“Forget about t…


“Forget about the fast lane. If you really want to fly, just harness your power to your passion.” – Oprah

Inspiration for November 18, 2013

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What it has taken me 33 years to learn


I remember telling my mother at age 33 (that’s 1 year ago) that I had learned so much in the past 3 years than I had in the first 30 years of my life. Well the statement was made in a particular context but sure we need to live on to learn more and acquire wisdom along the way – or rather …

The Justin McElroy Institute

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-You can be funny and kind or funny and cruel. The second one is easier, but the first one is worth it.

-Dip the french fry in the Frosty. Go on, try it.

-Habit is a powerful force we forget about until it’s turned against us. Be careful which ones you create.

-You will remember the most embarrassing crap you do in your life forever and in perfect clarity. Everyone else will remember the kindest things you do. It all comes out in the wash.

-If you’re doing a remote podcast, it’s worth it to record audio locally and mix it together. Trust me on this one.

-You’re the only one who can let go of your grudges. It’s worth it, I promise. They’re not doing you any good.

-Doing the good, brave, kind things can feel silly if you let your internal critic get in the way. Reminder: No…

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The Struggle for land ownership rights by Women


End Discriminatory Laws, and Transformative Change Can Follow

Tazeen Hasan's picture

A woman in South Africa. © Trevor Samson/World BankIn September 2013, four elderly sisters in Botswana were finally and definitively allowed to remain in the ancestral home where they had spent most of their lives — the result of their own tenacity and determination that a young nephew could not step in and take ownership of a property they had lovingly maintained.

This landmark decision by the highest court in Botswana, the Court of Appeal, followed five years of efforts by women’s networks and legal associations who helped the sisters bring their claim. The judges decided that customary laws favoring the rights of the youngest male heir were simply out of date.

“The Constitutional values of equality before the law and the increased leveling of the power structures with more and more women heading households and participating with men as equals in the public sphere and increasingly in the private sphere demonstrate that there is no rational and justifiable basis for sticking to the narrow norms of days gone by when such norms go against current value systems,” wrote Justice Lesetedi of the Botswana Court of Appeal.

The reform of discriminatory laws can lead to transformative change.

Inheritance law reform in India equalizing unmarried daughters’ rights to ancestral land led to increased investment in girls’ education and later marriage. In Ethiopia, reform of family laws — including changes that removed husbands’ control over marital property — saw increased female labor force participation overall and in more productive sectors. These legal changes have consequences for health as well. Equal inheritance and property rights for women and girls can help mitigate the economic and social burdens of HIV.

Two decades ago, also in Botswana, Unity Dow successfully challenged citizenship laws that prevented her from passing on citizenship to her non-national husband and her children. The government not only endorsed the court’s decision by reforming citizenship laws, but changed family laws that gave financial control over joint property to the husband and even changed the Constitution itself.

The opportunities and the pathways for reform are important to understand from a policy perspective and can be complex in systems where statutory and customary laws and courts exist side by side.

We trace the process of reform from the milestone case of Unity Dow to the present day Mmusi case in our new paper, “Women’s Movements, Plural Legal Systems, and the Botswana Constitution: How Reform Happens.” We also explore how this can apply in other contexts.

The reforms in Botswana are consistent with global trends: A 2013 study found that more than 50% of legal constraints affecting women’s economic empowerment that were in force in 1960 have now been reformed.

But it’s not over yet. Some 90% of the 143 countries covered by the World Bank Group’s Women, Business, and the Law report still have one discriminatory law on the books, and almost one-fifth have more than 10 discriminatory laws.

So what can we learn from the perseverance of these four sisters and their road to groundbreaking legal victory?

  1. Lasting legal reform can start from the bottom up. Collective action by women’s networks can be an early driver of change.
  2. It takes a legal village. Community mobilization, legal networks, the judiciary, community leaders, government champions, and international support are key elements in the reform process.
  3. Never say never. Discriminatory norms and laws do evolve and change for the better. International institutions can support the process by sharing knowledge and expertise, raising awareness, building capacity, and helping amplify the voices and pathways for transformative change.

The themes of discriminatory laws and social norms will be explored further in a major new report on women’s voice, agency, and participation that the World Bank Group will launch in April 2014.

Empowered by a rally: My Chronicles


Empowered by a rally: My Chronicles

A woman should logically be her own first cheerleader but we often times need situations to bring that best out of us we sometimes never knew we had. This is what happened to me when I decided to register unto the Knowledge Gateway as a Community Champion. Little did I know there was a race to run before the final selection. Clicking on the title takes us to my chronicles of that rally!

My thrilling life as an author, coach, consultant & mental health advocate…

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This blog is to encourage others that is being victimize, been a victm, or were a victim that they no longer have to live in hidden. I want to share words of encouragement to them and let them know they can come out of their situtaion alive no matter what there abuser is telling or has told them over the years. Some individuals have left their abuser but they are still living in afraid or living in in jail mental; the victim have to get his or her life back. Living behind the wall in public isn't well for them. They have to make a stand for themselves and regain what they lost in that relationship. It will not happen within a week or probably a month. First of all its a learning process, admit to what they lost, and let go of the shame, pride, and bitter. Its up to the victim to want to be a Survior not the abuser.

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