Dining For Women Conference

Dining For Women Knowledge is Power Conference May 4-5 US Institute of Peace, Washington DC Over 300 chapter members, leaders, grantees, staff, and volunteers gathered in Washington to celebrate DFW's 15th Anniversary and help plan the future. The energy, sharing, laughter, and learning could not be beaten! Safe to say we all wanted the weekend to continue - how many conferences can you say that about? See more on DFW's Facebook and website and, if you're not a member already - find a Chapter near you and join now! As one wonderful grantee said at the beginning of her panel remarks,…

Continue ReadingDining For Women Conference

Go Togo RPCVs!

Togo - a tiny country in West Africa - doesn't make it into Western news very often, but it's getting some good press today thanks to fellow Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Jenny Schechter and Kevin Fiori. They are the recipients of the 2016 Sargeant Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service in recognition of their work founding Hope Through Health (HTH) a non-profit dedicated to improving health care in underserved northern Togo. Since 2004 Hope Through Health has focused on expanding health care for the community living with HIV/AIDS. Recently, much needed Maternal and Child Health services have been added to their work. The work of HTH is…

Continue ReadingGo Togo RPCVs!

Progress? Progress!

Way back in November 2014  (wait, a year and a half ago; is that possible?) I wrote about the shame of menstruation, the last worst taboo. (See that post here. If you haven't read it, go back and do that now. I'll wait.) I have also spoken about the fact that sanitary hygiene products are taxed as luxury items in 40 states - unlike nearly all medications, Rogaine for men and, of course, viagra, all of which are untaxed 'necessities.' (See The Power of Love: Violence Against Women and What We Can Do About It.) So it is utterly delightful when…

  • Post category:HealthMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Continue ReadingProgress? Progress!

Two NGOs Working to End Child Marriage

A few statistics: it is estimated that 1 in 3 girls in the developing world marry before the age of 18 by 2050, there will be approximately 1.2 BILLION child brides India, with an estimated 10 million child brides, has more than the next 9 countries combined (see below) some child brides are as young as 8 or 9 Why is this a problem? it is a violation of human rights and, in most countries, is illegal it is a key driver of pregnancy and childbirth complications in girls 15 - 19 it puts girls at greater risk of domestic…

  • Post category:MusingsWomen
  • Reading time:3 mins read
Continue ReadingTwo NGOs Working to End Child Marriage

Better Late Than Never

To file under the "ya think?" category, this from our friends at the New York Times: A Growing Disenchantment with October Pinkification. During this month's pinkification of every-single-thing, I bit my tongue. Last October was my first fall in the USA in a while, and the pink-washing hit me full force. Then I spouted off enough to alienate numerous friends and colleagues. If you missed it, read my post on that here. So this year I was mum. Well, almost. But now the mainstream media has decided it's time to ratchet back the glowing pink-licity, so perhaps the tide has turned. As…

  • Post category:HealthMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
Continue ReadingBetter Late Than Never

All Is Good Here: Quick News Flash

What's not to like? It's hard to find anything wrong with this news item - there's just too much that's right. As per today's New York Times: New York City Prosecutor Using Millions Taken From Banks for Rape-Kit Testing The crib sheet on this one: Apparently Cyrus R. Vance, the Manhattan district attorney, is sitting on millions of dollars available for, well, worthy stuff. About $800 million. The money came from settlements with large banks when they violated US laws. Think HSBC, Standard Chartered, BNP Paribas. The cases are brought in NY, but they're banks with national and international reach.…

  • Post category:MusingsWomen
  • Reading time:4 mins read
Continue ReadingAll Is Good Here: Quick News Flash

SPOILED: Backer’s Reading January 14

SPOILED, the theatrical performance I've been working on for over a year, is on the way to the stage.  Read on and please, help us produce this work! Performance and Tax-deductible Donations: See Stage Left Studio (Contributions to Cheryl King, our Producer. Note "Spoiled" in the Artist line.) The issue: We know that rigid gender roles contribute greatly to violence against women. But we’ve found that rigid and distorted gender roles really damage both sexes – so we need to understand and involve men in conversations about the roots of this violence. By looking at events in the world’s two…

Continue ReadingSPOILED: Backer’s Reading January 14

The Daily Show and Pink October

I received many comments on my Pink October post which took a rather dim view of corporations  sharing our Breast Cancer pain. (If you missed the original post, read it here.) Now the folks at the Daily Show - good ole John Stewart and Samantha Bee - have their own take on this subject, aired December 3rd.  Yes, those pink drill bits really do exist. And Breast Cancer Action is featured too. Check it out here.  And get out those pink ribbons.    

  • Post category:HealthMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:2 mins read
Continue ReadingThe Daily Show and Pink October

Pink October

Prepare yourselves -  this is an anti-pink post. If you’re just back from your local Breast Cancer Awareness Walk or happily clicked on that ‘donate a mammogram’ button, be prepared. Before you dismiss my forthcoming comments as an angry rant from someone just transitioning back to the USA, note: I am not an unfeeling person, untouched by chemotherapy in the family or blissfully absent the experience of death. My mother is a breast cancer survivor. My mother-in-law died of cancer, in her early 50's, never to see most of her grandchildren. My beloved step-brother died of AIDS in the 1980’s,…

  • Post category:HealthMusingsWomen
  • Reading time:9 mins read
Continue ReadingPink October

Ebola and My Dog’s Toenails

There's a connection. I have been interested in Ebola for years - first in 2007 when an outbreak hit the Congo (DRC); shortly thereafter when there were cases in Uganda; then again when it re-appeared in DRC. The stories were undoubtedly fear-inspiring: a virus of unknown origin, with no known treatment or cure, which appeared to almost dissolve the cells leaving those infected bleeding from every orifice, vomiting, overtaken by diarrhea. Virtually everyone was dead within days.  This is not a pretty picture, even by the standards of those used to malaria, schistosomiasis, untreated HIV/AIDS, and chronic civil war. It's…

Continue ReadingEbola and My Dog’s Toenails