Sponsored: UN Women Has Vital Impact on Women Worldwide #GivingTuesday

Sponsored: UN Women Has Vital Impact on Women Worldwide #GivingTuesday

UN Women Appeal

If you’ve been reading World Moms Blog and follow us on social media, you probably already have your ears up to issues that affect women and girls around the world from our global contributors. In some places women and girls are not given the right to an education, treated as legal property and segregated, kidnapped by terrorists, not allowed to hold the highest positions in some organizations, not treated equally, not allowed to own land, not paid equally, and not provided access to maternal care…the list goes on. We have been raising awareness on women’s issues by using our voices.  So, as writers and readers, how else can we enact real change on issues affecting our fellow women on the planet in addition to talking about it?

Are You a Fan of Global Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality?

Then, we, at World Moms Blog, would  like to introduce you to UN Women.

UN Women is the United Nations entity responsible for promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality. The organization’s projects further the progress of social, political, and economic equality for women and girls spanning 100 countries around the globe.

What type of impact is UN Women making on the world?

  • Opened women’s access to finance and expanded employment options in Pakistan, resulting in secure employment for 1,000 women and growing

  • Trained more than 6,000 women in marketing and business management in Ethiopia

  • Extended paralegal services for survivors of domestic violence in the marginalized Roma communities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, leading to a 50-per-cent increase in requests for help

  • Launched “Safe Cities Free of Violence against Women and Girls” in several cities

How can we help UN Women keep up the positive work for gender equality and to empower more women and girls?

This holiday season consider giving as little as $5/month or more to support these vital programs for women. A one time donation will do, too!

  • $10 provides 6 women survivors of violence with psychological and social counseling across Asia and Africa.

  • $100 trains 17 women activists in the Middle East to engage men and boys as agents of change to end violence against women and girls.

  • $1,000 provides seed funding to 21,000 women farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.

Some of UN Women’s most recent campaigns are HeForShe and ,UNiTE to End Violence Against Women. HeForShe is a solidarity movement for gender equality, whose Goodwill Ambassador is actress, Emma Watson. She gave this amazing speech at the launch. And UNiTE to End Violence Against Women was created to help stop violence against women and girls. The campaign includes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on November 25th and the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence who follow and end on December 10th, Human Rights Day. To keep up to date with current programs, check out the check out the UN Women newswireIn Focus. 

Whether you are looking for an organization to give toward on #GivingTuesday or simply looking for the perfect Holiday Gift for a special woman in your life, please consider donating to UN Women to help the plight of women worldwide. Women are important. 

Donate to UN Women

Disclosure: World Moms Blog received compensation in return for marketing UN Women’s #GivingTuesday campaign. And, The United States National Committee (USNC) for UN Women is an independent non-profit, 501c3 organization that supports UN Women programs and one of 17 national committees around the world. World Moms Blog uses any funds received for sponsored marketing towards paying our website operating costs and business expenses to continue providing a platform for mothers around the world.  

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA.

Photo credit of woman to UN Foundation. Image credit for donate button to World Moms Blog. 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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MEXICO: Life Lessons with Mexico Mom

MEXICO: Life Lessons with Mexico Mom

Ernspiker fam-102RSAs a wife of one and a mom of four, it seems like I am always learning and discovering! I know I am not alone. Let’s just admit it: The world is a big place, life is a lesson, and children can be the best teachers.  Normally my series, Life Lessons with Mexico Mom,  is hosted on Los Gringos Locos, but today I am posting here on World Moms Blog.

Here are my insights and experiences as a Mexico Mom for this week:

Life Lesson 25: The city of Morelia, Mexico may shut off your water at any time without given notice. If this happens make sure your water tank is full! We have to press a  switch to fill our water tank every other day or so. If we forget, we are without water for a few minutes. If the city turns off the water, we may be without water for a day. Then our wonderful landlord brings us a huge barrel of water for the toilets and the dishes. Yea!

Life Lesson 26: Driving through Morelia you could very well see a naked woman in the middle of the street. Unfortunately there is not much government help for the poor and mentally ill in our city. This part is actually very sad. My husband saw this poor lady, stark naked, with a pile of clothes in front of her. Chances are she was homeless and mentally ill. Cars were slowing down and people were staring. Brad was flabbergasted. There is not much he could have done for her. She would probably have been scared of my large, white husband.

Life Lesson 27: It is not necessary to have a stove and oven. Since we moved into our new house a month ago I have been without this appliance. I miss it dearly and hope to purchase one very soon. But on the upside, we have discovered just how much you can cook on a grill. Banana bread, pancakes, casseroles, scrambled eggs, quesadillas, pulled pork, and lots more! Brad has become a professional grill chef. Cooking is not my forte, so I am loving it!

What life lesson did you learn this past week? Please share it with us below. We want to hear your thoughts from around the world!

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Tina Marie Ernspiker.  Tina can be found blogging over at Los Gringos Locos.  She is also on Facebook and Twitter.  

Photo credit to A. Hurst Photography

Tina Marie Ernspiker

Tina lives abroad in Mexico with her husband and four children. She is active with homeschool, travel, and her Bible ministry. Tina loves photography and writing thus she blogs. Come join her adventures!

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NEW JERSEY, USA: Parenting: The Real, The Ancient and The Pixie Dust #DisneyKids

NEW JERSEY, USA: Parenting: The Real, The Ancient and The Pixie Dust #DisneyKids

Many of the global issues we cover on World Moms Blog are very serious, and I spend a lot of time on them because they are important to me and the #WorldMoms. But, when Disney recently provided the parents on it’s Disney Social Media Moms mailing list the opportunity to host a #DisneyKids preschool play date, I jumped at the chance for a little fantasy fun for my daughter and her friends.

I don’t talk much on the blog about how I parent. I find myself mostly writing about global issues that are important to me. So, I’m going to fill you guys in a bit about what my life as a parent is like. At my house when we talk a lot about women using their voice to make a difference, such as Malala and Ambassador Sarah Powers (both would also make amazing Disney princesses, wouldn’t they?).

Yet, as much as I wanted my 7 year old daughter to dress up as Malala for Halloween and to make a statement that girls everywhere deserve an education, she chose pop star Katy Perry, and I supported her decision. And went out to find brightly colored hair spray. I find it useful to keep in mind that I was not advocating for world poverty and girls education at age 7, so I shouldn’t put certain expectations on her. She has to find her own way and have her childhood, and it’s my job to help her be her.

At night our family is reading the Greek, Roman and Egyptian myths and then finding a time every now and then in the year to let the kids loose in a museum to find their bedtime heroes and heroines among the art and sculpture. But, we also take the kids to ride the Small World ride at Walt Disney World and have lunch in the Beast’s castle there. Excursions are not everyday occurrences, and we also watch TV. 😉 What I guess I’m trying to say is that I find parenting in my house is about balance.  We try to experience it all, the nonfiction, the ancient, the pop culture and the pixie dust!

And that pixie dust part is what led to my interest in hosting a #DisneyKids play date for my preschooler. My daughter’s play group had dissolved last year once all the kids were on different preschool schedules, so this was going to be a reunion playdate for the little girls…

Within weeks of being accepted to host the play date, a grand box of Sophia the First play date supplies arrived along with other goodies. We received themed plates, cups, napkins, a table cloth and decorations. Also included were games, snacks and some toys, too. My 3 year old daughter was so excited!!

Next, the planning began. We chose a Sunday evening play date — it turned out to be the perfect time for all of us to make it. I was planning to make some dinner, but I needed a few more special fantasy touches.  We made fruit fairy wands, and dressed the dining room chairs in lavender toile bows, both ideas found on Pinterest, too. Here is the fancy table setting:

Sophie the First Table

I also found Sophia the First themed goody bags, dress up rings and pendants at a nearby store. We also used some of the treats included in our box from Disney to make the goody bags for the party, Cliff Bars and Doc McStuffins fruit snacks.

Cupcakes Goody Bags

With 8 kids and 8 moms, there was a lot of catching up to do. The girls took to the playroom to play dress up in their Disney clothes, and we also had a little table that had the Kinetic sand and Doc McStuffin’s puzzle for the girls to try out.

Kinetic Sand

Another table had real life 3 year old princesses at it decorating Disney themed coloring pages. And, there was a request from the princess crowd to put Sophia the First on TV at the end while they were playing.

Disney Coloring

I served home made mac n cheese and chicken nuggets, as well as a goat’s cheese salad for the moms. Dessert was chocolate cupcakes with homemade icing, dyed with blueberry juice, to keep with the Sophia the First lavender theme. And, on departure, each princess chose a ring pop to go!

I’m not going to lie — one of the moms showed up with a bottle of champagne, which had the moms sipping like princesses out of tall glasses. That was fun, too.

I forgot how important it is to reconnect along the way with friends whom I have shared my motherhood journey. It seems natural to keep moving forward through time and missing out on friendships as our kids grow and have different interests. It was great to check in and see how everyone was doing and find out what the kids that we’ve known as babies were up to. Also, seeing the kids step out of their shells and run around together like old times was a really good feeling. I can never have enough of these moments. Thank you, Disney, for the pixie dust. 😉

By the way, have you ever seen the #WorldMoms slideshow of their global Disney vacations?

 

Disney provided a box described above of party supplies for this #DisneyKids playdate. I was not paid to write this post and the thoughts and opinions are my own.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA. 

Photo credits to the author. 

 

Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post, ONE.org, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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#BlackBoysMatter

#BlackBoysMatter

#BlackBoysMatter

Positive Images of Black Boys in Protest of Ferguson Tragedy

BlackBoysMatter4

Mocha Moms, Inc. members, many of whom are the mothers of sons, are outraged by the failure to indict Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown, Ferguson grand jury case. But we realize we can’t change the decision, nor bring back Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and countless other unarmed black boys, and men who have lost their lives. We chose to take to social media and flood our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages with positive images of our sons with hashtag #blackboysmatter. This is our way of peacefully organizing via the power of social media to change the way our society views black males. At the time of this article, our social media campaign has garnered nearly 5 million impressions and that number is steadily growing.

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Our sons are not thugs, robbers or murderers. They are educated, professional, philanthropic, law-abiding men who give back to their communities and families. Their precious faces should not evoke a sense of fear simply because they are black.

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We are not saying that all lives are not precious and equally important, or that our girls, white or brown children don’t matter. But these children are not being gunned down like animals in the street.

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We invite moms from around the world, no matter the race, to join us in solidarity and help us spread the word by sharing photos of your precious sons of any color with #blackboysmatter. But don’t stop there!

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Talk to your children about equality. Share the struggles of people who are not treated fairly and are discriminated against. Raise them to understand that no matter the color of someone’s skin, they deserve the same rights as everyone.

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We shudder to think that civil rights icon and scholar, W.E.B. DuBois, was accurate in his statement;

“A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.”

BlackBoysMatter1

This is an original post written by LaShaun Martin, National Director of Social Media, Mocha Moms, Inc. for World Moms Blog.

shootiegirl

LaShaun Martin is National Director of Social Media and Community Service for Mocha Moms, Inc. a national 501(c)(3) support group for stay-at-home mothers of color. LaShaun currently works to manage and promote community service programs for the organization to include teen mentoring, Boys Booked on Barbershops literacy program, America’s Promise, MomsRising, Moms Clean Air Force, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Education. She is a frequent guest of the White House for events focused on women and girls including tea with First Lady Michelle Obama. LaShaun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. LaShaun spent 20 years with the State of California, the State of Maryland Department of Corrections managing public education, research, FBI programs and later Hewlett Packard. LaShaun now serves as CEO and Designer of her own company, Shootie Girl™ Custom Rhinestone Apparel and Shootie Girl™ Blog – Positive Messages for Women and Girls. Shootie Girl™ designs have been featured with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Sherri Shepherd of The View, Carol’s Daughter, Clinique Cosmetics, Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Still Standing Movie, Dr. Sherry Blake of Essence Magazine and Aja Dantzler of R&B singing couple Kindred and the Family Soul and Blogalicious. LaShaun is passionate about giving back and ensures her company reflects a heart for service by donating many “t-shirts for a cause” to Heart of Haiti, the women of Zimbabwe and The United Nations Foundation Shot@Life Campaign. She also serves on the Advisory Board of MOMentumNation and the Epilepsy Foundation. LaShaun’s greatest passions are her husband, two lovely daughters and music. Blog: http://www.shootiegirl.net Custom Rhinestone Apparel: http://www.shootiegirl.com

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SAUDI ARABIA: No Girls Allowed

I grew up in a house full of girls with one baby brother, who was so much younger than me that our friends and social lives didn’t overlap.

Now that I am the mother of three boys and one girl, I am learning many things I never knew about boys: they are more straightforward, easier to read, and, honestly, easier to persuade than girls. Boys wrestle–a lot. Even when they haven’t got the hang of walking yet, they wrestle. (I still don’t know why.) Boys are more emotional than I expected, and more sensitive.

I know there’s a lot more to learn about raising boys, and I’m excited to do it–especially because I can call in their father whenever something freaks me out.

Despite my growing expertise in raising boys, something recently caught me off guard. Something obvious in our society, but not so prevalent in my ‘tribe’ (which is what I call my close family–mother, father, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.).

My eldest turned 11 this year, and is in the phase between boy and teenager.  And I find myself surprised to discover that our society’s segregation of men and women is changing my relationship with my own son.

I was totally unprepared for the separation that occurred when he moved from the little school to the big school. I went from being able to walk into his class, to speak to his teacher, and to meet his friends and their moms, to having to drop him off and pick him up outside the school gate (but not right in front of it, where the other boys could see us).

No more going into the school, unless I make an appointment with the headmaster and go to his office to speak with the teachers. (And even that is not permissible in most boys’ schools, the majority of which would not even allow a woman on the premises. The same is true for girls’ schools, which don’t permit men on the premises.)

My son can no longer go into the all-women area of the malls. In a few years, he won’t be allowed in any area of the mall without a ‘family’ for fear he will terrorize the girls. (Ironically, some young teenagers wait outside the malls and approach older women, or women with children, and ask them to pretend they are one family to gain entrance into the mall.)

Soon, my son won’t invite his friends over when his sister is home, although he could still invite cousins and close family friends.

There are so many unwritten rules concerning the separation of girls and boys, and a million variations. For some families, it’s pretty black and white: unless he is your brother or father, or unless she is your sister or mother, you don’t spend time with them. It also depends upon the region. In the eastern or western provinces, strict segregation is not as prevalent as it is here in the central region.  In seacoast areas, people have the benefit of interacting with many cultures, and are therefore more forgiving.

I am baffled by how our society has become so segregated. Throughout the early history of Islam, segregation wasn’t practiced. Modesty and chastity, yes. Total segregation, no. I do not even think it was part of our culture as Saudis. At least, not to the extent it is today.

Until recently, Bedouin women were expected to welcome travelers into their tents, and to make them coffee, and even dinner, regardless of whether her husband was there. Yes, most would have had their faces covered (again, a cultural custom, not religious one), but they interacted with men all the time.  It’s only in recent years that things have changed. Some put it down to the influences that came into Saudi when it was united. Others say it is a reaction to how fast we were exposed to the outside world, and how quickly we went from tribal life to modern-day life.

Theories aside, I’m facing the reality of being shut out of a part of my son’s life and of him being shut out of mine.

When I explained my concern to one of his teachers (over the phone) he said, “You can’t follow him around all of his life!” As if I were a stalker! Am I being a stalker? Hmmm, I wonder how involved I would be in his day-to-day school life if I were?

My biggest fear is that if he gets caught up in the wrong crowd, segregation makes it easier in certain houses with absent fathers to make mistakes and do stupid stuff. I thank God his father keeps an eye on him, and that he still fills me in about his day and talks to me when he is upset. If we can continue to talk, I think I may be okay.

Perhaps I just don’t like not being in control of the situation, or perhaps it’s that I don’t have the choice.

Would you naturally step back from your son’s day-to-day life when he turns 11 or 12? Would you withdraw from knowing his friends and supervising his outings?

It’s all foreign territory for me now, and I am learning to deal with it as best I can.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog from our contributor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and mother of four, Mama B. 

Photo credit: Dr. Coop under Flickr Creative Commons License

Mama B (Saudi Arabia)

Mama B’s a young mother of four beautiful children who leave her speechless in both, good ways and bad. She has been married for 9 years and has lived in London twice in her life. The first time was before marriage (for 4 years) and then again after marriage and kid number 2 (for almost 2 years). She is settled now in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (or as settled as one can be while renovating a house). Mama B loves writing and has been doing it since she could pick up a crayon. Then, for reasons beyond her comprehension, she did not study to become a writer, but instead took graphic design courses. Mama B writes about the challenges of raising children in this world, as it is, who are happy, confident, self reliant and productive without driving them (or herself) insane in the process. Mama B also sheds some light on the life of Saudi, Muslim children but does not claim to be the voice of all mothers or children in Saudi. Just her little "tribe." She has a huge, beautiful, loving family of brothers and sisters that make her feel like she wants to give her kids a huge, loving family of brothers and sisters, but then is snapped out of it by one of her three monkeys screaming “Ya Maamaa” (Ya being the arabic word for ‘hey’). You can find Mama B writing at her blog, Ya Maamaa . She's also on Twitter @YaMaamaa.

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