I had the privilege of visiting Turkey recently and found myself marveling at the women. As a predominantly Muslim country, I assumed women wore head scarves, burkas or tesettür (a headscarf and light cover-all topcoat) even in warm climates. However, I was surprised to see women and girls dressed in mostly European styles while shopping, or enjoying an evening out with family and friends.
Until late 2013 the head scarf had been outlawed in Turkey in public buildings and universities. More recently the law has been relaxed, and a small percentage of women still wear them. Turkey is considered to be a more western leaninig, secular country. Therefore, in many areas European style prevails over traditional Muslim attire. It was easy to find women dressed in jeans and casual wear as well as skirts and dresses.
The point of departure for me came when entering a mosque for worship or observation. In this case, all women and girls were required to enter with a head scarf. Some mosques had scarves available and required women to use them if they do not bring their own. A fellow travel friend of mine liked her scarf so much that she donated money to the mosque to keep her scarf. If skirts were above the knee, an additional wrap was provided to cover them, creating a longer length.
The author at the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
In my experience I found that the Turkish people are quite accepting of most styles of dress, no matter your country of origin or cultural background. However, it is customary in the less urban areas for women to be dressed more modestly with sleeved tops, slacks or knee-length dresses or skirts.
What does your attire say about you?
This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by La Shaun Martin of shootiegirl.
Photos by Elizabeth Atalay
This past Sunday the world celebrated International Women’s Day.
What does it mean to be a woman? For me, it means the sky is the limit. I can be a wife, a mother, a corporate woman, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and an artist. Yes! All at the same time! Because I was raised by a woman of such strength and power, I’ve never set any limits for myself. Frankly, I didn’t even know they existed. I have always felt propelled, even at a very young age, to DREAM BIG and move beyond the status quo.
As a mother of two girls, I live my life in a way that proves to my daughters that a glass ceiling is non-existent. Who says they can’t become engineers and architects because they are female? What about an astronaut, fire fighter, dancer, fashion designer?
I often remind them that wherever their minds can take them, they can reach any of those goals and beyond. Why? Because there are no boundaries, unless they create them.
Women around the world measure happiness and success differently. Whether it’s bringing your children to school safely in a dangerous area, raising your child to dream of and follow the profession of their choice, standing up so your daughter is not married off in childhood, giving your children the support they need to do well in school, or providing food for your family by working hard at a job just to make ends meet, these are all great efforts we are making to pave the way for a better world. We all share the desire for happiness and success for our children worldwide.
I encourage you to celebrate the women around and beyond you! In order to stay empowered, we must reach out to lift another woman up. Help her to find her happiness and success!What is your idea of happiness and success?
This is an original post written by Shootiegirl creator LaShaun Martin for World Moms Blog.
What is your idea of happiness and success?
Positive Images of Black Boys in Protest of Ferguson Tragedy
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
This is an original post written by LaShaun Martin, National Director of Social Media, Mocha Moms, Inc. for World Moms Blog.
LaShaun Martin at the Mom + Social Summit on May 8th, 2013 in New York City.
This past May I was honored to be a speaker for the very first Mom+Social Summit hosted by the United Nations Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, Huffington Post, Baby Center and 92Y Tribeca in New York City.
I shared several experiences as a Global Mom, but the most difficult one was that of my sweet daughter.
On June 9th, 2012, I happened to be awake on a Saturday morning when I heard something down the hall towards my girls’ rooms. When I went to investigate, I saw my oldest daughter having a grand mal seizure.
This experience shook me to the core with heart-wrenching FEAR I had never experience before. I thought my daughter was dying in front of me!
Instead of going into immediate action, it felt like I stood there for hours watching a movie I had no power to control. When I came out from the fog, I grabbed her, screamed her name, and did everything I could to get her to answer me. When she didn’t, my youngest daughter and I just knew it was the end.
Fortunately, this story has a very happy ending.
With the best doctors and medical care possible, my daughter has been seizure-free since that day.
I am eternally grateful that God saw fit to save MY child that day. But what about all of the other children who suffer with nowhere to turn? No one to rescue them. Parents who can’t afford medical care of even the basic necessities.
My heart bleeds for those children and their future. I want them to have the same experiences and opportunities that my girls have. This is why my goal as a mother is to raise children who think of others and not just themselves. It is my greatest gift to see my girls as “givers” and not “takers.” They have designed t-shirts for Shot@Life – a campaign that raises money for vaccines for children in developing countries, they save their change to donate to several causes, and participate in walks and fundraising for Children’s Hospital. They are the next generation of givers!
Check out my talk at Mom+Social:
How can you teach your children to be givers?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our contributor, LaShaun Martin of Shootie Girl in the Washington, DC Metro Area.
Photo credit to Stuart Ramson, UN Foundation.
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live in the USA in the Washington, DC Metro Area now, but grew up between California and Louisiana.
What language(s) do you speak?
When did you first become a mother?
In 2003, and I now have two daughters.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
Work-from-home mother. CEO of Shootie Girl™ Custom Rhinestone Apparel.
Why do you blog/write?
I write to promote positive messages for women and girls and my company is based on those values. With so many negative images of women and young girls across the country, I try to shed some light on what girls and women are doing RIGHT!
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I believe the core of mothers are the same. What may set me apart is all of the things I’m passionate about and involved in: Wife, mom, CEO, worship leader, board member of 3 organizations, and blogger. For example, I’m the 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. And, I’m a frequent guest of the White House for events focused on women and girls including tea with First Lady Michelle Obama. (more…)