. What is your vision of female leadership? What characteristics does it include? Evgeniya: Indeed, a very popular phrase. I don?t want female leadership to be tied to the military leader?s concept. In my understanding, a woman as leader certainly has the qualities to lead. And they relate more to the soul than to the steel character. For me, a female leader is wise, self-sufficient, harmonious, honest with herself, with great potential of love and energy, which she generously shares without expecting anything in return. Daria: One of the hot topics in the world today is the role of women in economic development. Please tell us your attitude about the situation with the development of
female entrepreneurship in Russia? Evgeniya: W ith the birth of children, entrepreneurship becomes logical for many women. After all, they can evenly distribute the time between work and children, they do not need to ask for leave from the employer or endure the sidelong glances of colleagues when the child has once again become ill and the woman as the employee cannot physically attend the workplace. Then women change their priorities with the birth of children. Social projects are often born from a lack of some services in their field of vision. So, there is an appearance of new educational programs for children, rehabilitation and sports centers, businesses focused on clients with children. Fortunately, the state is now supporting such women by simplifying the taxation system and from this year such status as ?self-employed? appeared. These are not entrepreneurs in the common sense of the word, but people who earn money on their services, for example, tutors. Their activities have become legal now. Daria: Can a woman be successful in business while maintaining her femininity? What do you think? Evgeniya: Yes, of course! The severity and ability to defend their rights have no effect on the reduction of femininity. On the contrary, femininity helps in business. Business just needs more responsibility, which is very natural for a woman because she got used to being responsible not only for herself, but also for her family and children, and business is just another child for her. Daria: The theme of the International Women's Day 2019 according to UN: "Think equal, build smart, innovate for a change." The topic is very relevant and is intended to emphasize the role of women in the global community. What do you think about this topic? Evgeniya: I have already said that many women operate their businesses from the standpoint of changing the existing environment. Many people think about rational consumption. For example, one of the participants of the ProWomen community initiated a project to collect waste paper in offices. To recycle paper, you need to collect a ton, and small offices simply cannot afford to store such volumes to hand it over for recycling. Virtually every female business is directed to social needs. Of course, now we live
in a wonderful time when we do not need to survive, and we can concentrate on the development of society. So historically, the main task of women was raising children. Today, women can perform this function globally promoting changes in society by creating new approaches to education, cultivating rational use of resources, and creating an accessible environment. Daria: The 2019 theme is intended to draw attention to innovative ways to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women, including through building such an infrastructure. Tell us, please, what activities are carried out by the PRO Women community in this direction? Evgeniya: Difficult question for me. The fact is that I have never felt the gender superiority on the part of men. We have always entered any business relationship as equal partners. I do not really understand this wording - gender equality. Men, on the other hand, have not yet learned how to give birth to children and cannot feel for themselves everything that a woman feels. I am for respect in society. This is the main thing that helps us move. The PRO Women community continues to develop and unite women, new cities join us every month. More and more women want to share and unite. We support them from our side preparing new methodologies for working in groups, creating a convenient environment for communication, consolidating useful information for the development of both personality and business. For example, In April, a forum for leaders will be held in Moscow, where leaders from all over Russia will meet to exchange experience. Now we are preparing for them an interesting educational program so that they can unite even more women in their cities.
GLORI A K A SI ODA M A THE CONFI DENCE SELLER
Have you alw ays w anted to be a dent ist ? If not , w hat did you init ially w ant to be? Growing up as a teenager, I had always wanted something different. I wanted to study a course uncommon to my gender and colleagues. At first, I went for an Engineering course immediately after high school but didn't scale through. Biochemistry, and Microbiology were my other options. An uncle suggested that I try out Dental School, with the hope I may end up enjoying the course. At first, I was skeptical, I was depressed from admission frustrations, but in order not to stay back at home for an extra year, I decided to give Dental School a shot. How do you view your career as a dent ist ? Is it a lifelong career? Yes, I think Dentistry is a lifelong Career path for me, as I keep seeing possibilities of achieving a whole lot more through this Career. Choosing this path of career wasn't my initial plan, but like they say; "life happens when you are busy making other plans". The beauty of this career orchestration for me is that I keep discovering how to give back my genuine quota to humanity through Dentistry. In your career, w ho inspires you t he most and w hy? There are a lot of Senior colleagues in the Profession that inspire me, not just an individual. First is my Mentor, Obafemi Samuel Jennifer who is known as 'Jennysmiles'. I remain grateful for the privilege of serving under her leadership, at a time I was clueless on what the future held for me in this Career. She exposed me immediately upon graduation from Dental School to different creative ways of making unforgettable impacts both for Humanitarian purposes and at the Clinic setting. The second woman that inspires me still on this career path is Dr. Amy Shumbusho, an Orthodontist. I love the fact that Dr. Amy is always on the lookout for trends in Dentistry, she attends International Dental Conferences, travels to interact and see how Dentistry is practiced in other countries and comes back home to equip her Team of Dental Professionals with these trends. I love these women because they are setting the pace, and it gives me hope and courage to move on.
Gl ori a K asi Odama i s a Dental Heal th Crusader, soci al entrepreneur and Conf i dence Sel l er w h o i s consi stentl y grow i ng h ersel f . Sh e i s al so th e f ounder of Oak A i d f oundati on; a nonprof i t organi zati on commi tted to serv i ng h umani ty th rough dental aw areness and h ygi ene. Sh e w as born i n Enugu State Ni geri a on Wednesday, 28th October 1992 and h ai l s f rom Utugw ang i n Obudu Local Gov ernment A rea of Cross Ri v er State, Ni geri a. Sh e studi ed Dental Th erapy at Federal Sch ool of Dental Tech nol ogy and Th erapy, Trans - Ek ul u, Enugu, Ni geri a. A n ardent l ov er of sel f -dev el opment, sh e l ov es to l earn, netw ork and tak e necessary steps tow ards ach i ev i ng h er set goal s or mi l estones. I n an ex cl usi v e i nterv i ew w i th Ch i amak a A di nnu, Gl ori a, ni ck named th e Conf i dence sel l er and smi l e ambassador, tak es us dow n th e memory l ane i n h er j ourney of denti stry and di scusses h er pl ans f or h er organi zati on.
W hat programmes have you at tended so far? Are t here Organizat ions you volunteer w it h? If so, please list t hem out . There are a handful of programs I have attended both in my Sphere, and outside it. I love to be productive and so, I always yearn to learn new or better ways of doing things. I currently volunteer for Smilesdotcom Foundation, and Oak Aid Foundation but worked in collaboration with Creative Care Foundation, Inyang Otu Foundation, Amanator Youths Initiative e.t.c. W hich programs/ fellow ships/ healt h workshops as related to dent ist ry would you love to at tend if you were given t he opport unit y to? If given the opportunity, I would love to attend Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Afrika Youth Movement, Future Dentistry conference in June 2019. W here do you see yourself in t he next five years in your career? I see myself become an author of several Dental handbooks, story books and the Director of Southeast go-to Dental outfit or Spa. I see myself become so relevant in Dental Health field, not just in Nigeria but also, Africa. W hat led you into st art ing t he Oak Aid foundat ion? Tell us a lit t le about Oak Aid. Oak Aid Foundation was conceived out of my passion for humanity. Our mission is to put smiles on faces of both Nigerians and Africans through Dental Awareness/ treatment projects, and Humanitarian Aids. W hat is t he inspirat ion behind t he name chosen for your foundat ion? I chose the name Oak from the phrase 'Oak tree' because it is a firmly rooted tree that can withstand any form of disaster yet provides shade with its broad branches. As one who is passionate about humanity, I wanted to form a team of visionaries who would be willing to spread across our Humanitarian aids to all, but especially to the underprivileged or unreached irrespective of their class or location. W hat is your greatest achievement w it h Oak Aid foundat ion so far? One of our achievements that makes my heart merry is the provision of over One thousand (1, 000) free Sanitary Pads to Secondary School
girls without Sponsors and a peaceful walk for creation of awareness against some cultural practices surrounding menstruation, in Enugu State Nigeria. Also, since inception stage Our Dental Awareness and treatment projects, have been able to reach out to over 7,000 people in different communities, schools, and Organizations. W here do you see Oak aid foundat ion in t he next five years? Oak Aid Foundation is spreading out to reach more people within Nigeria, and other African Countries. In five years? time, we would have started living out our dream of training Health Workers and certifying them as Auxiliary Dental personnel in all unreached communities within our reach. We want to cover the gap of only visiting these rural dwellers once a year or in two years by setting up at least one 'Dental care center' where people can easily have access to Dental treatments at a low cost. W hat words of advice do you have for t he young girls out t here w ishing to st art up a career such as yours? In the world we live in, I as an individual believe that everyone's got a part to play, if you must etch your name in the sands of time. My advice to younger ladies is Self-Discovery! Like I earlier shared, I didn't choose this path from onset, but along the line, I developed genuine likeness for it, especially being around people who are doing well in my Career from whom I can draw inspiration that leaves me excited about my future. Dear Ladies, your dreams are valid. Start out with one, be known for a thing, then with time you can diversify if need be. Any ot her t hing you'd like to add? Service is everything. W hatever your hands find to do, do with all diligence.
Her Way To Th e Top Hira Ali, author of the book Her Way To the Top; a multifaceted coach who has trained and coached women across the globe and who has already been published in leading outlets such as Huffpost, Women@Forbes and Entrepreneur Women and whose blogs have been shared by Arianna Huffington herself says that she is overwhelmed with gratitude to see such a great turn out and absolutely thrilled to witness such outpouring of love and support for her book from the key players of the industry. The book launch of what many describe as a popular and pioneering book - Her Way To The Top, had its official launch at in London, sponsored and hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright, one of the biggest and most well reputed law firms in London. There were several notable key speakers at the event that included Carole Stone popularly quoted in Telegraph as UK's most connected woman and former British producer of BBC Radio 4?s current affairs discussion programme Any Questions; Cherron Inko-Tariah MBE - The CEO of The Power of Staff Networks Consultancy and the founder of the National Day for Staff Networks; Helen Bogie - Chair of Women's Network at Norton Rose Fulbright, Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE- Chair of The Radio Academy, Founder of W inTrade Week & Steering Committee Member for Women?s Equality Party also frequently
referred to as "Britain's first black self-made woman millionaire and award winning author and publisher Mindy Gibbens. Her Way To The Top has created a buzz owing to its outstanding reviews and has even made it to the local news. Some of the reviewers included global influencers such as Marshall Goldsmith, Valerie Young, Dr. Lois P. Frankel, Cherie Blair, Ziauddin Yousafzai (Malala's dad) Chaira Condi, Jennifer W illey- gender equality expert and many more. Other distinguished guests that attended the event included Diahanne Rhiney founder of Baton Awards, LinkedIn UK's top voices- Carol Stewart & Alexandra Galviz, Camden Branch Leaders of the Women's Equality Party- Leah and Emma, Former Deputy Minister of Maldives - Mariya Ali, Leadership expert Jenny Garrett, senior members of the government and industry including Advisor to the Mayor-Nathan as well as the first youngest Asian Female Governor of Prison- Saj Zafar and many other inspiring women entrepreneurs.
Woman - A pi l l ar of strength at h ome and th e corporate w orl d ?A w oman i s th e f ul l ci rcl e. Wi th i n h er i s th e pow er to create nurture and transf orm,? ? Di ane M ari ech i l d Like any other woman, I play several roles, as a strategic decision maker at OYO Hotels & Homes, a responsible mother, a wife, a daughter, and a social citizen. Today, due to the fast-paced environment each component of life demands equal attention. How do you balance all these roles? Well, that comes with years of experience both at home and in the corporate arena. It took me a few years and I am yet to master it. I never envisioned myself to be a part of the hospitality industry, it was a pleasant surprise though. Currently, I work as the Country Head at OYO Hotels & Homes, looking after close to 20 hotels and 25 homes in the UAE. I started working with them 6 months ago, and during this period we have grown the team from 10 to over 50. As a woman, the experience of multitasking comes as an added advantage and helps in managing the expectation levels of several stakeholders. In my very first organization, I was fortunate to be able to break several glass-ceilings by being the first female manager in the factory. It was a great learning opportunity for me as I could share my knowledge at the right forums with equal finesse working with my more experienced male counterparts and it motivated me to steer ahead in life. Then came a turning point in my life, when working with one of the top consulting firms, I got an opportunity to contribute to a project for the African markets in the public health domain. I worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and several donor organisations such as USAID, GAVI, multiple governments, and the private sector. I was proud to be assigned with the responsibility to create a supply chain blueprint for the healthcare industry in developing countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and other African countries. This project was very dear to my heart, as I was playing a completely different role while adding value to the community. ?International Women?s Day?serves as an annual reminder to the world to celebrate what women around the world have already achieved and that we still have a long way to go, a
lot to do to support women in all walks of life. Globally, the glass ceiling still exists, for some in the form of a physical limit and for others it is more of a psychological limit that we women ourselves conceive in our mind. As a result, women around the world need to work twice as hard to not just finish their job but ensure they don?t reinforce any stereotype. Having said that, our representation in the mid to senior management roles has considerably increased in the last decade and will continue to rise in the coming years. Several women entrepreneurs have been at the helm of multiple tech-based success stories, globally and locally and it is a welcome sign of the changes that are yet to come. Let these stories further encourage other women to take up significant roles in organisations. Finally, it is important to believe in your capabilities, and for women, even sky is not the limit as we have ventured into space already. Vartika Goel, Country Head, UAE, OYO Hotels & Homes.
I t i s i mportant to bel i ev e i n your capabi l i ti es, and f or w omen, ev en sk y i s not th e l i mi t as w e h av e v entured i nto space al ready.
M al i h a A bi di Creati ng HERstori es For Pak i stani Women
A nank e?s I l si i a I del baev a i nterv i ew s M al i h a A bbas A bi di , a young, up and comi ng arti st and auth or of th e book 'Pak i stan f or Women', w h i ch cel ebrates ex traordi nary w omen of Pak i stan th rough th ough t-prov ok i ng HERstori es and v i brant i l l ustrati ons.
Tell us about yourself and your life journey. I was born and raised in (southern, port city of) Karachi, Pakistan. At 14, I moved to California (USA) and at 21, I moved to the UK where I have been living for the past two years. My father is an engineer by practice and his support has influenced my journey immensely. I am a professional artist, but have never academically studied it. I am currently studying neuroscience in England and moved here after actually getting married. I have been creating art for as long as I can remember but began posting online back in 2012 and that is when I started working as a professional artist. I have worked with companies like Adobe, UN Women and Peace Corporation focusing women?s empowerment as that is what I like to work with. I would like to think that my artsy side comes from my dad who is very creative. He has always encouraged me to express myself artistically and so has my husband. I have been incredibly lucky to have the support of my family, my grandparents, aunts and uncles, in everything I do. W hat inspired you to st art your professional journey as a feminist art ist ? At a very early age, I was drawn to colours and of filling any surface, a canvas, a wall, a piece of paper with my ideas and whatever I?d like. I have been working on art that focuses on women?s empowerment for a while, thematically or
in a series. Even if you pick up and look at some of my oldest works, I do a series of 8-10 pieces showcasing a certain culture or strong figures. W hen I started posting my work on social media, I saw its impact through the messages I received in response and the way people felt when they viewed my work. The more attention it received, the more I saw it being a voice for many issues that can use our support. I believe, because of social media, we all have a platform to share a voice and contribute to the things we believe in. Congrat ulat ions for penning an amazing book ?Pakist an For Women: Stories of women w ho achieved somet hing ext raordinary?. How did you first t ime come up w it h t he idea of w rit ing such book? Can you briefly tell us about t he book it self? I decided to write and illustrate ?Pakistan for Women?because being a Pakistani, I see there is a lot of talent in my country and stories of excellence. Being a feminist, I see many women in Pakistan who we should be showcased and celebrated. From mountaineers to astrophysicists to educators, Pakistan has amazing HERstories and this book advocates the idea that if these Pakistani women can achieve their dreams through hard work and dedication, so can all the girls, reading their stories. It is the first book of its kind to be published in Pakistan. It celebrates women from all walks of life. I have always done series on cultures and women consisting of 8-10 pieces of work but this time I wanted something more extensive. W hen I started to make a list of
names, it extended to 80 women. The list could have easily been of 1000 names. How did you decide w hich female t railblazer to choose for your book? As a feminist, I stay up to date with stories of strong women. I knew about some in detail, some I was just kind of familiar with and some I learned about through my research once I took on this project. My goal was to represent diversity, talent and the spirit Pakistan through the stories of these women and with more than 50 of them in this book, I have achieved that. In your book t railer you have ment ioned t hat it is t he first book of it s kind in Pakist an. Regarding to t hat , were t here challenges you faced along t he w ay? There haven?t been any challenges of that sort but the response from my own people and even people from other countries has been incredibly supportive. Challenges were more of an artistic nature where if I thought a certain portrait was not not capturing a woman?s story, I would start from square one and try to perfect it until I achieved what I was after. Some of the portraits I drew four to five times because I was not
happy but ultimately, I am happy with all the stories and illustrations in the book. W hat do you w ant people to t ake aw ay from your art works and your book? W hat impact w ill your book have on empowering women, part icularly in Pakist an? In some cultures, I have seen parents or elders discourage little girls from pursuing a certain profession or follow their passions. Reasons vary from household responsibilities to a matter of family honor or because they say that our country is poor, and so no one here can achieve much. Not only this, but Pakistan has a certain reputation and it doesn?t reflect the reality. Yes, there are problems but what country doesn?t have problems? And so to challenge that reputation, and to challenge everyone who discourage girls, here is a book of more than 50 real women who have done something great for Pakistan, and they have not only changed the way our country is progressing but have also broken endless boundaries. So we must celebrate our women and through the examples of those who have done great things, we must encourage our girls to do amazing things in life as well. Anyt hing you w ish to add? Yes, I have sometimes seen people say that men in countries like Pakistan oppress women. In my experience and through learning stories of these women, I have learnt that their biggest supporter were their fathers. Even in my case, my father, my grandfather, my husband, my uncle Sajjad, all these men in my life have been the biggest support and I would like to point out that if you are man, support your women. That being said, it does happen but that is not the full truth.
M ESSGE Yasmi ne Omari Ex ecuti v e Di rector at th e Pearl I ni ti ati v e
W ith a rapidly changing global economy, leaders are urgently seeking an effective method to sustain economic growth. W hile geography, industry, and technology are important considerations, gender is an imperative factor that cannot be ignored. Talent is critical to staying competitive, and with over70 percent of the UAE?s university graduates being female, utilising this pool of talent is essential. A study by McKinsey & Company found that international companies with more women on their corporate boards far outperformed the average company in return on equity and other measures while operating profit was 56% higher than those boards that didn?t have more women. W hile we celebrate the achievements made towards narrowing the gender gap, continuing efforts are necessary to accelerate progress. The Private Sector must develop sustainable strategies aimed at integrating women at every level. Organisations that integrate women at every level will no doubt have a competitive advantage, yielding a significant gender dividend for their organisations. Greater gender equality means empowering women at all levels, that includes confronting challenges of their cohesive society, their economic competitiveness, their national identity, their health, education, environment and well-being. The Pearl Initiative reinforces its commitment to building a stronger culture of corporate governance in the Gulf Region?s Private Sector, so they can realise their goals of gender diversity and inclusion in the workplace more effectively.
M ESSA GE Sh ei k h K h al i d bi n Sul tan bi n M uh ammad A l Qasi mi
On the occasion of the International Women?s Day, Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Urban Planning Council (SUPC), extended his deepest gratitude and felicitations to the council?s female workforce, commemorating the history of achievements of women all over the world that have led to the successful growth and development of societies and economies. He explained: ?On this day, we take the opportunity to reflect on how far the world has come in transforming businesses, politics and societies aligned with the mindsets and cultures of gender diversity, women equality and equity. SUPC prides itself in being among the leading government entities in the region and the world who are working towards the complete empowerment and enrichment of women and their career ambitions under the wise directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sutlan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs,.? He concluded: ?We continue to move forward with initiatives and career programs, under a vision instilled by the emirate of Sharjah, providing our female workforce equal career development opportunities. We believe that excellence and success for any organisation can only take place if a proper diverse organisation structure is in place; where women are leading ideas, projects, teams as well as entire businesses.?