Phenomenal Woman BY MAYA ANGELOU

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An ispirational poem in honor of all women in this world who may not be  beautiful on the outside, compared to society’s standards,  but have an inner beauty that makes them glow in confidence and lead the way for us to follow.  International Women’s Day,  dedicated  to all women who tried to make a difference in this world.

 

Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
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Πεσαβάρ….

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Ένα κορίτσι που πουλάει φρέσκο γάλα καμήλας, προχωρά με την καμήλα της κατά μήκος του αυτοκινητόδρομου στην Πεσαβάρ.

REUTERS / FAYAZ AZIZ

Women addicted to drugs in Iran begin seeking treatment despite taboo.

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«TEHRAN — On the western outskirts of this city, in an industrial neighborhood of factories and dusty half-constructed lots, a metal-walled building houses women with a secret.

They are female drug addicts, a growing class of people with a habit so taboo in this traditional Islamic society that some Iranians believe they deserve death. But the modest facility here, a substance-abuse rehabilitation center for women, is one sign that attitudes are slowly changing as Iran begins to confront an uncomfortable problem that long went ignored.

The bulk of Afghan opium passes through Iran before it hits the global market, and that access has long contributed to addiction rates that are among the highest in the world. Now they are dramatically rising, particularly among women. Government agencies and international bodies provide conflicting statistics, but Iran’s Drug Control Headquarters estimates that 3 million of Iran’s 76 million citizens are addicts, more than 700,000 of them women — double the number two years ago.»

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/women-addicted-to-drugs-in-iran-begin-seeking-treatment-despite-taboo/2014/05/11/b11b0c59-cbb4-4f94-a028-00b56f2f4734_story.html

Feminist quotes to inspire you!

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Jane_Austen

Jane Austen
“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives”
Creative Commons

Katherine-Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn
“I have not lived as a woman. I have lived as a man. I’ve just done what I damn well wanted to, and I’ve made enough money to support myself, and ain’t afraid of being alone”
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aung

Aung San Suu Kyi
“In societies where men are truly confident of their own worth, women are not merely tolerated but valued»
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germaine

Germaine Greer
“All societies on the verge of death are masculine. A society can survive with only one man; no society will survive a shortage of women”
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betty

Betty Friedan
“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor”
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Malala-Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai
“In Pakistan, when we were stopped from going to school, at that time I realized that education … Is the power for women, and that’s why the terrorists are afraid of education”
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via http://www.independent.co.uk

Writing about….

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International women’s Day 2014: Let’s talk about trafficking….

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International Days is not a celebration of anything. They are dates to remind us of acute problems in need of solutions. Gender inequality is a fact and what women demand is equal treatment on the basis of traits/qualifications not gender, this being their right. A lot is going to be said/written today, as a tribute to what the day represents. Personally, I would like to raise the issue of female trafficking, out of concerne for those women and little girls exploited for money, because it’s huge, and deserves our attention. Because it is «modern slavery» and it has to be stopped. This is my token contribution to the day.

What the facts/statistics show us:

There are 27.000.OOO slaves in the world today. More slaves than at any other point in human history, men, women, and children are being exploited for manual and sexual labor against their will. The average age of trafficking victims is 12 years old. Women and children are often kidnapped into the industry or sold into it by family under desperate circumstances. The average age of victims continues to grow younger as clients
seek «fresh» product.(http://www.thea21campaign.org)
• Human trafficking is the second largest global organized crime today, generating approximately 39 billion USD annually.
• Of the estimated 30 million people in forced labour internationally, 58% of victims are subjected to commercial sexual servitude,specifically in the Americas,
Europe and Central Asia.
• In recent years, the percentage of children trafficked has risen to 27%, with one out of every three victims a boy
• The International Organization of Labor estimates that 98% of sexual trafficking victims are female
• Globally, convictions against traffickers are few in number, and of the 132 countries monitored by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 16% have not convicted a single individual for trafficking in persons.
• Concerning the sexual exploitation of trafficked human beings, there are a growing number of male victims, although services for these victims remain inadequate globally.
• Although most individuals involved in trafficking human beings are male, an increasing amount of women have been prosecuted and convicted, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
• Women under the age of 18 are particularly vulnerable to re-trafficking, specifically during the period immediately following their escape and transition.

The Problem and how to tackle it

«Human trafficking is an organized criminal industry that affects every nation. While the statistics can seem overwhelming, it is important to remember that every number represents the life of a human being. The A21 Campaingh has recognized a significant need and is committed to combating this injustice through rescuing one life at a time.»…. https://neutrinodata.s3.amazonaws.com/a21/userimages/TheProblem.pdf

What The A21 Campaign does towards «a solution to the problem»:http://neutrinodata.s3.amazonaws.com/a21/userimages/A21%20Website%20Resources-Our%20Solution.pdf

Inside the Brothels:Seven unforgettable stories in the battle against sex trafficking, collected over two decades of my reporting. (Nicholas Kristof)

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We think of slavery in terms of those sepia photographs in the history books, the horror that Abraham Lincoln helped end. That’s what I thought when I first reported on sex trafficking in 1996 — and saw a terrified Cambodian teenager being sold for her virginity. She was a slave, I realized, every bit as much as those slaves in the history books.

I never expected to write about the subject again. But when you’ve seen teenage girls locked up and gang raped daily, it’s tough to go back and write about exchange rates. Millions of girls are subjected to this form of modern slavery, and to prove my case, I purchased two girls in Cambodia and left with receipts. When you get a receipt for buying a human being in the 21st century, something is profoundly wrong.

Then I began reporting on the issue here in the United States. I found that the atrocities and scale aren’t as bad as in some foreign countries, but we still have a vast trafficking problem. We don’t have the moral authority to tell other countries what to do until we clean up our own act.

This is also a soluble problem, but that means prioritizing the arrest of pimps, traffickers and customers. So when people ask me why I keep tilting at these windmills and writing about sex trafficking, I think back to that Cambodia teenager, who is probably dead by now of AIDS.

Here are seven stories about sex trafficking that I wrote over the past 18 years, the ones I cannot forget — a highlight reel of inspiration and heartbreak at once.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/opinion/inside-the-brothels.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&WT.z_sma=InTheB2014

Feminism has been made fun of for 40 years, give it another 60: Gloria Steinem

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She is the woman who famously said, A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle’. At 80, feminist Gloria Steinem has lost none of the spirit, sparkle or humour that marked her radical writings. In Delhi to launch her latest collection of landmark essays, As if Women Really Matter, she tells Malini Nair that she is awed by the on-the-street radicalism of young Indian women

Post the December 16 gang rape in Delhi last year, it is as though there is a sudden and dramatic realization in Indian women of their self-worth. How do you see this?

It was like lighting a match to dry tinder. If this had happened 20 years ago the energy would have been suppressed. Women are no longer saying ‘give us protection’ because protection is more imprisoning. They are saying: give us justice. It will take a long time for the rest of the society to get used to it and accept it. But I believe that men are also beginning to tire of forever playing masculine roles of being aggressors and protectors. They realize that gender stereotypes are bad for them too.

Feminism in India is now facing generational differences. The older feminists who fought core issues seem not quite comfortable dealing with ideas like the slut walk.

Movements often pick up ‘bad’ words and turn them into ‘good’ words to assert their power. I was once called ‘the slut from East Toledo’ on a TV show in Ohio where I was born. When I was a teenager I would have cringed at the insult because East Toledo was this really run down place. But we had just finished protesting at the Wall Street, and share prices were tumbling and I was thrilled to hear the insult. I said great, put that on my tombstone: ‘here lies the slut from East Toledo’.

But the fact is that a lot of young women disown the label ‘feminism’.

Well, what do you expect? The word has been made fun of for 40 years. And I say if they are doing what they are doing without wanting a name on it, fine. Maybe they tell themselves that if they fight but don’t give themselves a label no one will notice (laughs). I was called feminazi every week by the conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh. I say use whatever name you want — womanist works, why even gurrrl power works. But the fact is that young women today are better bullshit detectors. I am often asked by young feminists why do you smile so much? And I say I was brought up in the ’50 when women were told to smile all the time!

What is your verdict on the unending debate — can women have it all?

That is utter bullshit. I don’t want it all and no one can have it all. No one asks men that question. In this age we all need to have jobs and we need to redefine traditional roles in a family. We need the workplace to realize that we (both men and women) have a life and need time for the family. This having it all line is a great con job men have pulled on women so they do it all (laughs).

You are a part of anti-trafficking efforts of the Ruchira Gupta-led NGO Apne Aap. How should a country tackle prostitution?

I turned against the legalizing of prostitution when I saw that in Las Vegas they were forcing women off welfare and into prostitution. People are beginning to realize — like Netherlands did — that legalizing prostitution can have horrific consequences because it breeds crime, thrives on the use of force and degrades women. The Nordic model works the best — arrest the pimp, the supplier, the agent, the transporter, not the woman.

Beyonce just declared that gender equality is a myth because men still earn far more than women for the same job.

If the US ensures that women are paid as much as men, there would be $200 billion dollars more in the economy and that money will not be gambled or drunk away. They should give us equal pay for the good of the national economy!

Looking back, how do you see the journey of feminism?

There are two myths in circulation now about feminism — that it is over and that it has failed. The message is and has always been — ‘Stop now!’ I was naive when I started out and I thought if we can explain these terrible inequalities then it will all change. But it took me a while to realize that gender was about controlling profits, controlling production and above all controlling reproduction. The failure was of my imagination, not the movement. It has only been 40 years. Give the movement another 60.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com