No Time For Fear — Politicking Girls: Why Political Representation Matters

Over the past couple weeks, a few stories in the political realm have really struck me and I bookmarked them to discuss in this week’s column. Without further ado, let’s dive in. On Oct. 21, the New York Times published a piece about female lawmakers in Japan. It popped up in my notifications, and I was intrigued so I clicked on the article and was blown away — and not in a good way. According to the article, Japan has one of the worst records in the world for female representation in politics and ranks 165th out of 193 countries. Women hold just over 9 percent of seats in the lower house of...

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No Time For Fear — Politicking Girls: Undocumented girl detained after surgery

This week’s column honestly makes me so mad I don’t even know what to do or where to start. It’s just awful, heartbreaking and in my opinion, absolutely unnecessary. Last week, federal immigration agents detained a 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy after she was stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint enroute to the hospital, where she had emergency surgery. The girl, Rosa Maria Hernandez, was born in Mexico but has been living in Laredo, Texas, since she was three months old. After her surgery, she was taken to a facility in San Antonio where children who arrive alone in the United States,...

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No Time for Fear – Politicking Girls: Saudi Arabia to Let Women Drive

In a chaotic world that seems to be filled with nothing but news and images of natural disasters and humanitarian crises, this next bit of news was pleasantly surprising. Last week, Saudi Arabia announced the end of restrictions that forbid women from driving. Women will be allowed to seek driver’s licenses starting in June 2018. Saudi leaders hope the decree will aid in public relations and benefit the economy by allowing more women into the workforce. Currently, many working Saudi women spend a large portion of their salaries on drivers or are driven to work by male relatives. While the...

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No Time For Fear – Politicking Girls: Yemen Crisis Impacts Millions of Girls

The conflict in Yemen has been ongoing since March 2015, affecting millions of women and girls. A March 2017 BBC report cited that more than 7,600 people have been killed and 42,000 injured in the last two years. The conflict and a blockade imposed by a Saudi-led multi-national coalition has led to 70 percent of the population needing some form of humanitarian aid. The unrest stems back to a rocky 2011 political transition following an uprising. During the uprising, the balance of power shifted from longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to his deputy, Mr. Hadi. In 2014, Houthi rebels...

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No Time For Fear – Politicking Girls: Thousands of Girls Impacted by the Fate of DACA

Imagine growing up in an American neighborhood, going to school, getting involved in youth sports and other activities. Then trying to get a job or apply to college and finding out you are undocumented, even though you feel as American as your next-door neighbor. Many girls and young women in the United States today face this situation, and the U.S. needs to do more to help them. Immigrant rights have been a hot button issue in the United States for decades. Immigrants and immigration reform has become even more pressing under the current administration. The administration is seemingly torn...

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Political Powerhouses: Mary McLeod Bethune

Mary McLeod Bethune is known for many things: her activism, her philanthropy and her work as an educator and civil rights activist. However, she was also a political activist. Mary was born in South Carolina, the daughter of two former slaves. After completing her education she planned on becoming a missionary in Africa before deciding to become a teacher instead. In 1917 she became the President of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW). In 1924 she became the national president of the NACW, and went on to establish national headquarters in Washington D.C.,...

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Political Powerhouses: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

As someone who views American politics from afar, I have some major preconceived notions about Democrats and Republicans. To me, these two parties are the complete opposite of each other, and for the most part I thought all Democrats and all Republicans had the same beliefs and rarely stepped far from their party’s line. That’s why reading about Ileana Ros-Lehtinen such a pleasure. She was born in Cuba but fled to Florida to escape the Castro regime when she was a child. She began her career as an educator before entering politics. In 1989 she made history when she became the first...

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No Time For Fear – Politicking Girls: Small steps of progress for women and girls worldwide

For this week’s column, I was debating writing about a few different topics that impact girls. It’s been a rough political week, both in the United States and worldwide, and I decided to do something different. I’ll be back to my regular formatted column next time. Instead, this week’s column is a round up of three stories of varying significance that I’ve been following lately. All of the stories, I hope, are going to positively affect the lives of girls and allow them to reach their full potential. The first story I’ve been following is news from out of El Salvador. I previously...

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Political Powerhouses: Kamala Harris

The past week has been an incredibly tumultuous one in the United States. How many times this year have we said that? Following the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and the death of Heather Heyer social media erupted with condemnation of both those in attendance and the response of the President. One prominent politician who made her voice heard was Kamala Harris. The Democratic Senator from California took to her Facebook page to write a powerful post about the tragic events. ‘Many sides’ suggests that there is no right side or wrong side about what happened in...

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Political Powerhouses: Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth was born in Thailand, but moved around Asia due to her father’s work with the United Nations. As a result she is fluent in Thai and Indonesian, as well as English. At the age of 16 her family moved to Hawaii. She graduated with a degree in political science from the University of Hawaii in 1988, and went on to get her Master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University. Her family has a long history of military service, so when Tammy was a graduate student she joined the Army Reserves Training Corps. At the time–1990–there were limited options for...

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