Female Genital Mutilation alive, well & also practiced on United States girls

razor used for FGM
A woman in Mombasa, Kenya, shows the razorblade she uses to cut girls’ genitals. Photograph: Ivan Lieman/Barcroft Media via The Guardian
A new investigation turned up about 70 million more victims of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) worldwide than previously known, many living in Indonesia. About half a million are girls from the United States of America, sometimes brought overseas by their parents for “vacation cutting”.

The UN shares these key facts about the practice:

  • FGM is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15.
  • FGM cause severe bleeding and health issues including cysts, infections, infertility as well as complications in childbirth increased risk of newborn deaths.
  • FGM is a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot reports,

In Guinea, where 97% of girls aged 15 to 49 are FGM victims despite the practice being outlawed, Unicef staff described seeing girls taken away from their families against their will to be cut, on the orders of village authorities. One five-year-old died from her wounds. read more

Women: if you want to be a strong civic leader, attend Ready to Run

Ready to Run 2016Ready to Run is a bipartisan campaign and civic leadership training for women held in states across the country and here in New Jersey, it’s an initiative of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). The information and networking are first class, so attend if you can.

Ready to Run
Fri & Sat 18-19 March 2016
Douglass Student Center
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ

Get more information and register at cawp.rutgers.edu/ReadytoRun. If you need a partial scholarship, look for the link to apply – the earlier, the better as limited funds are available and awards are made on a rolling basis. read more

Must watch! The cutest munchkin versions of famous woman professionals

Viola Davis
Source: YouTube Fast-Forward Girls 2015 video by GoldieBlox
GoldieBlox’s Fast-Forward Girls project celebrates superstar women and the girls they inspire – 10 women role models who have “broken the mold, blazed a trail, and made it happen in politics, entertainment, sport, and STEM. Each superstar is played by a mini-superstar in the making…” and these girls are cuties!

Grown ups portrayed:
Amy Schumer: #iLookLikeAComedian
Hillary Clinton: #iLookLikeAPresident
Ruth Bader Ginsburg: #iLookLikeAJustice
Isis Anchalee: #iLookLikeAnEngineer
Beyoncé: #iLookLikeAnEntrepreneur
Nicki Minaj: #iLookLikeASuperstar
Jen Welter: #iLookLikeAnNFLCoach
Viola Davis: #iLookLikeAnEmmyWinner
Misty Copeland: #iLookLikeAPrincipalBallerina
Abby Wambach: #iLookLikeAWorldChampion read more

ISIS = ISIL = IS = DAESH = rapists, brutalizers, woman murderers

ISIS sex slaves
Photo source: independent.co.uk
ISIS = ISIL = IS = DAESH. All names for Islamic terrorists known for committing violent crimes against humanity around the world – even against fellow Muslims. They are the cause of Syrian citizens mass exodus from their homeland.

The world knew about young sex slaves Daesh kidnaps and forces into marriages or continuously rapes until the woman crave death rather than live this way. The Telegraph relates:

Last year, one 17-year-old girl, part of a group of about 40 Yazidi women who were still being held captive and sexually abused on a daily basis by Isil fighters, told how they were raped on the top floor of the building, up to three times a day, by different groups of men. read more

“White Shoes” nude photography series highlights slavery’s roots in NY Financial District

NONA-900 on Wall Street
Photo source: Nona Faustine
Photographer Nona Faustine was drawn to shoot a series of self-portraits she calls “White Shoes”, which feature shots of her naked on sites associated with the slave trade in downtown Manhattan, NYC’s Wall Street area.

The Village Voice points out, “New York was the capital of American slavery for more than 200 years.”

Huffington Post author Priscilla Frank writes,

Revisiting the spaces haunted by such atrocious tales, Faustine drapes her body across the implicated grounds like a bold protestor or a spiritual medium. Her bare flesh recalls the stories of so many strangers that went untold, simultaneously raising questions about why bodies matter and, more specifically, which bodies matter. read more

Women Entrepreneurs Rock event at legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Mon 10/19

womenentrepreneursrock bannerTo facilitate a real dialog about topics important to women in business, the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Brookdale Community College will hold its second annual “Women Entrepreneurs Rock” (aka WeRock) at a legendary music venue in Asbury Park on Monday, October 19. The event is free and open to the public.

19 October 19 2015
6-9pm (networking until 10)
The Stone Pony
913 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

A report in The State of Women Owned Businesses, 2014 from American Express OPEN says: read more

Following – and honoring – Jimmy Carter

Honoring Jimmy CarterDaily Kos has a nice article about Jimmy Carter: how he’s dealing with cancer … the fact that he kept this country from war during his presidency … and about the man’s fabulous advocacy for the rights of women.

And here’s a Facebook page honoring President Carter. It reached the 50,000 Likes mark in just a few days and shares information about Carter’s life and accomplishments.

Love and light, Mr. Carter!

Viral! Foto of breastfeeding military moms in uniform

military moms breastfeeding
Photo credit: Tara Ruby Photography

Photographer Tara Ruby share a photo of military moms in uniform breastfeeding their kids on Facebook and it’s gone viral even though Facebook deleted it from her page the first time Tara posted it. When she reposted, here’s what Tara said:

I posted this on here last night at 11:59pm. It has since disappeared from my feed and my wall. So we are posting this here again. 🙂

Today I believe we made history. To my knowledge a group photo to show support of active duty military mommies nursing their little’s has never been done. It is so nice to see support for this here at Fort Bliss. read more

Teen acts quickly and subtly to save woman from kidnapper

Malyk Bonnet with Laval Police
(Laval Police foto)
Feeling that a woman he observed was in danger, teen Malyk Bonnet offered to buy bus tickets and then lunch for the woman and her kidnapper – a former boyfriend the police were already looking for. Acting like a friendly guy with time on his hands and some money to burn, Bonnet stayed close to the couple until he could phone the police, who arrived tout suite and arrested the guy.

Bonnet undoubtedly saved the woman from physical harm and perhaps, even death. Bonnet is a hero, and Twitter loves him!Here’s what the Laval, Quebec police say: read more

Why the 20 week abortion ban is unconstitutional, unjust and dangerous

keep abortion safe & legalRoe v. Wade established women’s constitutional rights to decide whether we will carry pregnancies to term. It is unconstitutional to impose any ban on abortions. Yet on Wednesday May 13, Congress voted 242 to 184 to ban abortions after 20 weeks of gestation. The ban will make it impossible for women to abort babies that are seriously ill, fail to develop properly or when a pregnancy threatens the mom’s life.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate the idea of aborting a fetus this far advanced in term. But this is an important point: doctors who could perform an abortion of this type probably hate it more, so it will always be difficult to find a doctor willing to perform a late term abortion. Except when there is clear medical need. read more

Why my husband is finally paying child support

For a long time – years, in fact – I didn’t want to point the law at my husband to help me collect unpaid child support. I thought about the welfare of his minor children in Colombia and the fact that as an undocumented immigrant my son’s dad could be jailed for a while and then deported. None of which wouldn’t do any member of two families any good.

But things change. So, what did change?

Ari & his Dad
Ari & his Dad

For one thing, our children grew up. Luís’ youngest child is older than my son Ari by about three years, which means that right now he’s about 23. He also no longer lives in Colombia – his mom re-married and took their son to Curação, where they live comfortably with her new husband. read more

White House & famous actors take stand against sexual assault (1 min video)

1 is 2 manyThe White House just released a very well-done video with major actors, President Obama and Vice-Prez Biden taking a stand against sexual assault. They say men need to be part of the solution to stop it from ever happening, “Because 1 is 2 many.”

Mic.com reports, “Vice President Biden introduced the PSA during the official release of “The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault” Tuesday afternoon in Washington.” Biden tells us, “This is about respect. It’s about responsibility.” read more

In Chile music saves children from poverty & the sanity of two young women

Georgina misses her viola
Life was not easy for Melody and Georgina. In their small towns and Georgina’s crowded, one room house there was little room for laughter, serenity, dreams. But music changed that for these young women. Melody says, “Necesitaba una palabra para decir que extrañaba algo que nunca había tenido.” (“I needed a word to express that I missed something that I had never known.”)

Filmmaker Marialy Rivas tells their story of escape from the drudgery of poverty through a 15 minute documentary. Be advised — you might want some tissues before it’s over! read more

Spoken word artist stops show with ‘The Average Black Girl’

Ernestine JohnsonErnestine Johnson is glorious in her spoken word performance of ‘The Average Black Girl’ on the Arsenio Hall Show.

Ernestine recounts when boyfriend’s mother told her she was acceptable because she’s not ‘The Average Black Girl’ … and she’s told she’s not ‘The Average Black Girl’ because “When I speak, I pronounce every syllable.” But Ms. Johnson interprets this label in a very different way.

read more

Trick jump-roping sisters in Rio

soccer ball jump roper

soccer ball jump roperThese women jump-ropers from Hungary make it look easy to heft a soccer ball while jump-roping. Truth is, I went to school with a bunch of girls who were probably many times more skilled than these ladies, but my schoolmates didn’t come up with the idea of jump-roping and butt-rope-jumping all over Rio during World Cup season like they did.

By the way, I boycotted the World Cup to protest the Brazilian government’s “sanitization program” which removed entire communities of poor people and ordered the killing of over 120 street orphans to make the World Cup area nice for tourists. read more