SPOILED – My Play Lives Again in 2020

You've thought about violence against women - but have you thought about it from the perspective of men? Men are, after all, the perpetrators the vast majority of the time. How can we possibly begin to understand the issue if we only look at half the picture? SPOILED, my vision for a play exploring this theme with examples from India and the US, came to fruition in 2015 when actor and playwright Elizabeth Hess crafted a one-woman show around the idea. But the issue is unfortunately pretty damn timeless, and the Hess Collective has been able to rework it to…

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Gender Activism: 4 Tips

[box] I spoke about activism - specifically, activism for gender equality - at the UN Women USA GCC lunch in October. For those who've asked for a reminder of my four activism tips, I offer the speech - tips and video. Good luck. Keep me posted.[/box] I want you to be an activist. Gender equality is important for everyone – it isn’t just something we do to be nice to women. Research shows that more gender-equal environments - communities, companies, countries – do better. More gender-equal communities have healthier children. More gender-equal companies have better returns for their shareholders.  More…

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Spring 2020: Our play SPOILED is heading to La Mama in NYC! Over 5 years ago, I originally conceived of the idea of a theatrical work exploring violence against women around the world, but told from the male perspective. My research and personal experiences told me that this viewpoint was critically important to understand – and that theater was a perfect vehicle to do this. Teaming up with experienced playwright and actor Elizabeth Hess helped create the original version of SPOILED, a one-woman play dramatizing real stories from India and the US. This latest version now includes a larger cast…

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Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) 2019

Delighted to be able to attend CSW in New York this year. Our UN Women-USA board convened a panel on Providing Social Services and Protection to Women and Girls in Conflict Zones and hosted an evening reception for fellow national committees. And at Dining For Women’s discussion on Achieving Sustainable Impact: Gender Equity Through Social Protection Systems is Imperative I got to meet new staff from Integrate Health, one of my favorite organizations working in Togo. (Established in 1946, CSW is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.)

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Through Women’s Eyes International Film Festival (TWE) 2019

The 20th Anniversary of TWE featured films from France, Tunisia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, and all over the USA, showcasing an incredible array of themes, including: River-rafting, with a purpose, in South Africa Tackling gender biases in Papua New Guinea with the women’s rugby team Adolescent growing pains in 1970’s Ireland Two women in love – with a wheelchair between them Twenty-somethings in China looking for boyfriends – and more Women and girls on the quest for aviation Plus artists, activists, athletes, and many more. Mark your calendars for TWE 2020: March 6, 7, & 8 at Burns Court Cinema,…

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March 8 – International Women’s Day Celebration

The Power of Voice Through Books (Public Speaking, Gender, Blog, tags for Women)– Zora Neale Hurston Our local UN Women Chapter has been celebrating women’s voices in film at the TWE film festival for the past 20 years - but what about books? The power of women’s voices through the written word? This year we’ve taken it on, and what could be better than Zora Neale Hurston to start us off? For International Women’s Day on March 8th, we invited Dr. Deborah G. Plant to talk about the life and works of Zora Neale Hurston. Plant is an African American…

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Panic Buttons, Technology, and Women in India

Can a ‘panic button’ on a phone really help deter violence in India? Last April India’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, announced the government’s order that by 2018 all phones include a panic button and GPS. And this February, pan-India installation of panic buttons was slated to begin. Since then, a debate has raged about whether this is really a step forward to stem the tide of violence against women and girls. There are a host of technical and access issues, of course. Most phones in India do not include GPS. Feature phones would be reconfigured…

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#MeToo 2019 – Bookstore1

Professor Philip Wagner, Julie Jennings, Chris Serio Martin, E. Scott Osborne Crystal ball, anyone? Where is #MeToo going in 2019? Its already morphed considerably from its 2006 foundations (thanks, Tarana Burke,) but what's next? Bookstore1 hosted our GulfCoast Chapter (USNC-UN Women) for a Community Conversation Sunday, January 14, to look at #MeToo. With the help of Professor Phil Wagner (our local expert on masculinities!) and Julie Jennings, recently back from six years in South Korea, we tackled this head on. Clear-cut answers we had few of, but we did have lots of great ideas and great book recommendations for more…

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