INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Challenges We Face Around the World #IWD2015

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Challenges We Face Around the World #IWD2015

World Moms Blog IWD2015

Today is International Women’s Day, also known as Working Women’s Day. To honour women, we, at World Moms Blog are looking at the challenges women face around the world and want to spark a discussion what it means to be a woman in the 22nd century. We also want to use this post as a reminder of how far we’ve come in some places and how much work we still have to do in others.

We asked our fabulous contributors this question: “What are the challenges women face where you live?” and received some thought-provoking, interesting answers.

Maureen Hitipeuw (Indonesia): “Equality. In a country where patriarchy is the ‘norm’ women are still being treated as second class citizen at times and that our place is at home, raising kids, cooking. Slowly this starts to shift, and I am happy to see the changes, but I am also very concerned about the support single mothers get here. Single fathers are deemed as ‘strong hero’ while single mothers still bear the negative stigma. Happy International Women’s Day!”

Mirjam Rose (The Netherlands): “I think it is balancing kids and work in the Netherlands . Although many fathers are willing to participate in taking care of their children, the work culture makes it difficult. Most bosses still expect that men simply come to work while their wives take care of the children. And because childcare has become increasingly difficult and expensive, more women are quitting their jobs or are working part-time, making it hard to pursue any career. At the same time the government expects women to work more.”

Kirsten Doyle (Canada): “In Canada, there is still wage inequality between men and women, and women are very poorly represented in the political arena. Another big challenge that isn’t spoken of often enough is how victims of rape are treated. We live in a blame-the-victim society that is hard to fight.”

Carol (Canada): “Another Canadian problem is our missing Aboriginal women. There is a lot of institutionalized racism in Canada regarding our native peoples, and we currently have an epidemic of native girls and women who have been murdered or have gone missing, without the police/authorities exerting much effort to find them or their killers. In the most worrying example, a serial killer managed to get away with killing probably 50 women over a decade period, and the police ignored it because the women he killed were all aboriginal or transient. But because several of the witnesses were also transient/aboriginal women, including the woman who claimed to be attacked, they weren’t taken seriously.”

Aisha Yesefu (Nigeria): “From birth the woman in my country faces discrimination. Some men have beaten their wives for giving birth to girls. Others have simply abandoned their wives at hospital for giving birth to girls. Sometimes there are tears because IT’S A GIRL. In terms of education the woman is given less chance to be in school. Discriminated upon even in her home. She has to do the whole house work while her male counterpart has time to read.

Women are not allowed to do certain jobs in my country. In some parts of my country women cannot own landed properties. They cannot inherit properties even from their husband. Women in some parts, too, are forced to go through dehumanising situations when their husband’s die like drinking the water used to wash the corpse to prove they have no hand in the death of husband.”

Nicole Morgan (USA): “The glass ceiling is not invisible. Dads being applauded for parenting, ummm Hello. Watching your children is NOT babysitting. Women fielding a myriad of responsibilities remains the usual, men stepping up to responsibility is not outside of the box, but part of being a dad!”

Olga Mecking (The Netherlands): “The Netherlands is a great place for women. The fathers are very involved, the support network is huge (daycares, for example) however even then there are challenges. For example, I believe there should be a bigger spectrum of birthing choices (not restricted to natural childbirth or homebirth). While it may seem that Dutch women found their work/life balance, the truth is that they are encouraged to work part-time- not too much, not too little. Again, this may be great for some, it is not enough for others. Also, Dutch women are still expected to do the majority of household and parenting chores. And, with government cutting down on daycare allowances, more and more women decide to stay at home rather than work.”

Polish Proverb

Jennifer Burden (USA): “Equal pay is still a huge issue that affects women in my country — studies indicate that women are paid less for the same jobs as their male colleagues. Also, our maternity leave is comparatively small — 12 weeks, and it is not necessarily paid, depending on the employer. I’d like to see these changes when it comes to my daughters’ future! I also want to add healthcare — there are still women who are uninsured or underinsured in the country. And more support for programs for moms who are living below the poverty line.”

Karyn (New Zealand): “For us there is a difference between those in poverty who have a whole raft of challenges to meet, just in order to get enough food and decent housing for their children, around 25% of all New Zealand children live below the poverty line. For those who have access to more money, it’s the pressure to be everything to everyone. Especially with us lot who had our children late and are often dealing with teenagers and aging parents at a time when our careers may be also at their peak.”

Elizabeth Atalay (USA): “In the U.S., we have wage disparity, some of the lowest numbers of women in government leadership positions in the world, and major childcare issues for working mothers.”

Sarah Hughes (USA): “To play off what Elizabeth just said, I think one of the biggest challenges in the US is being a working mother. Finding reliable, safe, engaging and good childcare is so hard. We pay in childcare more than most people pay in rent/mortgage per month. I have no idea how the average family can afford it. It’s a huge financial stress on our family which then turns into emotional stress, too!”

Adwoa Gyimah (Ghana): “Access to proper healthcare for the needy is a challenge in Ghana. There are systems in place to ensure that most, if not all, pregnant women get free healthcare access, but there are lapses that makes it challenging in some parts of the country, especially in the rural areas and even some urban areas. The country has come a long way in ensuring that all children of school going age can have free basic education, but there are still children on the streets selling or helping on family farmlands to earn some income to support their families.”

Nicole Melancon (USA):  “I would say more opportunities for women who want to have a career and raise a family. I feel like it is all or nothing in our country.”

Also, one of our partners, the ONE Campaign, released a new campaign called “Poverty is Sexist” today! If you do one thing today, check out ONE’s new ‪#‎PovertyIsSexist‬ campaign: http://bit.ly/1BflzyM .

What about you, dear readers? What challenges do women face in you part of the world? Please tell us in the comments!

 This is a collaborative post organized by World Mom contributor, Olga Mecking, The European Mama. Thank you, Olga! 

Image credits to World Moms Blog and The European Mama.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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SPECIAL REPORT: World Moms Blog Invited to The White House!!

SPECIAL REPORT: World Moms Blog Invited to The White House!!

World Moms Blog White House

On December 9th, 2014, WorldMomsBlog.com, a global community for women that writes from over 20 countries on motherhood, culture, humans rights and social good, will join media influencers and top government officials at The White House in Washington, D.C. The goal of the discussions will be “to increase awareness among young people and encourage their participation in educational, cultural and professional exchanges.”

“I am extremely honored and enthusiastic to be invited into the conversation around millennials and global and cultural exchanges at the home of the President of the United States of America.” — Jennifer Burden, Founder of WorldMomsBlog.com

In 1993 Jennifer won a scholarship from her hometown of Brick Township’s Board of Education to live with a family in Japan for a summer during high school. Her experience through Youth for Understanding was life-changing, and she still remains close friends with the Miyaji family in Japan.  

“We’ve attended each other’s weddings, watched our families grow and exchanged support during tragic events of September 11th, 2001 and the tsunami that impacted Japan in 2011. It has been a mind opening experience to have such a connection with a family elsewhere on the globe, similar to the connections we are now making to mothers through World Moms Blog.”, says Burden.

However, Jennifer is just one of the many WorldMoms Blog.com community with a story of an early experience abroad that has made an impact.  The invitation to The White House inspired us to ask our globally minded contributors about their early abroad experiences, if any. What we learned may surprise you!…

Our contributor, Ana Gaby from Stumble Abroad, is a Mexico native, who studied abroad in Canada during high school and in France in college. Karyn Van Der Zwet of Kloppenmum in New Zealand worked in London for four years during her 20s. And, Jennifer Iacovelli of Another Jennifer studied abroad in London, England while a junior at Syracuse University in New York, USA.

Dee Harlow, The Wanderlustress has lived all over the world and is now in Lesotho. She told us that during her 20s she was working abroad from the US in Singapore. K10K in Belgium of The Penguin and the Panther volunteered in Rumenia fixing up a local birth clinic and in Morocco helping to install an irrigation system in her early 20s. In fact, her husband proposed to her on that Morocco trip!

Kristyn Zalota of Cleanbirth.org went to Russia on an exchange just after the Soviet Union collapsed. And in college she did a semester in Luxembourg and went back to Russia after graduating and lived with a family. While, Kirsten Doyle of Running For Autism in Canada grew up in South Africa and lived and worked in Israel at age 23.  She started on a kibbutz and then worked on farms.

Elizabeth Atalay of Documama spent a summer in Israel at age 17 after high school, a summer in Bolivia as college student at age 19 and backpacked around South America for the summer at age 21 and for 6 months through Africa when she was 24. She also spent four months backpacking around Asia/Pacific at 26 after college pursuing her work as a documentarian!

Jennifer Prestholdt, The Human Rights Warrior, took a semester off from Yale University when she was 20 and enrolled as a Norwegian student at the University of Oslo’s faculty of political science. She also worked at a barnehage (day care center) when in Norway. During law school, she spent two summers living in Geneva and working at the United Nations.

Nicole Morgan of Sisters from Another Mister went to college in South Africa, then spent a year traveling Europe, where she backpacked through Italy, Greece and Turkey. She volunteered for a while with the YWCA, and then spent six months working in a London advertising/graphics company while waitressing at night. Polish Mom Photographer, grew up in Poland and worked as an au pair as part of a cultural exchange program in U.S when she was 26. She also worked as a waitress in London, England for 2 months when she was 21!

Susie Newday of New Day, New Lesson grew up in the US and went on a program to Israel when she was 18. She lived and worked on kibbutz, and now resides in Israel. And, Olga Mecking, The European Mama, grew up in Poland and studied french in Nancy, France for a month. She then went on to study in Germany for a year, went to Canada for 4 months and then moved to Germany. She has now been living in the Netherlands for the past 5 years.

Tina Santiago-Rodriguez, Truly Rich Mom, of the Philippines grew up and studied in Brunei from kindergarten to secondary school, and then went back home to the Philippines to attend college. After graduating, she became a mission volunteer for her Catholic lay community and was assigned to Borneo (East Malaysia and Brunei) and Timor Leste for about 2 years, to do ministry work for youth and kids. She was then assigned to Manila for a year, then to Timor Leste with her parents and fiance for another year, before getting married at 26. She returned to Timor with her husband as newlyweds and stayed for another 4 years or so before returning to the Philippines.

Nicole Melancon, the Thirdeyemom, studied in Paris when she was 21 and worked as a fille au pair (nanny) and French intern the following year. While, Hannah Ashton moved to the US from the UK when she was 17, went to university in the US, but did her junior year back in the UK. She ended up staying in the US for three years after she graduated. And, Erin Threlfall went to Germany to study at a university and then went volunteered at a refugee camp in Ghana, where she stayed for 11 years!

Sophia Neghesti Johnson of Think Say Be from Tanzania volunteered in Santa Cruz, CA at Bosch Baha’i School for a year at 18. She then studied in Los Angeles, CA and Tampa, FL in her mid 20s with a focus on psychology. At 24 she worked as a freelance photographer for celebrity events in Los Angeles, CA, & has continued freelancing in Florida to sponsor girls’ education in Zanzibar at Regeza Mwendo School.

Our contributor, Anne Marie Wraight in Greece, went to Germany on a cultural exchange programme from the UK. Her choir and orchestra played several concerts together with the youth orchestra from Berlin. They also had a musical to perform which was a great hit!!! She was part of a group that stayed with the musicians from the host orchestra so they could practise our foreign language skills. This exchange took place every 2 years. She says it was, “Great on EVERY level of cultural exchange!”As a result of the experience, Anne Marie did her gap year in Berlin, where she volunteered with retired people who lived on their own and had special needs and taught English. She then moved to Greece in her early 20’s and still resides there today!

Jennifer Burden will be bringing these stories of the WorldMomsBlog.com community and more to Washington. The invitation to The White House is a big milestone for World Moms Blog, and we are over the moon about including our community in these top-level discussions of global importance for students and young adults! This honor is a true reflection of the hard work of our entire global editing and contributing staff toward running the site and opening minds to what life is like for mothers all over the world. Congratulations to every single World Mom!!

Did you travel abroad when you were in your teens or 20’s on a trip that has impacted your life? Tell us your story in the comments, and we will take it to Washington!

WorldMomsBlog.com is a community that shares the stories of over 60 contributors from over 20 countries on motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. We have been named a FORBES Woman Best Website for Women, ’12 & ’13; a NY Times Motherlode “must read” and recommended in the “The Times of India”.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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FOURTH BLOGIVERSARY SPECIAL: What Attracts You to the #WorldMoms Community?

WMB Fourth Blogiversary

 

It’s our 4th Blogiversary!!!!  For the past 4 years we’ve been writing our hearts out, watching some of our mothers meet across continents, attending conferences, receiving fellowships to report on the world’s most vulnerable and accepting awards and mentions of our site around the globe. We have learned so much from these global connections!

Today, we asked some of the WorldMomsBlog.com contributors about what attracts them to our community.  We are thrilled with what they had to say and are so grateful for their volunteerism to our mission of holding hands in global motherhood, easy at times and challenging at times. Here’s what they’re saying around the globe about World Moms Blog…

What attracts you to the World Moms Blog Community?

“What attracts me to the WMB community?  The community!  The group of moms that I have met, both in real life and online, have been incredible!  The women are supportive of each other both, on the blog and off, and I have been amazed at the friendships that have been created by this group of moms, most of whom have never even met face to face.  I have also been inspired by the caring and affection that the group has shown each other in happy and sad times. I am lucky and proud to say that I am part of the team!” — Maman Aya of the USA

“I remember when I first visited WMB via Facebook. I was amazed at the diversity and how well written the posts were. I kinda fantasized that I would one day be a part of it. There wasn’t a Mom from the Netherlands back then. (Little did I know.) Now that I am a part of it, I have discovered that it is more than just a great blog, it is also a wonderful community. With an amazing and inspiring leader.” — Mirjam Rose of the Netherlands and of “Apples and Roses

“This amazing world of mothers coming together to share, learn, teach and truly make the world a better place. Nothing beats our united nations of Moms!!” — Nancy Sumari of Tanzania and of “Mama Zuri Chronicles

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and World Moms Blog has become part of my village. We band together to help and support one another, to learn from each other, to celebrate the good things that happen in our lives, and to be a source of strength for each other during the bad times.” — Kirsten Doyle in Canada of “Running For Autism

“I love being part of a global community of mothers, hearing from all different cultures and point of views on the common threads all women face. And our globally focused social good reports — in my mind, sharing best practices and ideas in global development is key to solving the most pressing issues, especially for women and girls. My absolute favorite moments are when we are connecting in real time from all over the world!”– Elizabeth Atalay in the USA of “Documama

“Despite being scattered across the globe, with many of us World Moms Blog contributors never having met in person, I feel so incredibly supported by this amazing group of women with similar interests, goals and values in life. It is such a wonderful group of women, and I am so happy to be part of this global community.” — Alison Fraser of Canada and of “Mom2Mom Africa” 

“More than anything, the mutual love, respect and support shown to everyone (irrespective of race, nationality and beliefs) and the feeling that I’m contributing to something positive to help counteract all the negatives in the world. I also love that we don’t take ourselves too seriously, and can share amusing things as well as our take on important world events.  I feel we’re making a difference by writing about things that aren’t common knowledge. I learn something new from my fellow moms every day, and that is priceless!” — Mama Simona in South Africa

“The daily reminders that I have more in common with people the other side of the world than I have different and that there is no one right way to mother. It is reassuring and empowering.” — Natalia Rankine-Galloway of the USA and of “Culture Baby

“I am attracted to WMB because it is making a difference in the lives of mothers in a special way. WMB tells the untold stories of parents, gives a voice through the “World Voice” column to silent sufferings and helps us bond closer and create a sense of sisterhood and comradeship. I have made a lot of amazing friends, as well as, travelled internationally as a WMB reporter… and I am so loved by them and blessed for this opportunity.” — Purnima Ramakrishnan in India of “The Alchemist’s Blog” 

“I love being a part of the World Moms Blog community because I love being surrounded — even if only virtually — by strong women making a positive impact on the world.  I am inspired and learn something everyday when I read the posts from every corner of the globe.  I cannot say enough about the generous support this community has shown for the mothers in Laos that my organization, CleanBirth.org, works to empower.  Congrats on 4 years and here’s to many, many more!” — Kristyn Zalota of the USA and “Cleanbirth.org

“I love being part of the World Mom’s Blog community because it offers a unique insight in motherhood all over the world and because of the feeling of companionship and togetherness. Together we can make a difference.” — Tinne of Belgium and of “Tantrums and Tomatoes

“I love WMB for the amazing community of fabulous women from all over the world. It has been an absolute pleasure to be a part of WMB and a life-changing experience.” — Nicole Melancon of the USA and of “Thirdeyemom

“What attracts me to the World Moms Blog community is the diversity of its members. There is such  a big variety of backgrounds, nationalities, experiences, and yet, it feels such a close net community.” — Nadege Nicoll of the USA and of “Nadege Nicoll” 

“I am attracted to WMB as a blogger/writer, with a family of six living as expats in Mexico. We love world culture and architecture, and every year we intend on seeing more of our beautiful world. I hope to share some of our adventures with WMB.” —  Tina Marie Ernspiker of Mexico of “Los Gringos Locos

“I loving being a part of a community of mothers that come together with so many different perspectives, yet, one main goal of making the world a better place for our children!” — Sarah Hughes of the USA and of “Finnegan and the Hughes

“I love World Moms for our global community of togetherness, that no matter where in the world we are – we are interested in how others are parenting, support each other, bring important issues to light, advocate as best we can and often times just bring a much-needed side of humor to get us through the day.” — Nicole Morgan of the USA and “Sisters from Another Mister

“I love WMB because it’s a constant reminder that moms all over the world are actually the same. All throughout our differences, we all have moments of worry and struggle, and we all know without doubt that our little rascals are worth it.” — K10K of Belgium and of “The Penguin and the Panther

“The World Moms Blog community has made me brave. They’ve taught me so much about parenting, the world, my kids, my relationships and myself. They have made it possible for us to use social media to help mothers and babies who need it most and have been a source of inspiration. We have supported and challenged each other in both, bad and good times. I have gotten to meet so many of them in person and virtually. I am so grateful for this community of women beyond words!!!” — Jennifer Burden of the USA, Founder, World Moms Blog

Happy Anniversary to all of our contributors, editors and to you, our readers, who keep us going! Without your readership, our words would go silent. We are truly grateful for the entire World Moms Blog community!

How can you help support us? Think of a friend who likes all things international and motherhood and share our site with her! Sign up for our Newsletter!

What attracts YOU to the

World Moms Blog community?

(We’d love to know…)

 

Photo credit to World Moms Blog.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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World Moms Blog 2013 & Interesting Global Reads for Blogcation!

World Moms Blog 2013 & Interesting Global Reads for Blogcation!

wmb_logo_180

Last year at this time, I admit, I was burnt to the ground in exhaustion, and I thought about shutting World Moms Blog down.

It is a really tough thing for me to admit.

With a one-year old at the time home all day, who was down to one nap, and a 5-year old in only half-day kindergarten, I felt like I couldn’t keep on top of anything else.  I couldn’t.  Only by burning the midnight oil and hiring a babysitter here and there. Things got really busy, and the website was, at the time, plagued with technical difficulties that I was treading water to keep up with.  

I was a mom first. And I felt like a failure when it came to managing the website.  I felt like I couldn’t be the leader that the site needed and the stay-at-home mother of my children. My instinct was to shut the whole thing down. Really.

Friends asked me “how I did it all”, and to be honest, I cringed when they said that because I didn’t feel like I could squeeze in just enough time to keep things running. It only made me think of all of the things that I hadn’t done yet. Or the ideas to make World Moms Blog better or to bring in a cash flow that I didn’t have the time to work on.

Even my proclaimed-by-me-work-a-holic husband had found the time for us to spend together, and he was now asking me to find the time for us. Last year at this time was the roughest of rough spots when it came to being a mom, wife and leading World Moms Blog. I felt like we were a Forbes Best Website for Women that was beginning to unravel from lack of good leadership by me. 

World Moms Blog editors and contributors gave me the encouragement it took to keep us going. They loved the site and our community, and they pitched in and weren’t letting go, when I was falling.

In early 2013, Purnima won a BlogHer International Activists scholarship that would fly her to the USA. This was the motivation to keep us going until August when we would meet in Chicago at the BlogHer conference. But long before then, we were well back on track. Then the NY Times Motherlode called us a “must read”.  I cried.  We can do this.

Then, Forbes Woman listed World Moms Blog as a Best Website for Women for the second year in a row. Our contributors and I were on cloud 9.  We worked together and they helped me bring World Moms Blog into 2013! 

The blog was founded by me, but exists today because of the World Moms editors and contributors who nudged me on, knowingly and unknowingly, to get through the tough time and continue to volunteer their best work.  And to the organizations who told us in their own way that our work is valuable to society. 

The paragraphs above were not the paragraphs I set out to write. They were written after I decided that the year in review post was finished.  They are the words inside that I wasn’t sharing with my blogging community, peers and readers.  I don’t just get by easily. I have no secret to doing it all.  Some things will fall through the cracks. I stayed up very late for many nights in 2013. But, we made it. 

We hired technical help and made more volunteer editing positions available to our contributors. We also reorganized our editing and scheduling system, which empowered our regional editors. These moves also helped relieve the pressure and free up my time for my life and for leading the blog. And then October came, and both my daughters were at school, and I had office hours. 

This year was my toughest, time-wise.  I got through it, we all got through it, and we’re headed enthusiastically into the future. I can assure you, we’ve come along way, and World Moms Blog is here to stay! If I had a magic ball last year to tell me where World Moms Blog would be today, when I really needed it most, the paragraphs to follow are what it would have told me. So glad everyone helped me through the tough time and our year turned out more than incredible…thank you, everyone.   

This year World Moms Blog made it onto Forbes Woman’s “Best Websites for Women” list for the second year in a row,  and we were called a “must read” by the NY Times Motherload.  Did that really all happen??!!  But oh wait, there’s more…our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, won a BlogHer International Activist Scholarship to come to the US and speak, and Mama B.’s post from Saudi Arabia on women’s rights won a BlogHer Voice of the Year award!

Also, as our founder, I received a scholarship as a “Global Influencer” to the Social Good Summit this year, where some of our moms were onstage for Shot@Life, and for the first time EVER, we were invited to the UN by the ONE Campaign and the GAVI Alliance. The UN!!! A dream come true!!!

Here in 2013, famous sex therapist, Dr. Ruth posed with our Lady World Moms Blog logo and World Moms Blog’s Middle East & Africa editor, Susie Newday, while Susie was reporting from the Israeli Presidential Conference in Tel Aviv.

susie and dr. ruth

And there were too many global contributor meet ups to mention — Jakarta, NYC, Walt Disney World, Toronto, Dar es Salaam and more! Our World Moms are truly, beyond grateful for this catapulting momentum!!!

Here we are with a new addition to our writing team and the former Miss World Africa, Nancy Sumari of Tanzania and Carolyn Miles, the CEO of Save the Children!

#Moms4MDGs -- Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden and Jennifer Barbour just after a discussion on children refugees from the Syrian conflict. September 23, 2013 in NYC.

#Moms4MDGs — Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden and Jennifer Barbour just after a discussion on children refugees from the Syrian conflict. September 23, 2013 in NYC.

 

Here’s when Purnima from India was in Chicago, USA for the BlogHer Conference, and we met with Sheryl Sanberg of Facebook!

World Moms Blog Sheryl Sandberg

We attended the Disney Social Media Moms weekend in May at Walt Disney World in Florida.  Guess who also happened to be in the park? One of our editors from Africa, Kim from Mama Mzungu! It would be awesome if all of you could have been there! Here’s a photo of World Moms Blog editor, Nicole Morgan of Sisters from Another Mister, me and Kim at Disney’s Contemporary Resort!

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There are too many World Moms Blog contributor meet ups to mention, so here’s a compilation of some that happened in 2013! We should make a whole page for these, shouldn’t we?! My heart sings looking at this collage:

WMB Meetups 2013

Also, the World Moms Blog community helped provide over 100 birth kits this year for CleanBirth.org to help better maternal health in Laos. We attended many conferences including Moms+Social in NYC, where I was honored to present a panel. A group of our moms also attended and helped lead advocacy training at the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life Summit in Washington, DC, USA, where we lobbied the United States Congress for aid for global health. World Moms Blog was also a finalist for the Bloganthropy award, which led us to the Champions for Kids conference in Arkansas, US this year, too.

Our #Moms4MDGs campaign on the web and on Twitter has been amazing.  We have been working with non profit organizations to raise awareness on how to help end world poverty and support global health initiatives. And we’ve brought many new people into the conversation through social media.  There are still 3 months of the 8 month #Moms4MDGs campaign to help the UN raise awareness about their Millennium Development Goals. We’ve made our promise to keep the conversation going after Moms + Social! We hope you will join us!

2013 has been a great year for us in so many ways. Thank YOU to our readers for being along for the ride.  You are our inspiration!

As we take a much needed “blogcation” break to recharge for 2014, check out some fantastic great reads on World Moms Blog that you may have missed!

Did you catch this story from Nihad on her motherhood experiences since the coup in Egypt?

Or when Melanie in Japan posted about trying to protect her children from pornographic images in Tokyo?

Can an Ave Maria played at 6pm on the radio in Brazil help a mother get through the toughest part of her day?

Do you approach danger the same way Karyn in New Zealand approaches danger with her kids?

What would it be like having been raised in a communist state and now raising your daughter in a non-communist state? Read Olga Mecking of Poland’s motherhood experience!

Does what Mama B. in Saudi Arabia thinks is appropriate and inappropropriate for girls the same as what you think is appropriate?

Despite cultural Asian norms, should Ruth in Singapore find a nursing home to help her care for her mom with dementia?

What values do you think bond Hispanics from many different countries together? Read what Eva Fannon in the USA has come up with!

Does your child’s dad play a part in helping you out?  Tina in the Phillipines sent a shout-out to all the World Dads this year!

Need to cry and just let it out? Our editor Susie Newday in Israel interviewed her good friend Neta on the realities of living with metastatic breast cancer.

More in the mood to change the world with World Voice, our social good and human rights column edited by Elizabeth Atalay? Check out these things you can do with your child to celebrate world human rights by Jennifer Prestholdt in the USA!

And, check out the latest dates for our moms’ campaign, #Moms4MDGs,  to help raise awareness for the UN’s goals on world poverty and global health!

Wondering what our contributors are up to behind the scenes?  Here’s a look into World Moms Blog at the UN this year!

Last, but not least, need a motherhood pick me up?  Then search no further from this self-examining, truthful motherhood post by Polish Mom Photographer — you’ll be glad you did!

We’ll be sharing more great posts from 2013 on our World Moms Blog Facebook Page and Twitter, too, this week chosen by our Social Media editors! And there are way too many great posts from 2013 to mention — so have a poke around our site!

Meet us back here on Monday, January 6th to kick off 2014 running with our moms’ resolutions on World Moms Blog!  See you then!

Signed,

World Moms Blog’s Reenergized and Now Fearless Leader Going into 2014 with the Always Awesome WMB Editing & Contributing Team, Jennifer Burden 🙂

P.S. I really can’t wait to see what the mothers at World Moms Blog will accomplish in 2014!

 

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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USA: Who Cares? WE Care. #2030NOW

USA: Who Cares? WE Care. #2030NOW

#Moms4MDGs! World Moms Blog editors, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden & Nicole Melancon pose with the ONE Campaign's Jeannine Harvey just before heading into UN Headquarters.

#Moms4MDGs! World Moms Blog editors, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden & Nicole Melancon pose with the ONE Campaign’s Jeannine Harvey and writer Jennifer Barbour just before heading into UN Headquarters in New York City on September 23, 2013.

In the late 1970s, a popular saying then was, “Who cares?” — equivalent to the “Whatever!”, which was more frequently used by myself and my peers decades later. Back in the day, my older teenage family members and friends would use the “Who cares?” in natural conversation when I was running around the house as a toddler. I would immediately respond by turning my head to one side and saying, “I care!” My family found this entertaining, and they kept saying, “Who cares?”, to get me to do the silly head turn. (Yep. I just admitted that.)

Too young to explain then, I still remember why I turned my head. I wanted them to know that someone cared, but I didn’t want anybody to know it was me.

Fast forward 30 something years later, and I have found a place where fellow “I Care!” folks convene. Like a Trekkie at a Star Trek conference, I was among the masses of people “Who Care” at the Social Good Summit this year, including Richard Branson, Melinda Gates (who follows World Moms Blog!), Al Gore, will.i.am and Malala.

This year was World Moms Blog’s third year in attendance at the event, which is a “three day conference where big ideas meet new media to create innovative solutions” that coincides with the UN’s General Assembly in New York City.

Nicole Morgan, Jennifer Barbour, Jeannine Harvey, Elizabeth Atalay, Kelly Pugliano and Jennifer Burden at the Social Good Summit September 24th, 2013 in NYC.

Nicole Morgan, Jennifer Barbour, Jeannine Harvey, Elizabeth Atalay, Kelly Pugliano and Jennifer Burden at the Social Good Summit September 24th, 2013 in NYC.

The first year in 2011, our website was less than one year old, and I attended with my husband in tow to help me watch my baby girl. I knew not a soul, and stepped out of my comfort zone to do things like introduce myself to super model Christy Turlington Burns after being inspired by her session on working alongside bloggers to improve global maternal health. I also connected further with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign, which I later traveled to Uganda with last year and the GAVI Alliance, for which we have hosted global tea parties in support of life-saving vaccines for children.

Our second year at the summit in 2012, World Moms Blog had newly made the FORBES list of “Top 100 Websites for Women 2012” for our first of two times, and I couldn’t wait to listen to and meet Moira Forbes, who heads FORBES Woman. By this time I had roped some amazing, like-minded friends from my blogging circle into the conference, too — Nicole Melancon of Third Eye Mom and Elizabeth Atalay of Documama. They are the World Voice editors at World Moms Blog and cover social good and human rights.

That year, we met some incredible people, such as Nicholas Kristoff, coauthor of “Half the Sky“, a must-read book on the nightmare realities of modern day slavery.  The summit was also a great opportunity for a reunion with fellow Shot@Life Champions, whom we had met earlier that year at training in Washington, D.C. in support of global vaccines, and our fellow #ONEMoms who support eradicating global poverty.

Our third time at the Social Good Summit this past September, our World Moms Blog team expanded, and I was also thrilled to be invited as a #2030NOW “Global Influencer” Fellow by the UN Foundation and Plus Social Good.

#2030NOW Global Influencers

I attended small “Master Class” private sessions throughout the conference and networked with some new amazing peers. One of which was Wall Street power house, Whitney Johnson, who recently named me to her list of the few people who made a lasting impression at the Social Good Summit. I am entirely humbled. The list also includes one of my total heroes who spoke at the Social Good Summit, Malala, the brave girl in Pakistan who was shot in the face by the Taliban and addresses the world on the importance of education girls.

I also got the chance to rub elbows with the fiery Feminista Jones, who is not afraid to stand up in a room of over achievers and a princess and give an effortless tirade on why AIDS is killing black women in America at alarming rates and no one seems to care. I didn’t know if I wanted to hug or tweet her afterwards. We were discussing HIV/AIDS with HRH Mette-Marit, the Crowned Princess of Norway to add some context here.

In addition to the #2030NOW Global Influencers team, the Shot@Life Champions and #ONEMoms, I was also proud to be part of another social good posse. We’re made up of women who happen to also be moms and writers, and we all live for this helping people all over the world stuff. It’s in our blood. And it matters.

Nicole and Elizabeth came back this year, and we added Nicole Morgan, Kelly Pugliano, Jennifer Barbour and the former Miss Tanzania and Miss Africa World  and current social entrepreneur, Nancy Sumari to our pack. Nancy happened to be in NYC on a work-cation, and meeting her was a total highlight!

World Moms Blog contributors took the stage at the Social Good Summit, too!  LaShaun Martin spoke on the “Mothers Connect” panel with Johnson & Johnson and Shot@Life, and Nicole Morgan was asked to speak on her wishes for her children on the same panel. Well done, World Moms!

This year our normal schedule was also highlighted by additional invitations from ONE.org, WaterAid, Save the Children, Shot@Life, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Women Deliver, and the GAVI Alliance to talk social good and network outside of the summit. This included two invitations to UN Headquarters for discussions, one on Millennial Factivism with ONE.org and Okay Africa and another on Harnessing the Power of Global Public-Private Partnerships with the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund. We have learned so much that we’ll carry along with us.

For example, at a private meeting with Mark Suzman, Managing Director of International Policy and Programs for The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he gave us a stat that I have continued to turn over and over in my head ever since,

“In Ethiopia 1 in 15 children die before the age of 5 years old.  But, not too long ago that statistic had been 1 in 5 children.”  A true reminder that the world is making progress when it comes to the Millennium Development Goals, but there is still much work to be done.

There were internal lessons for us on gaining the self-confidence to speak up and carry out our work, too. For example, being at a press event when they’re fielding questions for Carolyn Miles, the CEO of Save the Children, about refugee children in Syria and the questions were coming from TIME Magazine, ABC and….well, World Moms Blog. (We care about kids!)

#Moms4MDGs -- Nancy Sumari, Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Jennifer Burden and Jennifer Barbour just after a discussion on children refugees from the Syrian conflict. September 23, 2013 in NYC.

#Moms4MDGs in NYC — Nancy Sumari; Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children, Nicole Melancon; Elizabeth Atalay; Jennifer Burden; and Jennifer Barbour just after a discussion on children refugees from the Syrian conflict. Sept. 23, 2013.

Or going through UN Headquarters security with fellow World Mom and Sister from Another Mister, Nicole Morgan, with our matching bright green luggage that we had both received as gifts from the Disney Social Media Moms conference amongst high level foreign diplomats.

We went from sharing a seat at the “It’s a Small World” ride together in May at Walt Disney World to being invited to the UN headquarters during the General Assembly in September. It really is a small world after all.

Our global posse is rooting together for the good of the world, and we’re also always pushing, encouraging, growing like a snowball and making it easier for each other to do more. The Social Good Summit has proved a great place to connect World Moms Blog with the United Nations and with organizations working towards a better life for mothers and children around the globe, an important part of our mission. Our contributors, in turn, are bringing big ideas to media, just like the creation of our #Moms4MDGs campaign to raise awareness for the UN’s goals to end poverty inspired by our editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan in India. I can’t wait to see what these women will do next!

And we all care very much, dammit. (Turns head to the side to stretch neck from working at the computer screen too long.)

This is an original post by World Moms Blog Founder, Jennifer Burden of NJ, USA. Keep an eye out for more from our contributors about the important global issues we were briefed on. And join our #Moms4MDGs twitter parties each month, where we talk about one global issue (UN Millennium Development Goal) per month.  The next ones are October 16th, 2013 at 1pm and 9pm EST. Click our details in our sidebar, too! 

Photo credits to Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Nancy Sumari and the #2030Now Global Influencer team!

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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