"Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke," she said during a biting, folksy 30-minute speech.
Many of her digs were targeted squarely at Obama. She mocked his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, doing an impression of Obama as weak and ineffective.
"Vladimir, don't mess around or you're going to feel my flexibility," she said, acting as Obama. "Because I've got a phone and I've got a pen, and I can dial it really fast and poke you with my pen. Pinky promise."
She also went after Obama for his "hope and change" 2008 campaign messages.
"That 'hope and change,' it went from a catchy campaign slogan to a reality, and along the way, 'hope and change,' 'yes we can,' it became 'no, you can't,'" she said. "No, you can't log onto the website. No, you can't keep your health care."
Palin doled out some praise: She thanked Texas for electing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and thanked him for giving Congress an "awakening" with a filibuster last year. "Liberty needs a Congress on Cruz control," she said. She urged the GOP to elect more politicians like Cruz -- a strong tea party backer -- rather than listening to the GOP establishment.
Palin also had advice for Republicans on women voters, with whom the party has performed poorly in recent years. After telling the men in the crowd to play games on their phones, she spoke directly to the "ladies" about why they shouldn't support Democrats.
"Women, don't let them use you," she said. "Unless you choose to be their political pawn or just their piece of accessory on their arm. Honey, that's not liberation, that's subjugation, and this sisterhood fights against that."
She ended the speech on a positive note.
"The best is yet to come," she said. "This is a great awakening. The age of Obama is almost over. The end of an error. He is the lamest of lame ducks. So expand our ranks, we can do this, expand our ranks to save our country. Because our sensible, imperative mission for small government and big freedom is big enough for every American who loves liberty and trusts the individual."
This post has been updated to include additional remarks.
A few minutes into her speech, Palin took out a copy of the book, teasing it as something she would read to her youngest child, Trig Palin.
"Little Trig, lucky little fellow," she said. "His bedtime story goes something like this."
I do not like this, Uncle Sam.
I do not like this healthcare scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks
Or how they cry and cook the books
I do not like when Congress steals
I do not like their crony deals
I do not like 'oh yes, we can'
I do not like this spending spree
We're smart, we know nothing's free
I do not like reporters' smug replies
When I complain about their lies
I do not like this kind of hope
And we won't take it
Nope, nope, nope!
Watch Palin's reading above. More from CPAC below:
As I was speaking on a panel last week at The United Nations on 'Women and The Future of Global Leadership', one of my fellow panelists, Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former UN Under- Secretary-General and a Bangladeshi diplomat -- began passionately describing his advocacy work for women and children in the poorest nations. As he spoke, I began thinking about Eriko Yamaguchi, a young Japanese entrepreneur I interviewed who was building a thriving business in Chowdhury's country.
Most entrepreneurs try to seize upon a favorable economic landscape to grow their businesses. Instead, Eriko, now a burgeoning power playing in Asia's fashion business and one of the 125 entrepreneurs we interviewed when writing The Athena Doctrine, combines the attitude of a true innovator with the steadfast resolve of a philanthropist.
Upon arriving in Bangladesh, Eriko set out to build a successful business while simultaneously providing well-paying jobs for people in Dahka. Overtime, she cultivated the skills of her workers, transitioning them from making $1 jute fabric sacks for grain and potatoes to stitching luxury leather handbags and eventually opening eight retail shops in Japan and four in Taiwan.
Eriko named her enterprise Motherhouse as a tribute to Mother Teresa and she has strove to embody the skills this leader was famous for -- compassion, selflessness and patience. While these skills are not stereotypically associated with bold leadership, research from The Athena Doctrine shows that they are actually the ones most highly associated with positive tangible business outcomes and with the public perception of "ideal modern leadership." Forced to overcome a myriad of practical and cultural obstacles of being a successful female boss figure in an Islamic country, Eriko worked alongside her employees and promoted many to valued partners. She empowered them with esteem-building rewards like profit sharing and gave them ID badges (many had never had a picture of themselves before). In time, she built an effective new business ecosystem in the Bangladeshi factories.
Eriko's success story is applicable to the discussion of female bosses here in the U.S. who, while markedly effective and successful are not always portrayed as such in the media. A recent New York Times article, "Women as Bosses Still Face Bias," revealed that female leaders are held to different standards than their male counterparts -- they are harshly censured for using profanity, criticized for posing a certain way for a magazine, and even denounced for not being self aggrandizing enough about their success (even though research shows that self-promotion can backfire for women).
These counterproductive gender biases keep gender equality stagnating: women lead only 4.2 percent of our largest pubic corporations, make up only 14 percent of top officers in corporate America and fill a measly 18 percent of board seats. In other words, the archetype of the masculine command-and-control leader still persists and it's troubling for gender parity. Even more troubling is that these gender stereotypes are being espoused by men and women alike, and perpetuated by the mass media.
Our research for The Athena Doctrine elucidates some disconcerting evidence about how female bosses are viewed. We fielded a study of 64,000 people in 13 countries and found that both American men and women are more than twice as likely to prefer a male boss to a female boss, with a paltry 7 percent of U.S. men, 12 percent of U.S. women and 9 percent of all adults claiming to prefer a female boss.
Meanwhile, countries that have had female leaders, namely Chile, which had its first female president from 2006-2010, and Germany, which currently has a female chancellor, displayed more progressive attitudes toward female bosses across all demographics. Fifteen percent of Germans revealed they preferred female bosses (more than twice the American average), while 70 percent of Chileans claimed they had no gender preference.
These statistics are by no means a tipping point, but things do appear to be changing as our society ages. According to our research, Millennials in the U.S. actually equally prefer a male to a female boss and a vast majority say they don't care whether their boss is a man or a women. This is good news. However, stating a preference is one thing. Unconsciously perpetuating a stagnant stereotype of leadership is another.
So what can we learn from Eriko and what do these lackluster response rates toward female bosses reveal? Are we not ultimately as receptive to female leadership as the cultural conversation would lead us to believe? Are unconscious biases and unfair media coverage perpetuating gender inequality and making it impossible for even those women at the very top to be perceived positively and by the same standards as their male counterparts?
One thing is clear: in an evolving global landscape in which we are becoming more interconnected, technologically advanced and transparent, the requirements for effective leadership are changing. Skills that people said in our research are often perceived as more feminine -- like openness, collaboration and empathy are proving extremely valuable in driving innovation. Parlaying this modern leadership paradigm like Eriko did makes for better business, regardless of one's gender. Flexibility, diversity of thought and compassion are no longer a nice-to-have. It is an imperative for both men and women alike to embody the ideal modern leader in order to not fall behind.
However, until we all become aware of our unconscious biases about gender and work, female leaders -- and the much-needed skills that many of them embody -- will continue to be under-represented or held to a vicious double standard. When this happens, we do ourselves a disservice. We teach our daughters that their work is valued less. We deprive our economy of the leadership skills it needs so desperately. We reward leadership that is outmoded and unoriginal (and -- even worse -- only weakly associated with growth and innovation). We discourage both men and women from bringing their whole selves to work and we require many women to change when they walk into the boardroom instead of advocating for important change inside the boardroom for everyone.
"It sounds strange, but I just didn't," she says.
The truth was the women in her life were not the kind of role models who inspired her to dream.
"So few white South African women had careers," Marshall remembers, that she could not envision herself ever having one either.
She was 4-years-old when apartheid became the rule of law in her country, and she remembers her father, an industrial chemist, and her mother, a homemaker, staying clear of politics, and accepting the status quo.
"In South Africa I knew something was wrong, I didn't like how black people were treated, but I didn't have the context in which to put it."
That changed when Marshall, a gifted student, had the opportunity to study in the U.S. It was 1962 -- a turbulent time in American history when the Civil Rights movement was beginning to make progress. The same month she began her studies in Wilmington, Delaware as a high school exchange student, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the University of Mississippi -- "Ole Miss" -- must admit James Meredith, its very first black student.
Watching Walter Cronkite's evening news broadcasts, Marshall was shocked to see how Americans could question the government, but not -- as would happen in her own country -- be locked away for it. She absorbed what was happening with not only her eyes and ears, but with her heart and soul: The governor of Mississippi ordered state troopers to block Meredith from the Ole Miss campus, and race riots broke out leaving two people dead. Within days, President Kennedy ensured Meredith a place in the classroom, U.S. marshals by his side for safety.
"This had an enormous impact on me," says Marshall. "There were two fundamental building blocks for me. Religion -- 'love thy neighbor as thyself' -- and education. If you let people read, think and discuss, their minds will open. It is not accidental that repressive regimes move against intellectuals."
In South Africa so many books were banned, Marshall says, "I had to come to the U.S. to read." And she read like never before -- consuming books that were illegal back home; most notably, Cry, The Beloved Country, Alan Paton's searing look at the anguish humans experience in the face of injustice.
"Sorrow is better than fear," Paton wrote. "Fear is a journey, a terrible journey, but sorrow is at least an arrival. When the storm threatens, a man is afraid for his house. But when the house is destroyed, there is something to do. About a storm he can do nothing, but he can rebuild a house."
After her year in America, Marshall returned to South Africa in 1973, seemingly determined to stop the storm.
"Freedom is like oxygen," she says. "You don't notice it until you can't breathe."
Marshall joined the anti-apartheid National Union of South African Students (NUSAS) -- the only female member at the time. Soon, she was President.
"Once you realize that what you've been taught is not reality, it influences the way you look at the rest of the world."
She argued for freedom, organized marches, protested banned books and torture, wrote letters to the press, raised money for black families whose loved ones had been arrested, and boldly asked Robert F. Kennedy to visit. He said, yes.
On June 5, 1966 she met Kennedy at Johanesburg's Jan Smuts Airport and escorted him to Cape Town. The next day, he delivered the NUSAS's annual Day of Affirmation Speech, a speech that is widely considered to be the greatest of his life.
"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice," Kennedy told the crowd, "he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."
These were among the darkest days of apartheid, and Kennedy provided a light.
"Robert Kennedy was the first person who made me feel that what I was feeling, and what I was critical of, was part of a great human movement toward equality for all people," Marshall remembers.
As she continued to stand up to South Africa's repressive regime, Marshall knew she was in increasing danger. Government officials tapped her phone and police followed her. Other white anti-apartheid activists -- her friends -- were under house arrest. Still, the fact that she was white worked to her advantage. As did being a woman.
"It was unusual for a woman to do what I was doing. The combination of being white and a woman made it more difficult for the South African government to move against me more quickly than it did. Certainly, remaining in South Africa would not have been safe."
With the help of political activists and others who wanted her to be safe, Marshall returned to the U.S. at the age of twenty-two.
Soon her moral outrage toward injustice was combined with a passion for the rule of law and degrees from Harvard and Yale. She blazed a trail as a young female attorney -- simply for being a young female attorney when everyone else in a courtroom was male. Then in 1999 she became Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts -- the first woman to hold that position in the Court's more than three hundred year history.
Although she is most well known for her landmark decision in 2003 in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health which made Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage, there were so many other ways Marshall's groundbreaking work championed access to justice for all. She fought for gender equality in judicial proceedings, broke down language barriers in the courthouse and established procedures to help litigants forced to represent themselves because they cannot afford attorneys.
The little girl who dared not dream as a child has spent her life fulfilling the dreams of others.
Sex can be incredible, but it can also be the giant, panting, red elephant sitting at the dinner table. Eliminating sex from the equation for a few months after a breakdown (whether it be of a marriage or otherwise) might be a good way to ease a bit of pressure and spend a little more time getting to know someone -- which is especially great if that someone is you.
Here are 10 sexy reasons to take a break:
1. You're worth far too much to sneak home in last night's clothes, wondering what that acrobatic person's last name was.
2. Imagine taking a little longer to get to know someone before you drop your knickers and avoiding that, "Gee, if I knew this last week, I would not have slept with you," feeling.
3. Contrary to popular belief, sex with someone new does not cure past heartaches. Better to give that heart time to heal before you let someone else in your bed.
4. Yes, sex is yummy but flirtations and sexual tension can be utterly delicious. Enjoy them a while!
5. You can wear your comfy cotton undies on dates and your date will be none the wiser.
6. There is something to be said about totally selfish self love. Take yourself on dates, wear sexy unmentionables (for your eyes only) and, at the end of the evening, if you're so inclined, get to know yourself a little better.
7. STDs just love casual sex.
8. You know that pile of clothes in your bedroom that you keep meaning to pick up and wash? Yeah, you don't have to do that just yet.
9. Finding new ways to get excited and be intimate with yourself or someone new can be incredible. Cooking, dancing, painting, talking, exercising -- the possibilities are endless. Get to know your body, your likes and dislikes, things that turn you on and off and heighten your senses in other ways for a while.
10. When it does happen, it will be because you really, really want it to. Now, that's sexy.
Brenda Della Casa is the author of Cinderella Was a Liar and has been seen on The Today Show, iVillage Live and numerous other television shows. She blogs at strollwithoutshoes.com.
Read more from Divorce360:
Does Wife #5 Deserve my Advice?
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As you settle into married life, there are still a few important wedding-related tasks that you need to keep in mind.
Taking Too Long to Send Your Thank-You Notes
You may have heard that you have a year to write these. But the truth is, you have three months before people start wondering if you’re ever going to send them. Immediately after returning from your honeymoon, put yourselves on a manageable schedule. Plan on writing five a day each: You can handle your family and friends, and your spouse can handle his or hers. Divide your mutual friends in half, and you'll bang out all of your thank-yous in no time.
Putting Off Creating Your Wedding Album
As soon as you receive the proofs from your photographer, start selecting your favorite pictures for your album. Have Post-its ready the first time you flip through your photos — mark anything that garners a reaction from either of you. That way, you’ll gauge your emotional connections to your photos better than if you spend hours laboring over which of the 20 shots of you with your MOH is best. Plus: If an album was included in your photography package and you need a little extra motivation to get started, check your contract — there’s likely a deadline for when you'll need to submit your photo selections.
Waiting to Clean Your Gown
A lot of brides put off this step because they’re not sure what they want to do with the gown. But whether you plan on preserving it, selling it, or donating it, the first step is always to get it professionally cleaned. Ideally, you should drop it off the day after your wedding (or ask your MOH to do it for you if you’re heading off to your honeymoon right away). The longer you wait, the harder it’ll be to remove any stains.
Alienating Your Friends and Family
After the wedding, it’s natural to want to spend plenty of time with your new spouse — especially if you’ve just moved in together for the first time. But be sure to make time for the other important people in your lives as well. Schedule regular nights out with friends, take time to visit your family members, and don’t stop going out for happy hour with your coworkers. What you don’t want to happen: Your first anniversary rolls around, and you suddenly realize you haven’t seen some of your friends since the wedding day.
Skipping Vendor Reviews
As a bride-to-be, you likely depended on online reviews to help you find the best vendors for your wedding. Pay it forward by writing reviews for all of the vendors you used — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Write them while the details are still fresh in your mind.
Passing on Insurance
No, we're not talking about your marriage; we’re talking about your rings. Specialty items like engagement and wedding rings usually aren't covered by your basic home owners' or renters' insurance policy; you'll need to take out a rider to be protected. Your insurance company will typically request an appraisal of the jewelry, and the annual cost is about 1 to 2% of the replacement cost (ex. a ring valued at $5,000 would cost $50-100 to insure).
Neglecting Your Workouts
With visions of a white gown and everyone's eyes on you before the wedding, you were likely pretty committed to hitting the gym and making smart food choices. Without that end goal, though, it’s far too easy to convince yourself that it’s okay to skip a day or two... and before you know it, it’s been six months since you’ve set foot in a gym and you’ve gained “the newlywed nine.” If you're having trouble mustering up the motivation, try turning exercise into a fun activity with your spouse; join an exercise class, take up a new sport, or simply try jogging together.
Not Requesting Copies of Your Marriage Certificate
Your officiant is likely responsible for filing your marriage license after you've said "I do," but you'll still need to contact the Registrar's office to request (and pay for) a copy of your marriage certificate. Not only do you need this as legal proof of your marriage, but it's a good way to verify that your license has, in fact, been filed! Also, consider ordering more than one copy — if you're planning on changing your last name, you're going to need one to bring to social security, the DMV, and many other places, and you may feel more comfortable if you have another copy in safe keeping. Plus, you'll often save money ordering more than one at a time rather than waiting until you need that second copy. For example, in New Jersey, the first copy is $25 (plus $5 processing); but any additional copies ordered at the same time cost only $2.
You definitely want to keep a few mementos from your big day. But do you really need to keep all 15 of your adorable table number holders and the 27 extra programs your guests left behind? I have at least two boxes full of “wedding stuff” that I’ve carried through two post-wedding moves, and my parents have at least six cases of mason jars sitting in their basement from my sister’s wedding. Save one or two of each item, and donate, sell, or toss the rest. Think about which items you'll actually reuse after the wedding, and be sure to hang onto anything with real sentimental value.
Rushing to “The Next Step”
The post-wedding blues hit so many newlyweds — after spending countless months planning the biggest event of your lives so far, it’s hard not having something major to look forward to once it’s over. So it’s not surprising that many couples get anxious to move on to the next big milestone, like buying a house or having a baby. But try to give yourselves some breathing room before throwing yourselves into another major project. Buying a house a few months after the wedding turned out to be a big mistake for my husband and me — and selling it a year and a half later definitely created a major headache we didn’t need.
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The "Girls" creator has been open about her obsession with "SNL" and she told Seth Meyers that when she found out she'd be hosting, she "screamed to such a degree that people in my writers room thought somebody had died." She said, "I was obsessed as a teenager. I would stay up every night to watch the reruns on Comedy Central. I had to be in the house every Saturday night by 9 p.m,, which wasn't that hard because I didn't have friends, to lay out all the snacks and make sure I had dominated the TV." (There's a lot more amazing Lena Dunham/"SNL" nerd talk in her interview on "Late Night With Seth Meyers.")
It's almost time for Dunham to take the iconic stage at 30 Rock, but she's been documenting her week in the "SNL" studio all week.
Seeing how @nbcsnl gets made is blowing my mind.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) March 6, 2014
Now, this is a girl pile we'd love to pal around with.
Just a head's up: @The_National made me cry in rehearsal today. Like, with the power of their music. They weren't mean or anything.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) March 7, 2014
And here's that @lenadunham, @The_National, @TaranKillam selfie. #SNL pic.twitter.com/xQCtMz6otX— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) March 7, 2014
Considering Dunham said being spoofed on "SNL" was "one of the best things that's ever happened to me," here's hoping we'll see more Blerta on tonight's episode.
1. Total vulnerability. You don't have to wear makeup, or shower, or shave your legs if you don't want to. Feeling super insecure about those five pounds you can't lose? No one cares, let it all hang out. Want to sit in the middle of the living room, holding a bottle of wine and cry your head off? This is the time to do it.
2. No judgment. Ready for a second bottle of wine? So is everyone else in the room. Fart in your sleep? Giggles ensue. Feel like spending the morning naked? Go for it. No one cares, it's amazing. I will never forget a morning of a girls weekend where I was sitting in the middle of the kitchen, drinking a mimosa, naked, while blow-drying my hair. Everyone laughed, and now it's a hilarious tradition and fond memory.
3. Complete relaxation. I've spent entire mornings during a girls weekend, sitting in a robe on the couch reading a gossip magazine next to five other women who haven't said a word to each other. Bliss. Usually there is some sort of spa treatment during a girls weekend, some comfort food, a nice hike or a bike ride through a vineyard. Totally refreshing.
4. Pure honesty. Whether you're the one opening up or the one suggesting a potential solution, you don't have to bullsh*t any of it. Hate your job because your boss is miserably awful to you? Haven't had sex with your boyfriend in a month? Decided to get Botox? Let it all out, girl, because everyone there gets it.
5. Boy talk. If you're 12, 25, 40 or 75, boy talk never gets old. Single? Share your crushes. Have amazing sex? We know you want to talk about every single detail, and your girls want to hear them. All of them. Is he driving you crazy? Ugh, let's bitch about it until you feel better.
Can't get away for a weekend? Have a sleepover in the city you live in. Can't go far? There is likely a different city with a hotel or a cute B&B close to you that may even have a Groupon deal. So ladies, call your girlfriends and plan your next girls weekend. Cheers.
Following Fat Tuesday came a more somber Ash Wednesday, and many women took to Twitter to share the vice's they plan to give up for Lent. Quinn Katherman's promise makes a lot of sense: "I gave up trying to kill you for lent. Enjoy your life for the next 38 days." While Quinn was attempting to be selfless, Amaya Perea gave the IRS fair warning of her intentions when she tweeted, "Look I know the timing's not great but I'm giving up taxes for lent." Religious freedom, right?
For more great tweets from women, scroll through the list below. Then visit our Funniest Tweets From Women page for our past collections.
I just checked into Harvard. They said they've never heard of me. Off to Emerson.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) March 7, 2014
was gonna read the Bible but People mag only gave it two and a half stars— Sarah Silverman (@SarahKSilverman) March 2, 2014
Listen lady. I just came here for pretty nails. Stop harassing me about my mustache.— The Eh Factor (@AngelaEhh) March 3, 2014
What if it never stops snowing? What if it never gets warm again? What if this is just how it is forever? Where’s Jake Gyllenhaal now?— Jessica Coen (@jessicacoen) March 3, 2014
Fat Tuesday is proof that even the 'days of the week' bully each other #MardiGras #FatTuesday— Katina Corrao (@KatinaCorrao) March 4, 2014
Being an atheist means that when someone sneezes, you don't say "God bless you"; you say "Ayyyy, must be the money!"— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) March 4, 2014
I gave up trying to kill you for lent. Enjoy your life for the next 38 days.— Quinn Katherman (@QuinnK) March 7, 2014
Babies may seem cute but actually they're like whatever, you can't afford me.— P (@lovehandle_) March 4, 2014
Saw a couple holding hands while jogging and it made me hopeful that one day I will meet someone who will hate them with me.— Robin McCauley (@RobinMcCauley) March 5, 2014
Look I know the timing's not great but I'm giving up taxes for lent— Amaya Perea (@Amaya_Teresa) March 7, 2014
probably not a good sign when someone refers to themselves as a "muggle" in their dating profile— Mary Charlene (@IamEnidColeslaw) March 5, 2014
Welcome home, half-empty bottle of diet coke. Meet your family: Salad dressing, expired creamer & mysterious takeout container.— molly (@Molly_Kats) March 5, 2014
Ate a grocery store nectarine without washing it, so my 3rd arm & 11th toe should be growing in nicely any time now.— Erica B (@SCbchbum) March 5, 2014
i looked deep into his eyes and finally found what his heart was yearning for. tacos. it had been tacos all along.— mσσηѕнιηє вαℓℓєяιηα (@tupacasnack) March 6, 2014
Wish there were a social media filter that I could set to "NO SPIDERS EVER, SERIOUSLY."— erin mallory long (@erinmallorylong) March 6, 2014
I woke up just before winning the argument in my dream. Fuck this day.— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) March 6, 2014
Every baby girl born this year will be named Lupita.— Suleika Jaouad (@suleikajaouad) March 6, 2014
I think it's totally fair game to fart in yoga class because it's just your butt being aware of its breath— Aparna Nancherla (@aparnapkin) March 3, 2014
Victoria's Secret sends me catalogs at a rate I couldn't ruin underwear if I tried.— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) March 7, 2014
I have mood color changing nail polish on and it's straight up changing every 5 minutes. This makes my mood disorder seem very fashionable— Rivka Rossi (@sofifii) March 7, 2014
Massachusetts banned Upskirt photos. Or as Kim Kardashian calls them "Selfies"— Eliza Bayne (@ElizaBayne) March 7, 2014
If Chamillionaire hasn't tweeted "you see me rollin', you favin'" at least once, what are we all doing here anymore?— Ella Ceron (@ellaceron) March 7, 2014
My friend emailed, "What day is the 22nd?" Better question: What kind of device do you have that contains electronic mail but no calendar?— Abbi Crutchfield (@curlycomedy) March 7, 2014
If you even use the word "betch" in my presence, I'll teach you what it's like to be old school bitch slapped.— BoobzillaMcSugarHole (@Boobzillaz) March 6, 2014
Earthquake survival kit: vodka, M&Ms, Grease 2 soundtrack, Ewan McGregor, iPhone so you can Instagram it, cute boots, basket of puppies,— Kendra Alvey (@Kendragarden) March 7, 2014
you never realize how boring you are until someone asks you what you like to do for fun— Lane Moore (@hellolanemoore) March 7, 2014
Monogram necklaces are cute in style, but weird in practice. It's like hanging a sign around your neck that says, "I'M ME!"— Jamie Lee (@TheJamieLee) March 7, 2014
Malala's father was always the inspiration behind Malala. He encouraged her to speak out when girls' education was being banned. He supported her as a friend, and as a teacher. And even now, as Malala's cause has taken the global stage, it is he who is always by her side, frequently joking. "She used to be my daughter, but now I am Malala's father." As for Malala, immediately whenever someone asks, "who inspires you Malala" She replies, "My father."
When asked what he did to nurture his daughter into such a fierce advocate for Women's rights, Ziauddin says, "ask me what I did not do, I did not cut her wings." He references in these words, true to the poet that he is, the innate beauty, power, strength and inspiration inside his daughter, and so many other girls, who we never get to see fly, as their wings are cut by the men in their lives.
In Malala's message to the world she has always acknowledged the incredibly important role that men have to play. She will say "we want education for all girls" and then add in "and all boys" remembering her father, and knowing that men have to learn to be feminists to help women's rights progress. However at a broader level, the debate around women's issues does not yet do enough to bring men into the fold.
Programs working with men -- fathers, brothers, community leaders and religious elders -- are an effective way to move women's issues forward in communities where they are currently deeply oppressed. At a national level, working with policy-makers and national leaders to change laws, policy, inclusion in government has had wide-reaching impact. Media campaigns that encourage men to acknowledge women's rights can have immense ripple effects -- recently a commercial in India where a woman was shown getting married for the second time, with her new groom affectionately holding her daughter, was a powerful thought-provoker in a culture where divorce and remarriage for women is deeply taboo.
When we started the Malala Fund Malala's father was the first person to agree to the idea, going on to become its cofounder and the chair of its board. However, he encouraged me to take the lead, himself taking the back seat. He had no qualms about his organization being run by a 24-year-old girl, an openness to gender and age which is unheard of where he comes from. For me, he has not only become family, but a teacher, a mentor and inspirer, and a source of strength.
Ziauddin, or as I call him, Ziauddin Uncle, is a case-study for creating male values that help rather than oppress women. The question remains, how do we encourage more men to be advocates for the women in their lives? To be gentle, kind and supportive. To refuse to conform to stereotypes and to liberate themselves and their women from the shackles of patriarchy? While we have a long way to go, creating powerful spokespersons for the cause, like Ziauddin, is certainly the start.
Nearly 40 percent of all murders of women worldwide are carried out by an intimate partner, according to the World Health Organization. One in three women across the globe has experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of her partner. And in the United States, some 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner each year, according to CDC statistics.
Despite the prevalence of violence against women in their own homes, dozens of countries around the world do not have specific laws against domestic violence. For example Kenya has no provision to outlaw domestic abuse and according to the U.S. State Department, police in the country generally refrain from investigating cases of domestic violence, treating it as a private family matter. In Lebanon, debate rumbles on about finally passing a law to criminalize domestic violence, after a series of horrendous abuse cases hit the country's headlines this year.
Liesl Gerntholtz, Executive Director of the Women's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch, explained to The WorldPost why it has been so important for countries to adopt specific legislation that targets domestic abuse. Gerntholtz pointed out that while ordinary criminal law does outlaw violence, and therefore domestic abuse should be treated as a crime, the issue has historically been ignored by governments and underreported by women. "Because the violence is so invisible you needed laws to enroll judges, police and other authorities to look for it and prosecute it," she said.
"Violence against women is frighteningly simple and complex. Violence will stop when perpetrators stop," she added.
The good news is that incredible progress has been made in recent years to outlaw domestic abuse. While specific domestic violence laws were uncommon just a few decades ago, a lot of countries have created legislation that specifically targets the issue. Saudi Arabia for example, a country known for its restrictions on women's rights, passed a landmark bill in 2013 that outlaws domestic abuse.
One of the biggest challenges today is getting domestic violence laws implemented, such as making sure that women are able to go to the police to report violence or have access to shelters for protection, Gerntholtz notes. While public awareness of domestic violence has greatly improved, the shame attached to being beaten by your brother or husband is still a major challenge.
President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim echoed Gerntholtz's observations during a humanitarian conference in Washington D.C this week. “If domestic violence continues to receive inadequate attention, it tells women they have less worth and less power than men," Kim said. "It undermines their ability to make choices and act on them independently, impacting not only them, but their families, communities, and economies."
Take a look at the countries that don't outlaw domestic violence in the slideshow below.
Currently, women make up nearly 70 percent of the world's absolute poor -- those living on less than a dollar a day. That includes millions and millions of women! Here in the United States, 60 percent of minimum wage workers are women; women struggling to support their families.
Investing in women at home and abroad strengthens families, uplifts our children, improves health, makes communities and countries more peaceful and brightens our collective future. Where women have equality, security and the opportunity to live, work and prosper, their families and societies are better off.
I am a fierce advocate for the economic empowerment of all women. In the Congress, I am one of the leaders of an initiative called "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds." It is an economic agenda for women aimed at making sure women have equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and affordable child care. Even today, 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, American women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns; even less for women of color.
Women of the world need security on all fronts. Currently, women age 14 to 44 are as likely to die from violence as from cancer. One in three women experiences physical or sexual abuse. Women everywhere are saying, "Enough is enough."
That's why I am a strong supporter of three essential bills that I believe would vastly improve the way women are treated around the world: the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA); the Women, Peace and Security Act (WPSA); and a United Nations resolution expressing support for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
I authored IVAWA, which would firmly establish the prevention of violence against women as a top foreign policy priority. IVAWA is particularly groundbreaking because it takes a comprehensive approach to the problem, facilitating a full spectrum of reforms, impacting judicial systems, health care, education, economic empowerment and practices that negatively affect the lives of women and girls.
I also introduced the WPSA, which would improve the lives of women around the world and increase global stability and prosperity. This legislation would implement a national action plan to coordinate the efforts of Congress, the President, the Secretary of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development to prevent and mitigate violent conflicts, and to ensure that women have meaningful participation in conflict resolution.
Lastly, I support the CEDAW resolution, which states that Congress should seek the full realization of women's rights and the end of discrimination against women worldwide. More than 180 countries around the world have ratified CEDAW, some with reservations. While the United States signed the treaty in 1981, it is one of the few countries that have not yet ratified it. As a global leader for human rights and equality, I believe our country should adopt this resolution and ratify the CEDAW treaty.
Through these three legislative initiatives, and others, we can help women everywhere live better lives.
This International Women's Day we should all think about how we can push forward all these proposals and others that elevate the status and security of women. If we make these issues a priority, women who are suffering from violence or struggling in poverty will have hope, and the girls of today will look forward to a future in which they can experience freedoms now out of their reach.
Col. Jamila Bayaz was appointed to run security in the Kabul's District 1 in January, becoming the first woman in such a senior frontline role. The mother-of-5 is responsible for policing an area of the Afghan capital that includes the presidential palace, government ministries and the central bank. "This is a chance not just for me, but for the women of Afghanistan," she told NBC. "I will not waste it. I will prove that we can handle this burden."
Women in Afghanistan have faced a steep battle to reenter the workforce and public life after the end of the Taliban's restrictive rule. They still face considerable obstacles including discrimination from an ultraconservative society and the threat of militant attacks. Afghan policewomen have been targeted by insurgents and several women in public office were assassinated in 2013, according to the Associated Press. Bayaz is undaunted: "I am ready to serve, I am not scared nor am I afraid," she told AP.
Col. Jamila Bayaz talks on the phone at her office in Kabul, Afghanistan, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)
2. Xiao Meili put a taboo subject back on the map.
Xiao Meili set off the remarkable journey in late 2013 to walk more than 1,200 miles between her home in China's capital Beijing and the southern city Guangzhou to raise awareness of sexual abuse in the country. The 24-year-old woman told Time Magazine she hopes the unusual sight of a female backpacker on China's roads will draw attention to how authorities handle abuse and will break the social stigma victims often face. At each town along the way, Meili and her supporters post letters to local officials urging them to investigate abuse allegations, screen teachers and improve sex education.
Meili's journey has developed a popular following on social media and she asks women in each town to walk with her or offer her a couch for the night, according to Global Voices. "China's traditional idea is that it is dangerous for females to travel alone outside. But conversely, so many sexual abuse cases take place in places we thought were safe like schools and buses," she told China's Global Times. "This is not an arduous walk. Each step represents a female protest at society."
Xiao Meili explains her "feminist walk" in a social media post. (Youku.com/screenshot)
3. Azizah Al-Yousef began a campaign to end Saudi Arabia's oppressive male guardianship system.
Azizah al-Yousif has been a thorn in the side of Saudi Arabia's conservative establishment since she launched the October 26 Women's Driving Campaign last year. In a bid to end the Kingdom's ban on female drivers, women posted YouTube clips of themselves driving online. "We are sick and tired of waiting to be given our rights," al-Yousif told CNN at the time. "It's about time to take our rights."
Now al-Yousif is pressuring authorities to end the country's male guardianship system, which forces women to ask the permission of male relatives to travel, work, complete education, get medical treatment or a passport. The Saudi Gazette reports that together with a group of activists, al-Yousif sent a petition to the Kingdom's Shura council to demand reform. "This petition renews our demands as women. We want our issues to be put on the top of the Council’s priority list,” she said.
Screenshot of a video posted by the Saudi women driving campaign shows Azizah al-Yousif at the wheel. (YouTube/screenshot)
4. The Central African Republic's interim president Catherine Samba-Panza gave a violence-stricken nation new hope.
Catherine Samba-Panza, a women's rights activist and reconciliation advocate who is known in the Central African Republic as "mother courage," was selected to lead the country in January amid devastating ethnic clashes that forced more than 1 million people to flee their homes. As CAR's first female president, she pledged to lead the country away from the circle of bloodshed. “At the very heart of the people, I felt this desire to elect a woman who could bring peace and reconciliation," Samba-Panza said of her presidency, according to The Guardian. She has a formidable task ahead of her. This week the UN warned of "religious cleansing" and immanent danger to civilians trapped amid the fighting, Reuters reported.
President Catherine Samba-Panza sits in the parliament building before taking the oath of office in Bangui, Central African Republic, Jan. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
5. Ukrainian pop icon Ruslana became a champion of the country's protest movement.
Ruslana is one of Ukraine's most famous pop singers and brought the country to victory at the EuroVision song contest in 2004. She is also a passionate social activist, so when protests against President Viktor Yanukovych erupted last November, Ruslana became a nightly fixture on stage at the protest camp in Kiev, according to Newsweek. "A public person, musician or artist should exercise their civic activism to be the voice of the people," she told the magazine. The Washington Post reported that some of her performances at the EuroMaidan protest hub lasted up to 10 hours.
When the protest movement was met with brutal repression, eventually leading to Yanukovych's downfall, Ruslana was devastated but defiant. "We no longer sing or dance, despite the severe cold. We understand that today the fate of the country [that has taken] several decades to come hangs in the balance. Instead of singing, we pray," she wrote in an email to Newsweek in February. With Yankovych now in exile and tensions high as Russian troops flood Crimea, Ruslana called for the country to join together peacefully. "Ukrainians are strong enough to unite, we understand that propaganda is designed to divide us," she told the BBC.
Ruslana performs on an anti-government barricade in central Kiev on Feb. 10, 2014. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
6. Mehrezia Labidi helped enshrine gender equality in Tunisia's post-Arab Spring constitution.
As vice-president of Tunisia's constituent assembly, Mehrezia Labidi led the tumultuous debates over the country's post-Arab Spring constitution. Labidi is the most senior female politician of the ruling Islamist part, Ennahda, and took a firm line for women's rights throughout the debates, often to the disappointment of her own party. "It's like giving birth: painful, but in the end everyone is happy when the child arrives," she told Deutsche Welle.
The constitution that passed in January was celebrated as a breakthrough for women's rights. Labidi helped push through key gender quality provisions by allying with secular politicians, the BBC explains. "I have always achieved everything I wanted myself. Sometimes I wonder whether men could compete with me," she told the network.
Mehrzia Laabidi speaks during a Tunisian National Constituent Assembly session in Tunis on Jan. 17, 2014. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
7. Lena Klimova gave Russian gay teens a voice online.
Just days before the Sochi Winter Olympics opened in February, young journalist Lena Klimova was charged under Russia's controversial ban on "gay propaganda." Authorities targeted Klimova because of her incredibly popular "Youth-404" website (404 designating "page not found") where gay teens write about their struggles with homophobia in the country.
Faced with a stringent fine, Klimova was most concerned about Russian youth losing access to the forum, according to The Guardian. "If it will be closed, LGBT teenagers will lose the only place where they can openly speak about themselves and receive advice they need to live. It will be a catastrophe," she wrote on Facebook. But with the world's attention on Russia during the Olympics in Sochi the case was halted and Klimova's website was able to give a voice to outcast teenagers for at least a while longer.
Lena Klimova pictured in a handout photo. (Elena Klimova)
8. Zainab Bangura pushed countries to recognize that sexual violence in conflict has to stop.
As the U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Bangura has seen first-hand the devastating effect of rape used as a weapon of war. Bangura, who lived through the 1991-2002 civil war in her native Sierra Leone, told Reuters: "For me, one rape is too many.”
Since she took up the role in 2012, Bangura says she has seen “a political momentum that is unprecedented” to combat sexual violence in conflict, including a U.N. declaration in which 140 member states have committed to ending rape in conflict, Buzzfeed reported. In February, Bangura's office struck another victory when the U.N. and African Union signed an agreement to prevent and respond to conflict-related violence in Africa.
Zainab Bangura gives a press conference at the United Nations office in Nairobi on April 4, 2013. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
As people everywhere celebrate the advocacy day March 8, we're also reminded of how many of the world's women have been left behind -- and left without. Left without clean drinking water and access to contraceptives, left to suffer staggering rates of violence and left without legislation to protect them. Left in extreme poverty and left without opportunities to do something about it.
Regardless of your gender, today we look at how far we have to go -- and what we can do to get there.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Stop violence against women.
Learn more about The International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) from Amnesty International. Sign a petition, download the activist tool kit or use social media to spread the word.
Increase access to clean water.
Join charity:water and use your next birthday to give the gift of healthy, safe drinking water. The organization makes it simple, allowing you to pledge your birthday to the cause. The website has built-in tools to invite your friends to make donations in lieu of giving gifts.
Help women help themselves out of poverty.
Kiva connects you with female entrepreneurs around the world who are looking for small-scale loans to get their businesses off of the ground. Loans start as low as $25 and the repayment rate is almost 99 percent. When your loan is repaid, you can either take it back or re-invest it in another up-and coming entrepreneur of your choice.
Increase women's access to contraception.
Sir Richard's Condoms works with partner organizations to provide condoms to those who lack access to contraception. The one-for-one model means each time you buy one, you provide for someone in need.
Stop Female Genital Mutilation.
Equality Now has frequently updated information on the fight to end FGM around the world. They also provide a wealth of ways to get involved and take action, such as petitioning legislative bodies and putting public pressure on government officials.
Know the names behind the numbers of female refugees.
The International Rescue Committee works around the world to help refugees who were forced to flee from war or disaster. One of its campaigns, Vision Not Victim, works with young refugees by helping them reshape their futures. Learn more in the video below.