Angela Merkel was born on July 17, 1954 in Hamburg, West Germany to Herlind and Horst Kasner. Her father Horst was a Lutheran Clergyman. Just weeks after Merkel’s birth he received a pastorate in Perleberg moving the family to East Germany. Both her parents were very supportive of Merkel and encouraged her both in and out of a classroom. She became an impressive leader from a young age participating in many of the state’s youth organizations including being a member of Young Pioneers and Free German Youth. However, unlike many would presume, Merkel went to Leipzig to study physics at Karl Marx University. It was in her physics class where she met her first husband Ulrich Merkel. They married in 1977, a year before she earned her diploma. After university she worked as a member of the academic faculty at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences in East Berlin. For her impressive work, she was awarded a doctorate for her thesis on quantum chemistry. Merkel’s public life was a success and she was doing exactly what she loved, however her private life failed to match it. Angela and Ulrich divorced after only 5 years of marriage, but she did decide to keep his last name.
In 1989 after the fall of the Berlin Wall Merkel joined the Democratic Awakening and became the party’s press spokesperson, echoing her involvement in youth leadership organizations. Shortly after, the Democratic Awakening joined the Conservative Alliance for Germany, a coalition with the German Social Union (DSU) and the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). In 1990, the reputation of the coalition was damaged when it was revealed only days before the first and only free election in East Germany that the chairman of the Democratic Awakening Wolfgang Schnur had been working as a Stasi informant for years. Although at times it did not seem it would, the coalition was in fact victorious and the Democratic Awakening became a part of the government with Merkel becoming the deputy spokesperson of the government of Lothar de Maizière. She then joined the CDU in August of 1990 which merged with its western counterpart on October 1st, one day before the reunification of Germany.
with Merkel being elected to replace him. From there she became the minister of environment, conservation, and reactor safety and presided over the first United Nations Climate Conference in Berlin in 1995.
As her success in her public life continued to grow, her private life finally matched up and she married chemistry professor Joachim Sauer in 1998.
Having prevailed past multiple scandals in her past when her former mentor Helmut Kohl of the CDU was hit with a scandal over use of illegal campaign contributions Merkel refused to stay silent. She wrote an open letter calling upon the CDU to make a fresh start which proved to only increase her popularity. In 2000 she was elected the head of the CDU becoming the first woman to lead the party since its founding.
In 2005 the support for the Social Democratic Party of Germany dwindled and the general election resulted in basically a tie between the CDU-CSU and the SPD. While both parties scrambled to find allies in an attempt to form a government, months of negotiations proved unsuccessful. They both eventually settled on a “grand coalition” with Merkel becoming chancellor. She had been setting records her whole life but with her new role as chancellor she became the first woman, the first East German, and the youngest person to date to hold the office.
Today she is now on her third term in office, the second in German history to have held power for this long. She is an inspiration to women across the world succeeding as a woman in a male-oriented party. She has held strong support during her time as Chancellor and has refused to let her male dominated field discourage her from advocating for the German people and doing what she loves. While she has been at times reluctant to call herself a true feminist she has devoted much of her time to an important initiative to improve gender inequality at work. Speaking at the G7 Summit in 2015, where she was one of the few females in attendance, she stated, “We need to talk about the possibilities open to women around the world to establish their independence and ensure their advancement through safe and skilled labour. All the statistics show a reduction in poverty and inequality when more women play an active part in economic life. However, only about 50 per cent of all women are currently in gainful employment.” Merkel understands the importance of women in society and the valuable and irreplaceable role that they bring to the workplace. In many countries around the world women earn less than 80% of the wages of their male counter parts. This issue is a matter of human rights, but even for those who fail to see it as won, its elimination would help promote both the economy and social stability. According to the International Monetary Fund increasing the rates of female labour force participation in line with their equivalents for men would raise gross domestic product (GDP) across the world with countries including the United States GDP being raised by five per cent and Japan by nine per cent. Merkel understands the ways to create change and really transform her country. As the leader of one of the largest and most successful nations, Angela Merkel shows that there is no job that a women cannot hold.
Petrikowski, Nicki Peter. “Chancellorship.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 21 Aug. 2019, www.britannica.com/biography/Angela-Merkel/Chancellorship.
Ridge, Sophy. “Angela Merkel Is Finally Having Her Feminist Moment (and I'm Saying a Silent 'Hallelujah').” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 4 June 2015, www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-politics/11651033/Angela-Merkel-Germanys-Chancellor-is-finally-having-a-feminist-moment.html.
“Step It Up: Germany Pledges to Expand Support for Women's Professional Skills in Developing Countries, and Require Corporate Boards at Home to Apply a 30 per Cent Quota for Women.” UN Women, www.unwomen.org/en/get-involved/step-it-up/commitments/germany.
Growing up Oprah’s life was not easy. She was born on January 29, 1954 in Mississippi to Vernita Lee who was just 18 at the time and Vernon Winfrey who was only 20. They separated soon after and was left in the care of her maternal grandmother Hattie Mae Lee on the farm. Her name was supposed to be Orpah Winfrey, from the bible, but because of the difficulty spelling and pronouncing the name she quickly became known as Oprah Winfrey.
Her grandmother was very strict with Winfrey and expected her to grow up quickly. At two she learned to read and was addressing the church congregation. After writing a note to her teacher on the first day of school saying she belonged in the first grade, she skipped kindergarten and entered third grade the year after that. However, it seemed as though Winfrey was never able to fully live up to her grandmother’s expectations, and when she did something deemed as wrong her grandmother would beat her. When asked about this time, Oprah recalls one particular time when she was playing in the well water with her fingers and her grandmother had seen her. Oprah recounts, “She whipped me so badly that I had welts on my back and the welts would bleed. And then when I put on my Sunday dress, I was bleeding from the welts. And then she was very upset with me because I got blood on the dress… so I got another whipping for getting blood on the dress.”
acting out skipping school, dating boys, stealing money from her mother, and even running away. Vernita, who was struggling to handle herself, could not handle her rebellious teenager and sent her away to her father’s house in Nashville.
Her father, similarly to her grandmother, was a strict man who gave Oprah the rules of the house that she was not to disobey. Oprah remembers, “My father ... said to me as I'm standing in the kitchen listening to him, 'These are the rules of the house, you're going to obey the rules, you have a 10 o'clock curfew, and I would rather see a daughter of mine floating down the Cumberland River … than to bring shame on this family and the indecency of an illegitimate child.' " Little did he know, she was already pregnant. She was able to hide the child both at school from her classmates and teachers and also her father. This allowed her to continue to excel in the classroom. If her secret was found out she says, she “wouldn’t have been able to be head of student council, … speaking champion in forensics, … or chosen as one of the two teenagers in the state of Tennessee to go to the White House conference on youth.” If her secret was out she believes that the entire trajectory of her life would have been different.
The same day, she told her father about the child she went into early labor. She delivered a baby boy but he died two weeks later. While this was painful, she took this as a second chance at life. She got a second opportunity to talk hold of her future and pave a path that she would look back and be proud of.
Shortly after she read the autobiography of Maya Angelou titled, I know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Oprah credits this book in giving her a new meaning of life and opportunity. She says that she “had never before read a book that validated my own existence.” She refocused her efforts and began her quest in getting her life back. She focused on her education and gained a new passion for public speaking. She was hired by WVOL to do the news part-time and worked their throughout her senior year of highschool and her first two years of college. In 1970 she won a speaking competition at the local Elk’s Club which earned her a four-year college scholarship to Tennessee State University where she studied communication.
During college in Nashville she began focusing her efforts on radio and television broadcasting. She then became the youngest news anchor and first black female news anchor at WLAC-TV. She decided to move move to Baltimore where she hosted the TV chat show People Are Talking. The show became a major hit. Winfrey stayed there until she was recruited by a Chicago TV station to host her own morning show, A.M. Chicago. She quickly took her show from last place to first in the ratings even surpassing Phil Donahue who hosted the highest-rated talk show, Donahue, in Chicago.
In 1986, Oprah launched The Oprah Winfrey Show as a nationally syndicated program that ran for 25 years and had an audience of over 10 million people. She later gained ownership of the program from ABC, putting it under control of Harpo Productions, her new production company.
Throughout everything Oprah has stayed true to herself. In 1994 when talk shows were becoming more “exploitative and trashy” she vowed to keep her show clean and free of tabloid topics. Although in 2011 she chose to end her program when her contract with ABC ended many things that came from the show still continued including “Oprah’s favorite Things” where she explained her top gifts for the holiday season “Oprah’s Book Club” which helped propel unknown authors to the best seller lists and gave pleasure reading a new stage. In 2011 she started her own network the Oprah Winfrey Network, more popularly called OWN.
largely revolves around causes for education and programs for women and children including funding battered women’s shelters, campaigns to catch child abusers, and schools like Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
Oprah serves as a role model to girls all across the world showing them that no matter where they come from or circumstances they may face in life there is always a path forward as long as you keep pushing and remember who you are and what is important to you.
pursuing a career of her own. While, she passed away the day before Ruth graduated highschool, Ruth continued those life lessons that her mother taught her and always strived to do her best and work the hardest in her class to make her mother proud.
Ruth carried her love of education from James Madison High School to Cornell University where she graduated top of her class and met her future husband Martin. In 1954, the same year as her college graduation, she married Martin, a first-year law student at cornell and became Ruth Bader Ginsberg. After graduating, Ginsberg put her ambitions on hold to start a family and had her first child Jane Ginsberg a year later. They lived in Fort Sill, Oklahoma where Martin completed military service. Upon the completion of his discharge, Martin enrolled in Harvard Law school with Ruth enrolling shortly after.
While attending Law School Ruth faced adversity both personally and professionally. During her first year in law school Martin fell ill with testicular cancer. But that did not slow her down, rather she rose up to the challenge of excelling in school while also carrying full time for her sick husband. In addition to being the caretaker for her ailing husband she was also a mother to her young daughter. The classroom became valued time away from the chaos of her home life. However, being one of only nine females out of 500 people in her class proved challenging at times. She faced gender-based discrimination from nearly all of her piers and proffessors who believed that she undeservingly was taking a man’s spot at the law school. Undeterred she continued on becoming the first female member of the Harvard Law Review.
After civil procedure she became a professor at Rutgers University Law School, a position she held for nearly 10 years before becoming a professor at Columbia. At Columbia she became the first female professor at Columbia to earn tenure. While there, she also directed the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) leading the fight against gender discrimination. During her work with the ACLU Ginsburg fought against discrimination as a whole, fighting for all individuals being unfairly discriminated against.
In 1980, Ginsburg was appointed by Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 13 years later, in 1993, following an appointment from Bill Clinton she became the 107th Supreme Court Justice. There she used her platform as a position to lead change and use her new power to fight for equality and women’s rights. She wrote the majority opinion in the United States v. Virginia stating that qualified women could not be denied admission to the Virginia Military Institute. But that was not the only case where Ginsberg fought for equality. In the case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. where a female worker was being paid much less than her male counterparts despite holding the same qualifications sued Goodyear under the basis of Title VII. Being reminded of those years where she struggled to find a job and being paid less than the males next to her she wrote a colloquial yet powerful version of her dissent to read. Ginsberg did not give up on this matter and in 2009 she worked with President Obama to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which aims to help close the gender pay gap.
Justice Ginsberg has become a role model for all women in America teaching them that in the face of adversity or when people tell you that you are not good enough, use their doubt as motivation and follow your passions and ambitions because if you set your mind to it anything is possible.
But as it turns out women are also much less likely to run for office than males. In a study by Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox they illustrated that women consistently underestimate their qualifications and believe that they are lesser than their male counterparts who had nearly identical credentials. This shows that it is not only a matter of getting elected it is a matter of self-confidence and confidence that many women lack. They believe just because someone is a man that they are suddenly more competent. This mindset is what needs to change. Girls are powerful and they can do anything that they put their mind to; they just have to believe in themselves.
Furthermore, when in office women are not just one homogeneous group. They each are individuals with different life experiences, backgrounds, and ideologies. Despite this, females are more likely than males to introduce bills on gender equality, reproductive health, and issues affecting children and families.
To try and balance this difference civil society organizations have actively been training and supporting female candidates which has been dramatically boosted following the 2016 presidential election where Hillary Clinton, despite losing the presidency, became the first woman who was the presumptive nominee of a major party showing people everywhere that girls do have a voice and will not be silenced. In addition to thousands reaching out to organizations like the PAC EMILY’s List to express their interest in running for office, women across the country joined women’s marches for gender equality. The conversation around women’s rights and treatment in society has only been stimulated by the #MeToo movement which has sparked national debates regarding harassment that undermine women’s professional advancement.
Women’s potential in sports has been doubted since the beginning of time. Even the founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin said in 1896, “No matter how toughened a sportswoman may be, her organism is not cut out to sustain certain shocks.”
This doubt expressed by Coubertin has only been stimulated by the introduction of sports coverage and the growth of this sector. While 40% of sportspeople are women, only 6-8% of the sports media coverage follows women. This not only translates to the differences in amounts players make both each match but also the sponsorships they receive which is where many players really make most of their money. Rencently, Forbes released the 2019 highest paid athletes and out of the 100 people on the list only one, Serena Williams at #63, was a woman. One may optimistically assume that this year is just a little different than past years, more of an outlier. However, this year is follows the trend of many past years with only female tennis players every cracking the top 100 since the list has existed.
For many female athletes they are tired of these inequities and have started to demand equal pay. The United States Women’s Soccer Team is leading this movement. In March of 2019 the women’s team filed a lawsuit against their employer, the United States Soccer Federation claiming that the USSF is in violation of the U.S. Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. In one hypothetical case mentioned in the lawsuit, if both teams one 20 straight games in a season the women would only earn 38% of what the men due for the same exact job. Their spokeswoman Molly Levinson spoke on the matter shortly after the Women's World Cup win, “At this moment of tremendous pride for America, the sad equation remains all too clear, and Americans won’t stand for it anymore. These athletes generate more revenue and garner higher TV ratings but get paid less simply because they are women. It is time for the Federation to correct this disparity once and for all.”
Tory Burch is known to be one of the world's most successful businesswomen, designer, and philanthropist. Tory embodies all of the essential traits of a businesswoman: the ability to develop product ideas, build teams to develop her products, and use marketing strategies to build a strong brand loyalty to her business.
Straight out of college, Tory worked at some of the most prestigious businesses such as Zoran, Harper Bazaar, Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren, and Lowe. These experiences inspired Tory to create her own business. In 2004 Tory Burch launched “Tory Burch”, a fashion and empowerment brand. Tory Burch started “Tory Burch” with a small personal investment, along with some other investments from family members. However, it was not until 2009 that Tory began looking for investments from companies. At this time, Tresalia Capital invested in the company. Since then, Tory has opened up numerous storefronts ranging in location all around the world. Additionally Tory has worked hard to develop an integrated website that can be accessed from countries all around the world. Due to the fact that “Tory Burch” is a private company, its revenue is not disclosed. However, as a sign of Tory Burch’s success, Forbes lists her net worth as $1 billion.
Recently, Tory Burch had an interview in which she was asked what the biggest challenge has been in creating such a successful and world renowned company. She is credited with having an extremely surprising answer. She says, "gaining confidence to really believe in myself was a big one”. In this interview, Tory mentioned that she had published her first article on the company's website and receive feedback from a friend that was far from what she was hoping for. Her friend said that Tory was not centralizing around ambition enough, and it seemed like a shied away article. Tory says, "When I thought about it, she was absolutely right. And I was kind of mad at myself, because I was raised with three brothers not knowing there was any difference in what we could do. Our parents made us believe we could do anything. When I really looked at that article, and looked at myself, I realized I was a little timid when facing that word — and it was something I wanted to change." Tory was able to recognize her weaknesses and addressed them which resulted in her bettering her company and herself as a whole. As a result of this experience, Tory recognized that there was a need for a larger community in which female entrepreneurs would be able to converse and help one another in their business endures. Additionally, Tory wanted to create a more accessible way for female entrepreneurs to gain access to capital.
wanted to contribute to the “Tory Burch Foundation” by investing $100 million into it. Additionally, the “Tory Burch Foundation” serves as a network for female entrepreneurs from all over the world. As a result of the creation of this foundation, women are considerably more likely to succeed in their business endeavours.
Back in 2004 Tory never imagined that her company would grow to the magnitude that it currently sits at. Burch’s life story truly shows how with hard work and determination, anything is achievable. Tory Burch is so admirable because she has used her entrepreneurial success to help bolster the rest of the female entrepreneurial community.
Around the world, girls are less likely to graduate from secondary school than boys. In fact, according to UNESCO worldwide, 131 million girls are out of school — and 100 million of those are girls of high school age. And while there are many reasons for this, periods play a major role. Periods are the #1 reason girls miss school in developing countries. One reason for this is that over 1.2 billion women across the world do not have access to basic sanitation, making their periods a monumental challenge every month.
Due to the high cost of period products this issue disproportionately affects women and girls which limits their ability to compete on an equal platform to their fellow pupils. Currently there are about 15 million children in the United States – 21% of all children – who live in families with incomes below the federal poverty threshold. As Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, vice president for development of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law, says “These low-income families are sometimes forced to choose between spending their last $10 — the price of a 42-pack of name-brand heavy flow pads at CVS — on menstrual care or on food.”
Currently there are three states that have passed period legislation. They are New York, Illinois, and California. New York City was the first city in the world to pass period legislation. In July of 2016, championed by Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, New York passed the legislation package 1122-A, 1123-A and 1128-A. When asked about his support for this legislation package New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, ““There should be no stigma around something as fundamental as menstruation. These laws recognize that feminine hygiene products are a necessity – not a luxury. … As a father, husband and feminist, I am proud to sign these bills into law.” His support of this legislation was widely praised. Assembly member Michael Blake stated, "With the signing of these three bills, Mayor de Blasio is codifying equality and equity for girls and women in schools, shelters and the criminal justice system. No longer will a regularly occurring, natural event create an undue financial burden on low-income women or cause our girls to miss school. I applaud the Mayor and the Council Members for leading through example and showing the world how the City cares for all its residents by providing them with the necessary hygiene products they need to feel clean, healthy and prepared for their day."
In January of 2019 a new California law passed which requires low-income middle and high schools to stock at least half of their bathrooms with feminine hygiene products. This law addresses the correlation between those of low income families and the issue of period poverty as many of those suffering most from this issue belong to those families.
However, right now there are only 3 states that have passed this legislation providing free period products in schools. In fact 35 states still have the Pink Tax which is the tax on menstrual hygiene products. It is imperative to keep advocating for lawmakers to repeal this tax and pass legislation to provide free period products in schools. Ultimately, Period poverty is a form of institutionalized discrimination that causes women most at risk to suffer - in cultures that already marginalize women, in homes that struggle to survive below the poverty level. Women’s rights are human rights, and include the right to be educated and to earn a fair and equal wage. The right to be treated equally transcends gender. Our biology is simply who we are; it cannot be permitted to limit in any way who we can become as equal members of our society.
Bilton, Isabelle. "Period Poverty Hinders Children’s Education Globally." SINews. Last modified January 29, 2018. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.studyinternational.com/news/period-poverty-hinders-childrens-education-globally/.
Marsh, Sarah. "Government to Provide Free Sanitary Products in English Secondary Schools." The Guardian. Last modified March 13, 2016. Accessed May 25, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/mar/13/government-hammond-to-provide-free-sanitary-products-in-secondary-schools.
O’Hagan, Ellie. "We Need to Talk About Periods: Why is Menstruation Still Holding Girls Back." The Guardian. Last modified May 28, 2015. Accessed May 20, 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/may/28/we-need-to-talk-about-periods-why-is-menstruation-still-holding-girls-back.
Rueckert, Phineas. "Why Periods Are Keeping Girls Out of School - and How You Can Help." Global Citizen. Last modified May 30, 2018. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/menstrual-hygiene-day-education/.
Schultz, Colin. "How Taboos Around Menstruation Are Hurting Women’s Health." Smithsonian. Last modified March 6, 2014. Accessed May 21, 2019. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-taboos-around-menstruation-are-hurting-womens-health-180949992/.
Segmega, Jessica. "What Is Poverty?" Center For Poverty Research University Of California Davis. Last modified March 10, 2017. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-taboos-around-menstruation-are-hurting-womens-health-180949992/.
Semuels, Alana. "Good School, Rich School; Bad School, Poor School." The Atlantic. Last modified August 25, 2016. Accessed May 26, 2019. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/property-taxes-and-unequal-schools/497333/.
Truong, Debbie. "Her School’s Restrooms Didn’t Have Pads or Tampons. So She Took Matters Into Her Own Hands." The Washington Post. Last modified December 29, 2019. Accessed May 23, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/her-schools-restrooms-didnt-have-pads-or-tampons-so-she-took-matters-into-her-own-hands/2018/12/29/c0c73bca-ffdc-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?utm_term=.668beb4d0e71.
Vagianos, Alanna. "New Hampshire House Passes Bill to Provide Free Menstrual Products in Public Schools." Politics. Last modified May 10, 2019. Accessed May 28, 2019. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-hampshire-house-menstrual-products-schools_n_5cd573a7e4b054da4e87ae2c.
In 1890, the Independent Female Worker Era began. This time period marks the beginning of women joining the workforce. While this was revolutionary to the opportunities that females had, only young and single women actually ended up working. However, jobs that these women worked were typically very nominal in comparison to the positions that men held.
As time progressed, more women began working, however it was nowhere near an equilibrium. To companies, women were not seen as a necessity and most companies believed that the place for women was in the house. Most people assume that boys and girls are equal. They assume that there cannot possibly be any huge gender discrepancies. But the reality is there are many setbacks that women face on a daily basis that reinforces gender inequities and limit their ability to compete on an equal basis to their male counterparts. One of those discrepancies is the gender wage gap.
The gender pay gap is defined as the difference between the amount of money paid to women and men, often for doing the same work. “The gender pay gap is the result of many factors, including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers, and direct pay discrimination. Additionally, such things as racial bias, disability, access to education, and age come into play. Consequently, different groups of women experience very different gaps in pay.” (AAUW) For example, currently Asian women earn around 85% of the salary of an Asian man, placing them at the lowest discrepancy. On the other hand, Hispanic women only earn 53% of the salary of Hispanic men, evidently placing them at a very high discrepancy. While many things usually correct and get better with time, this has not been the case with the gender pay gap. For example, in 1960, women earned 61 cents for every 1 dollar that a man made. At this time, the women were in full knowledge that they should earn equal wages to men, and therefore began to fight this gap. As a result of these efforts to close this gap, on June 10 of 1963 the Equal Pay Act was passed as an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The act “prohibits discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers." In 2018, the gap has narrowed as women generally earn 80 cents for every dollar that a man makes. However, the progress has largely plateaued as it has women have been stuck around this value for nearly 15 years. While the Equal Pay Act of 1960 has had many positive outcomes, it has not worked to fully correct the gender pay gap that is still very prominent in our society today.
As proved by many events and movements in history, by speaking out against injustices that we notice, change is bound to happen. It is essential that we keep fighting the gender pay gap so that women earn what they truly deserve. The Government Equalities Office in the United Kingdom Government conducted a study on the gender pay gap and have tested multiple ways to improve the gender pay gap.
First off, the Government Equalities Office discusses in their test that there needs to be more forms of accessible job recruitment for women. For example, in lists of qualified people for jobs, there must be a substantial number of women who could be considered for a job. Additionally, the use of structured interviews in which all prospective employees, both men and women, are asked the same exact questions. By asking both genders the same questions, it ensures that the interviews are conducted on a much more comparable measure which makes the hiring process much more equal.
The Government Equalities Office additionally places a big emphasis on salary negotiation. As multiple studies have concluded, women are much less likely to negotiate their salary in comparison to men. Multiple reasons for this include being afraid, being considered pushy, and feeling like they are stepping out of line. To solve this issue, the GEO recommends that employers make the salary range known pre employment so that women are more comfortable in asking for a salary change. Additionally, by doing this, a woman knows what a reasonable raise asking price would be, ultimately making them much more likely to negotiate their salary.
As proven by this study, there are numerous ways that the pay gap can be closed but the main way to do so is to encourage more and more women to join the workforce. As more women begin working, it becomes a normalized thing. It is clear that while as a whole society has progressed a lot since the 1890s, there is still a long way to go. By working as a society to close the gender pay gap, change will be made and women will earn equally to their male counterparts.
STEM is an interdisciplinary field of four disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Many schools across the United States focus on STEM based teaching, resulting in a well rounded education and student. While this curriculum was once extremely popular, recent US Department of Education studies show that the number of students interested in STEM education is decreasing tremendously. In fact, only 16% of American students have demonstrated an interest in STEM education.
According to the Brookings Institute, “Ingrained biases start at an early age and become even more pronounced as girls move through school and enter into the world of work. Girls are rarely encouraged to study math or science, and often internalize beliefs that boys are simply better in these fields.”
As a result of the decreased demonstrated interest in STEM education in American high schools, it has becoming increasingly difficult to ingrain this form of education into the younger generation. The Obama administration recognized this issue in 2009 and launched a campaign to make STEM a more enticing field for young students to explore. Additionally, the campaign raises awareness regarding the lack of teachers who are qualified and skilled enough to teach STEM specific courses.
Just a few years, in 2014, the Obama administration invested $3.1 million into STEM based education and curriculum. The goal of this investment was to bolster the STEM programs throughout the United States and to drive more students to participate in STEM programs.
mentors and female role models, perceived inequality of opportunity as well as a lack of practical experiences and experiential learning opportunities that enable female students to engage with mentors and explore real world applications. “There is a small window between middle school and high school to encourage and develop that early interest in and focus on STEM, before that early engagement is possibly lost for good.” (Professor Martin Bauer of the London School of Economics). Girls become interested in STEM around the age of 11 and their interest declines rapidly around the age of 15 (CNN Tech).
Marie Curie, one of the most famous and successful women in the STEM field is an exceptional representation of the immense success that can come when women work hard. As a result of her career in science, and more specifically radiation, she won two nobel peace prizes, making her the first woman to ever win more than one. Marie was also the first woman in history to ever work in the position of a Professor of General Physics in Sorbonne, Paris. Unfortunately, she passed away as a result of too much radiation, proving how dedicated she was towards her career. Marie serves as a representation and an example of how successful girls can be if they pursue a career in STEM.
It is essential to get more women interested in STEM because these occupations could translate into greater gender equality in incomes and better economic prospects for women and their families, as these jobs generally pay more and gender gaps in these occupations are lower than in other sectors.
Charlotte Hallisey- Co Founder
As Nelson Mandela said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” But without any education no real change can ever occur. About 263 million children, adolescents, and youth worldwide are out of school - a figure that has barely changed in the last 5 years. Over 63 million primary school aged children, 61 million adolescents of secondary school, and 139 million upper school aged children are not in school. Youth between the ages of 15-17 are four times more likely to be out of school than those of primary school age. But these are just world averages. In many parts of the world the numbers are even more severe. It is estimated that in sub-Saharan Africa one in every three children are out of school. Among them, they are far more likely to be girls.
These horrific numbers have contributed and also directly resulted from the are strikingly high poverty rates and shocking levels of unemployment in many of these places. For example a global competitiveness report released by World Economic Forum ranked South Africa last out of 140 countries in regards to the quality of education offered. This perception has severely impacted the willingness of employers to create more jobs and invest in the country which only continues to hurt the South African economy.
A classroom in Nigeria, an increasingly rare sight in Africa.
These horrific numbers have contributed and also directly resulted from the are strikingly high poverty rates and shocking levels of unemployment in many of these places. For example a global competitiveness report released by World Economic Forum ranked South Africa last out of 140 countries in regards to the quality of education offered. This perception has severely impacted the willingness of employers to create more jobs and invest in the country which only continues to hurt the South African economy.
Iraq has been torn apart by decades of war. Conflicts religiously, politically, and economically have destroyed nearly everything in this once prospering nation. Since the US invasion of troops in 2003 Iraq has been in an ongoing conflict for almost 15 years.
The place where women’s rights is clearly the worst in Iraq is Kurdistan. In this area are some of the worst literacy rates and poorly educated citizenry in the entire world. Reported issues in Kurdish society include genital mutilation, honor killings, and domestic violence. Women here are treated in many ways like property. They have been increasingly used as a bargaining tool or gift among tribes, while forced marriages, kidnappings, and honour-related crimes have increased drastically. They are not allowed to make their own decisions regarding sexuality or husbands and arranged marriages are very common. Women who are brave enough to make their own decisions with marriage are often victims of violence including beatings and killings. However these reports have in the past fallen on deaf ears due to women’s underrepresentation in politics. Rencently, Iraq has installed a quota system to try and increase women representation in government. Today 25% of parliaments 330 seats are reserved for women. While seemingly the solution to help solve women across the countries issues the quota system has not proven as successful as many had hoped. Women representatives have failed to enact any significant change due to their inability to change the minds of their male competitors. However women’s rights groups have started to make a significant impact in turning the lives of women in this country around. The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq which started in 2003 works to defend full social equality between men and women and fights Islamic fundamentalism. It concentrates its activities against religious extremism and sharia law and against abduction and murder of young women in honour killings.
In addition to the OWFI in 2011 on International Women’s Day a coalition of 17 Iraqi women’s rights groups formed the National Network to Combat Violence Against Women in Iraq. The Network’s focus is on advocating for women’s rights and protecting them from all kinds of violence. Groups like these have continued to grow recently and become more apparent spreading hope for change in the future of Iraq and to hopefully one day become an equal society among both men and women.
Since 2014 Meghan Meghan has been a part of UN women as an “Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership.” Her advocacy work includes visiting the World Bank, Rwanda, and visiting Clinton’s team when Hillary Clinton was the secretary of state. In a 2016 interview with AOL Build Meghan shares that she feels she has a responsibility to use her platform for good. Meghan declares, “If you have this kind of job and you have an opportunity to have a profile where people are listening to what you’re saying, I really truly think you need to be saying something that’s valuable. So, yes, you can talk about, “Where did Rachel get that pencil skirt?” Fine, sure. We can have that conversation, but I’d also like to talk about women’s rights or my work with UN Women or with World Vision or humanitarian trips or just really bolstering self esteem that has nothing to do with the external.”
At 12 she was spotted by a talent agent at a local mall in Nebraska who suggested that she send some of her photos to a modeling agency. This was the start of her career.
In the beginning of her career Graham did struggle because of her weight. For the first few years she booked jobs to be a catalogue girl but was repeatedly told that she would never go beyond that. But there was one job Ashley remembers most clearly that motivated her to defy her doubters. In an with Glamour she says “When I was 17 or 18 years old, I was doing a group shot for this really big campaign, and one girl, who was probably a size two said to me, ‘Did you actually get paid for this job?’ I remember thinking, She’s asking me because I’m fat…. It's one of those things I will never forget.”
In 2010 she made an appearance in Bust magazine and became involved in many Levi’s and Marina Rinaldi campaigns. After years of success in 2015 she appeared in Sports Illustrated as part of the Swimsuit for All campaign and the next year was on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition becoming the first plus sized model to do so in history.
Today she continues to work to show all people that they are beautiful no matter their size. When asked about her work Graham responds by saying, “I am really trying to make a change not only in the fashion industry but in the world.”
On August 15,1964 in Dallas, Texas Melinda Ann French was born. Her parents Ray French and Elaine French already had a young daughter and went on to have two sons after Melinda. Ray was an aerospace engineer while her mom Elaine was a stay-at-home mom.
In 1999 Melinda and Bill combined the William H. Gates Foundation with the Gates Library Foundation and the Gates Learning Foundation. They renamed the newly blended charity the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Although initially they wanted to put computers in libraries, Melinda quickly expanded the foundation to include global improvements to education, poverty, and health.
Following Warren Buffett’s 30 billion dollar donation, Melinda completely restructured the foundation in order to utilize the money in the best way possible. The foundation was divided into three main parts consisting of worldwide health, global development, and community and education.
Melinda has spearheaded a focus in the Foundation’s efforts to “tear down barriers that block women’s progress around the world” and “invest in women’s health.” In 2012 Melinda pledged $560 million toward improving access to contraception for women in third-world countries. Only 4 years later they announced an 80 million dollar commitment to help battle gender inequality and improve the pay gap around the world. In addition, in 2017 she announced that the Foundation would be making a 20 million dollar investment over the next three years to strengthen women’s groups world wide followed my a 2018 pledge to spend 170 million dollars over the next four years to help women around the world ‘exercise their economic power.’
"For me girls have a kind of power to make a change, if girls decide to do something for a community, for a country, they give others a chance and an opportunity to succeed. The power of girls is unlimited."
"I believe that when girls do something for their communities, no matter how small the contribution, when they all act as one they have the power to spark global change."
To support girls who will be first-generation high school graduates, so they can become visionary leaders...
donate to @https://shesthefirst.org/donate/ today!!
The Syrian Civil war started as a nonviolent uprising in 2011 but today it has become a full-fledged civil war. Since its beginning over a millions of people have been forced to flee their homes, over a million people have been injured, and 470,000 people have been killed.
But how did it all begin? Assad came to power in 2000 after the death of his father. No stranger to violence, Assad continued his fathers strict authoritarian ways. In order to ensure that he has no real political threats Assad has tortured and killed all real political opponents during his residency. To add, a high unemployment rate, terrible economy, and rampant corruption have frustrated the people and made them feel revengeful against their government. In addition while most Syrians are Sunni Muslims the government was dominated by Shiites further isolating the people from the government. While these other factors contributed to the start of the war, one of the main catalysts was the Arab Spring. In 2011 multiple political and economic protest broke out in Egypt and Tunisia. These revolts were later named the “Arab Spring.” Inspired by these pro-democracy protests, Syrian activists started their own.
This complex and disastrous situation has resulted in a massive humanitarian and refugee crisis. It is estimated that 13.1 million Syrians need humanitarian assistance with more than 3 million of these people living in isolated areas. More than 5.6 million people have fled while another 6.1 million have been displaced because of the war. While many people’s lives have drastically changed due to the war, one of the main groups that have disproportionately suffered are females.
While life before the war was not perfect it was far better than after it. Syrian women were able to travel abroad if granted permission and they were a part of society outside the home. However, ever since the war began these freedoms are virtually gone. Syrian women are strictly forbidden to go out in public without a male relatives. This means that they are unable to leave the dangerous area to hide from the war and in many places women are prohibited from getting an education or working outside them home. This leaves women trapped in their own homes.
Want to make a change? Donate to: Women for Development Now @ http://www.women-now.org/about-us/
Wong, Kristine. “5 Ways Life Has Become Intolerable for This Country's Women.” TakePart, Participant Media, 27 Jan. 2014, www.takepart.com/article/2014/01/24/women-syria.
CNN recently released an article, talking about the five places in the world that female’s struggle the most, in regards to rights, and status. Yemen is ranked the worst, followed by Pakistan, Syria, Chad, and Iran.
Another trend that can be seen throughout many countries who don't give girls proper rights, is the denial to access of education. “Research has shown that girls' education can impact entire nations, as better-educated young women tend to earn more money, be healthier, have fewer children, be more politically active and emphasize health care and education for the next generation.” (CNN) Role models such as Malala fight this issue daily. Because of girls like Malala, a change can be seen, but it is important that more people stand up and fight against it!
One final issue that must be touched upon is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a problem that so many girls across the world face, no matter where they live. While this may be the case, the number of victims is increased in countries that do not view females as equal citizens.
Child marriage may seem like a thing of the past but in reality each year thousands of girls are forced into marriages too young to even realize what is happening to them. According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” However, in the overwhelming majority of the time the consent of the child is not given but rather it is the parents who approve the act. Child marriage is a major “violation of girls’ human rights to health, education, equality, and violence and exploitation.” Child marriage can sometimes be a form of slavery. The Anti-Slavery International states that it can be a form of slavery when a child is controlled through abuse and threats, a child is forced to marry without full or informed consent, and/or a child cannot realistically leave the marriage. It has been directly linked to exploitation and trafficking in many areas around the world. For example, in Ethiopia most victims of child prostitution were married before the age of 15. In the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua some families are arranging their young daughters’ marriages to older foreigners in exchange for money. But these are just some of the many places throughout the world where this horrible act is occurring and it needs to be stopped.
Want to make a change? Donate to: Girls Not Brides @ https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/themes/human-rights-and-justice/
Source: Girls Not Brides. “Human Rights and Justice.” Girls Not Brides, Idea Bureau, June 2013, www.girlsnotbrides.org/themes/human-rights-and-justice/
Pakistan is located in South Asia, and is known to be a very deadly place to live. Despite this, it is a very populous country, holding more than 212 million people. Bordering countries include Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal, and India. Recently, Pakistan, and the rest of the general area have been widely recognized on the news for the daily acts of terrorism that occur. One of the most well known terrorist groups in Pakistan is the Pakistan Taliban.
The Taliban often made threats toward Malala and her family, because they were adamant about the fact that a girl attending school was illegal. Threat after threat, Malala still attended school, because she believed that nothing was to stop a girl from receiving an education. In 2011, she was nominated for the National Youth Peace Prize because of her activist work regarding girls education.
Left in a near death situation, Malala was quickly brought to the hospital, eventually being transferred to Birmingham, England. All alone in a foreign country, Malala lay in an induced coma, after multiple surgeries in an effort to keep her alive.
The biggest way that Malala is making a change is through the creation of her non profit organization, the Malala Fund. Malala created this organization with the help of her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, who shares similar values and morals to Malala. This fund was created in effort to raise awareness regarding the sparsity of girls education throughout the world. The statistics prove that the spread of girls who are not in school, is wide. In fact, upwards of 130 million girls worldwide don’t attend school. The countries that the organization works most heavily with are Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, and Pakistan, Malala’s home country. “Education activists like Malala and Ziauddin present the strongest challenge to barriers that keep girls out of school. Threats to girls’ education - like poverty, war, and gender discrimination - differ between countries and communities. Local educators and activists understand challenges in their communities and are best placed to identify, innovate and advocate for policy and programmatic solutions.” (Malala Fund). Malala has groups of activists working throughout the the countries in which the frequency of girls education is the worst.
Malala works alongside many other major organizations who have comparable goals to that of the Malala Fund. The educational gap between girls and boys is very profound. From childhood, Malala never let anyone tell her that she did not deserve an education. Despite reviving countless death threats from the Taliban and other men in her country, Malala remained strong. She persevered through the shooting, and came out stronger than before. Today, she continues to fight for girls education, showing how she truly is making the best of the worst.
Michelle Obama has become “America’s conscience, role model, and mother in chief” (vogue). Throughout her life she has strived to be the best version of herself, while never forgetting the fight her great-grandparents went through to give her the opportunities that she has today. Michelle's great-grandparents were both born into slavery. In 1844 her great grandmother Melvina Shields McGruder was born into slavery in a plantation in South Carolina. 6 years later she was sold for $475 to a plantation in Georgia. It was there she have birth to a son Dolphus Shields who would later move to Alabama. Three generations later Marian Shields and Fraser Robinson III gave birth to Michelle.
A few years later when her husband came to her and told her he was thinking about running for president her first thought was how this would affect their family. Despite her initial worries she stood behind her husband and supported him throughout his campaign. With his victory, she became the first lady and wife to the 44th president of the United States. It was really once Barack became President that Michelle focused on making a positive difference in the world taking on tough topics like obesity and the gender gap.