Political Powerhouses: Ilhan Omar

Ilhan Omar was born in Somalia in 1982. She came from a big family, the youngest of seven children. She was raised by her father and grandfather after her mother died when she was still young. In 1991, civil war broke out in Somalia, and she and her family were forced to flee to Kenya. Ilhan and her family spent four years in a refugee camp there before they immigrated to Minnesota. Ilhan graduated with a degree in political science and international studies from North Dakota State University. Afterwards, she worked as a Community Nutrition Educator with the University of Minnesota. She...

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Famous Female Outlaws: Pearl Hart

Pearl Hart (born as Pearl Taylor) was born in Ontario, Canada in 1871 and earned notoriety by being one of the only women to rob a stagecoach. She had a fairly ordinary upbringing, coming from a middle class family and receiving a good education. Things changed at 17 when she eloped with Frederick Hart, a bartender, gambler, and heavy drinker. The couple travelled to the Columbian Exposition and Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, where Fred had found work as a midway barker. Pearl was inspired by some of the female speakers she heard, including Annie Oakley. Soon after, she left Fred and...

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Political Powerhouses: Aja Brown

In 2013 Aja Brown made history when she became the youngest woman elected as Mayor of Compton, California. Just last week she was re-elected for a second term. Aja was born in Altadena, California but she has strong roots to Compton. Her mother was born there and, tragically, in the 1970s her grandmother was raped and murdered in her Compton home. To this day no one has been arrested for this crime. Aja received a full scholarship to the University of Southern California. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Policy, Planning and Development in 2004 and she went on to earn a master’s...

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Famous Female Outlaws: Bonnie Elizabeth Parker

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (1910-1934) was famously known as one half of Bonnie and Clyde, the American duo whose criminal activity and relationship during the Great Depression has been highly romanticised. Bonnie met Clyde Barrow when she was just 19. She was already married when she met him, having married when she was 16. At the time she met Clyde, her husband was serving time for murder. Soon after their initial meeting Clyde was imprisoned for robbery. Bonnie visited him every day, and managed to smuggle in a gun to help his escape. He was soon caught and sent back to prison. When he was...

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No Time For Fear – Politicking Girls: U.S. Global Gag Rule Creates Worldwide Ripples

Last month, Boko Haram released more than 80 of the Chibok girls kidnapped by the group in 2014. The Nigerian government negotiated the girls’ freedom in exchange for five Boko Haram leaders. The girls need to be reintegrated back into society and will face many challenges. Access to psychological care and support for sexual and mental health issues are vital to ensuring their welfare. The Chibok girls’ potential treatment ties into a policy change recently instituted by the current United States presidential administration: The Global Gag Rule. The Global Gag Rule, or Mexico City...

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Political Powerhouses: Caroline Kennedy

Having a surname that is known the world over can certainly have its advantages; it can also however come with a lot of pressure, expectations and assumptions. Caroline Kennedy has chosen to ignore the downsides of being a part of a political dynasty and has herself entered politics. And despite it being four years away she is reportedly aiming for a seat in the White House. Caroline Kennedy spent the first few years of her life in the White House before her father’s assassination. After, her mother, Jackie Kennedy, worked tirelessly to protect her children from the media spotlight. They...

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Agent 355

I’m sure each and every one of us has at one point or another wished that they were a suave, sophisticated and skilled secret agent. But is being a secret agent all about the glamorous lifestyles that are portrayed in the movies? Or is there something more? When you take a step back and think about it logically, it’s probably not all tuxedos and martinis but rather, a dangerous, difficult and lonely job to fulfil. Really, we should have more respect for the profession and those who are capable enough to do it. What we should also consider, is that even as far back as the 1700s, women...

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Political Powerhouses: Samantha Power

The majority of posts in this series have been about politicians many people would have heard about. There are many women in politics that aren’t household names and yet have contributed much to the political world. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of diplomacy. Diplomats work the world over to maintain positive relations between counties. Samantha Power is one of these people. Samantha Power spent the first nine years old her life in Ireland before she moved to Pittsburgh with her mother and brother. She graduated from Yale in 1992, after which she began interning at...

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Political Powerhouses: Elizabeth Dole

The saying ‘behind every good man is a great woman’ is very appropriate for Elizabeth Dole. Her husband ran for President a number of times but she herself had a very long and successful career in politics. She studied political science at Duke University, where she served as student body president. She went on to study at Harvard where she earned a Master’s degree in education before moving onto Harvard law school. In her graduating class of 500 she was one of only 25 women to leave with degree. Following her graduation she moved to Washington D.C. She worked in a private law firm...

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Political Powerhouses: Mary-Pat Hector

At just 19 years of age Mary-Pat Hector already has an impressive political CV. She has worked throughout her home city of Atlanta to try and reduce gun violence, she is a youth leader in the National Action Network, and now she is aiming to run for city council in Atlanta. Mary-Pat’s activism began at a young age; when she was just 13 years old she launched the Just Think Twice campaign. This was her attempt to work with young people to reduce gun violence. The campaign involved her having billboard installed around Atlanta as well as speaking to thousands of children around the United...

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