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Escaping The Likeability Trap

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escaping the likeability trap

It is called a trap because you can’t win and as many societal traps, this one targets women. Powerful women are not liked while powerful men are liked. The real tea comes when we realize that women who are liked or seen as likeable are generally considered to be less successful.

escaping the likeability trap

In summary, women can’t be perceived as successful and likeable at the same time; one must give way for the other. A lot of women fall into this trap especially in their careers as they attempt to be the powerful woman that people like and over the years, conversations have sparked about how to avoid getting caught in the likeability trap.

 

Growing up as girls, we were made to believe that being likeable was an attribute that we should always aspire to be and we believed this ridiculous notion. So we grew up to become women who stifle their thoughts and opinions because of a fear of being disliked and who apologize excessively because God forbid we are seen as anything other than nice, cute little characters in a Jane Austen novel. Spoiler alert, we are not.

 

A lot of notable women have suffered with this trap in their career such as Sheryl Sandberg and Hilary Clinton and while we are on the discussion of escaping this horrible concept, we must turn to the wisdom of a powerful feminist who simply thinks the likeability trap is bullshit, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Speaking at the Girls Write Now Awards in 2015, she had said “I think what our society teaches young girls is that you are supposed to twist yourself into shapes to make yourself likeable, that you’re supposed to hold back sometimes, pull back, don’t quite say, don’t be too pushy, because you have to be likeable. And I say that’s bullshit”.

 

The most important thing to know when trying to avoid falling into this trap of balancing power and likeability is that you don’t owe it to anybody to be likeable. It is not an essential part of who you are as a woman and the fear of being disliked should never deter you from making decisions or being outspoken about the things you believe in. It is commonly said that you can’t make everyone happy unless you’re the ice cream man but even the ice cream man isn’t always a delight to the people who are lactose intolerant. So stop trying to compete with an impossible standard. I have learned that people are going to form opinion of you regardless of what you do anyway and their opinion of you, while being their right, is not a manifesto of your success or failure in life.

 

A true disaster would be women who fail to live up to their potential or even fail to be ambitious because they never want to exit the comfort of the likeable zone. I use the word disaster because not only is it detrimental to women and their happiness but it also negatively impacts the world and denies her the opportunity to soak in the awesomeness that is women. Dare to live your life the way you want and if that means being disliked, then dare to be disliked!

Read Also:  Child Marriage: In Northern Nigeria, Life of the Girl Child Begins at 9

Interesting Facts About Leïla Mezian Benjelloun

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Leïla Mezian Benjelloun

If you are passionate about the education of girls and the improvement of the lives of rural women, then Leïla Mezian Benjelloun is a name you should get familiar with. 

Leïla Mezian Benjelloun

Here is all you need to know about Leïla Mezian Benjelloun

Leïla Mezian Benjelloun is the daughter of Mohammed Meziane, the Moroccan general. 

She was born in Valencia, but spent most of her life in Spain.

She eventually studied medicine at the University of Madrid, and completed her specialty in Ophthalmology at the University of Barcelona. This feat was a a rarity for women at the time, however, she was strongly encouraged by her mother.

She got married to Othman Benjelloun, a prominent banker and businessman in 1960.

Together, they have two children, Dounia Benjelloun and Kamal Benjelloun.

She co-chairs the BMCE Bank Foundation with her husband, and together, they have been recognized for their work at the head of the foundation.

She is also the president of the Alaouite Organization for the Protection of the Blind and the Moroccan Red Cross and vice president of the Association of Medical Doctors in Morocco.

She is passionate about education and has been focused on it through the BMCE bank foundation which is charged with promoting education integrated into sustainable development and contributing to the preservation of the environment. 

Through the Medersat.com program, supported by the BMCE Bank Foundation, she has been able to enroll more than 29,000 students since its launch in 2000, 50% of them girls, through 309 preschool units and schools, 6 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa (Djibouti, Republic of Congo, Mali, Rwanda and Senegal). The Medersat program also employs nearly 800 teachers.

In 2013, The BMCE bank foundation received the Wise Award from the Qatar World Innovation Summit for Education in recognition of the quality of its program and its innovation in language teaching. 

Read Also: Women in Politics: How Society Can Amplify Their Voices

Why Kamala Harris’ Election As Vice President Is A Win For Minority Groups

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“I hope every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities”  – Kamala Harris

On the 7th of November  2020, history was made when Kamala Devi Harris became the first Asian-American, first African-American and first female Vice-President in the history of the United States. She is set to assume office on the 20th of January, 2021 alongside Joe Biden, the president elect.

While Kamala addressed the nation at Joe’s home city of Delaware after the announcement, she gave a special shout out to black women, calling them the “backbone of democracy” and in that moment of epiphany, black women all over the world felt something that can best be described as hope.

Kamala was right, America is a country of possibilities. Heck, the world is a land of possibilities and just like everyone else, black women should enjoy these possibilities that they have been denied for so long. Black women needed to feel hope again: the hope that they too could enjoy the possibility of existing without prejudice, to be whatever they want to be without facing a million barriers, the possibility of having a good life.

Black girls right now, look at Kamala, a woman who looks like them and think to themselves “If she can do it, so can I” and that is the power of representation.

While I may be the first woman in this office  I will not be the last”.  – Kamala Harris

Black women are not the only ones represented by Kamala Harris’ ground breaking election into the White House. Kamala is the daughter of Immigrant Americans. Her mother, Shyamala Gopalan is a Biologist who arrived in the United States from India in 1958 while her father, Donald J. Harris is a Stanford Professor who arrived in the United States from British Jamaica in 1961.

The current administration, under president Donald Trump, is notorious for its anti-immigration policies that have reduced immigration into the US, approved poor treatment of undocumented immigrants and prevented documented immigrants from obtaining citizenship. Now, the (soon-to-be) most important woman in the United States of America is the child of immigrants and the power that holds in unmatched.

Already, the President Elect Joe Biden has announced that his administration will repeal some of the anti-immigration laws passed by Donald Trump including the Muslim travel ban that affects countries like Nigeria and Syria. Once again, Kamala’s win is opening up a world of opportunities for a minority group (immigrants) in America

Also, it appears Kamala Harris is not a woman bound by society’s expectations of women and that is a breath of fresh air for obvious reasons. The world has been very critical of women in politics and even dares to dictate the ‘type’ of women who should be in politics. This ‘type’ largely relies, of course, on patriarchy and respectability politics. But in every sense, Kamala lives by her own rules alone. She got married to Douglas Emhoff when she was 50 years old and has no child of her own, both situations that would make the dead patriarchs turn in their graves.

The message is clear – women can live by their own rules and be whatever they want to be. The world still has a long way to go regarding female representation and gender equality but presently, we have a black woman who is the child of immigrants as the vice president of the United States of America.

Tonight, we celebrate!

All You Should Know About Doug Emhoff, Kamala Harris Husband

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doug emhoff kamala harris husband

Doug Emhoff is the husband of Kamala Harris, the Vice President elect of the United States of America. He is an American lawyer and is set to become the first Second Gentleman of the United States.

doug emhoff kamala harris husband
Kamala Harris and Doug Emhoff

About Doug Emhoff

Doug Emhoff was born in Brooklyn, New York to Jewish parents, Michael and Barbara Emhoff;

He is a Law graduate of the University of Southern California. He also has a Bachelor of Arts from degree from California State University, Northridge; 

He was a litigator and partner at DLA Piper Law Firm, and has allegedly quit his job at the law firm;

He was born on 13th of October, 1964, just seven days before his wife;

He has two children with his ex wife, Kerstin;

Doug Emhoff loves to play golf and fantasy football;

His son Cole Emhoff is a graduate of Colorado College while his younger daughter Ella Emhoff is a student of Parsons School of Design;

Doug and Kamala both met on a blind date which was set up by Chrisette Hudlin, one of Senator Kamala’s friends;

They got married after nearly a year of dating;

Emhoff and Harris have an estimated net worth of $5.8 million;

In his role as second gentleman, Emhoff will focus on equal access to justice and legal representation.

Read Also: All You Need To Know About Giselle Glasman, Wife Of Lennie James

Beyoncé’s Work Ethic : What We Can Learn From It

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Beyoncé is known for many things and her work ethic is one of them. For over two decades now, Beyoncé has thrived in the entertainment industry and has gone from just being a singer and songwriter to becoming an entertainment and fashion mogul.

Beyoncé

After the release of her 2 hour film “Homecoming” showing her 8 month preparation for and performance at the 2018 Coachella, the statement “You have the same number of hours as Beyoncé” became quite the cliché.

Even more fascinating than her professional success is how the Grammy- winning singer has managed to balance being a superstar and being a super mom to three kids. As a die hard fan, I’m always taking notes from her and here are two things I think we should all learn from Beyoncé’s work ethic.

  • Hard Work Shows

Talent is good and sometimes important for success  but hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard. Yes, Beyoncé is known for her crazy notes and wicked runs but it is her hard work that has made her into the star that she is today. For example, her performance at Coachella took 8 months of practice to achieve and this was right after she had pushed two babies out of her uterus – the hard work was both physical and mental.

“There were days that I thought, you know, I’d never be the same. I’d never be the same physically, my strength and endurance would never be the same…In the beginning it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My mind was not there. My mind wanted to be with my children. What people don’t see is the sacrifice. I would dance, and go off to the trailer, and breast-feed the babies, and the days I could, I would bring the children.”  – Beyoncé

The result of her hard work, the concert film Homecoming received 24 nominations and 7 awards including a Grammy Award for Best Music Film. Hard work shows and Beyoncé is proof.

  • Change is constant

My friend, a staunch member of the beyhive once asked me “Have you noticed that Beyoncé’s voice has changed?” Of course I noticed and every true fan knows that when her voice changed, so did her music. My friend and I went on to have a conversation about how she has adjusted her music and performances to accommodate the new depth of her voice – she no longer lingers on the higher notes and focuses instead on  deeper runs.  

Beyoncé is never afraid to change and we should learn that too. Her voice is not the only thing that has changed; in 2013, her self titled album marked the end of Sasha Fierce and the beginning of a new phase.

This new phase, which is reflected in her music embodies a bold, confident, girl- loving, black-excellence persona that we all love. Oh and we must not forget perhaps the most monumental change Beyoncé ever made, which was breaking out of Destiny’s Child.

I’m over being a pop star. I don’t wanna be a hot girl. I wanna be iconic. And I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. I feel like I’m highly respected, which is more important than any award or any amount of records. And I feel like there comes a point when being a pop star is not enough. – Beyoncé

  • Silence is Golden

Beyoncé is the  queen of deliberate silence and it has never not worked in her favor. Of course, we understand how important it is to not always respond to rumours or gossip headlines but how do we explain not talking about your own work?

Beyoncé has made a habit of not utilizing social media as often as you would expect someone of her calibre to. Even when she releases new works, she only speaks of it once and never again.

The billboards set up all over the United States to promote homecoming didn’t bear her name – only pictures of her and the word “homecoming”. It appears that the queen has learned how to use her silence to get attention because if she’s not doing the talking, then the world does the talking.

She also seems to carry on this culture of silence with all her collaborations. You never know who she’s working with or why she’s working with who she’s working with, all you get is the work of art and nothing more. Intense but also brilliant.

Imagine working with Beyoncé on a project but having to be quiet about it for over a year. Personally, it’s impossible for me and maybe that’s why she hasn’t called me yet.

I don’t feel like I have to please anyone. I feel free. I feel like I’m an adult. I’m grown. I can do what I want. I can say what I want. -Beyonce

Read Also: Why Words Like Mompreneur and She-e-o Should Cease to Exist

100 Funny Questions To Ask Your Boyfriend

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100 funny questions to ask your boyfriend

Oftentimes we girls just want to liven the mood, and it generally doesn’t matter what the situation is. It could be just after a steamy sexual session, or just after a quarrel with your boyfriend, or even a date where you have exhausted everything you have to say. In order to help those little awkward situations, here are 100 funny questions you can ask your boyfriend that would either make him laugh or think of you as a fun person.

100 funny questions to ask your boyfriend
  1. How often do you go into a room and forget why you went into the room?
  2. How often do you go on Instagram for something specific and then forget why you went there in the first place?
  3. Does your brain go into autopilot mode when you drive? 
  4. Which celebrity do you think is doing too much at the moment?
  5. What names were ruined for you because you knew someone terrible with that name?
  6. What’s the most stress relieving thing you can get/do for less than 20$?
  7. If grossiness was a drink, what would it be for you?
  8. What do you like to do to just let time fly by?
  9. How do you like wasting time?
  10. Where is the craziest place you have danced?
  11. Where is the craziest place you have ever made out at?
  12. What is that one silly thing that you take a lot of pride in?
  13. What job would you recommend for your cat, if she were human?
  14. If animals were as intelligent as humans, what types of jobs would certain animals be uniquely qualified for?
  15. Have you ever wondered whether fish have necks?
  16. Who is your mystery celebrity crush?
  17. If you were a vegetable, what vegetable would you be and why?
  18. What’s the weirdest conversation you have ever overheard?
  19. Have you ever spied on your neighbors?
  20. Have you ever left mucus from your nose on a table?
  21. Have you ever farted on public transport?
  22. Who is your current celebrity crush?
  23. What is your dream house?
  24. If you were a fish, what kind of fish would you be?
  25. What is your reaction when a guy asks you on a date?
  26. What would you do if a man asks for your number?
  27. What kind of ice cream suits your personality best?
  28. If you owned a boat, what would you call it?
  29. What’s the story behind your last Instagram photo?
  30. What is the weirdest photo you have ever posted on Instagram?
  31. What’s the worst first date you have ever had?
  32. What is the most funny thing that has ever happened to you on a date?
  33. If you could choose a superpower, what would you choose?
  34. Batman or superman?
  35. What is the last meme you saved?
  36. What crazy things will you do if you have a million dollars?
  37. What is the last thing you Googled?
  38. What is the weirdest wrong number text or phone call you have gotten?
  39. What is the weirdest scam mail you have ever received?
  40. If you could change your name, what would be the most epic name you could choose?
  41. What should be the next advancement in food?
  42. What should be the next advancement in clothes?
  43. What would you do first if you suddenly got the ability to fly?
  44. Which country do you think has the coolest flag?
  45. If you had a secret lair, what would it be like?
  46. Has anyone ever walked in on you in the bathroom?
  47. What is your most embarrassing experience of pooping in a public restroom?
  48. Have you ever pooped at your girlfriend’s house?
  49. What is the most embarrassing thing someone has caught you doing?
  50. What is the most embarrassing moment you have ever had?
  51. If you could legally change your middle name, what would it be?
  52. What’s the most cringeworthy thing you have ever said to someone you were attracted to?
  53. What is the funniest dream that you had that you can recall?
  54. What is the worst nightmare that you have had that you can recall?
  55. What animal can you mimic the most?
  56. Have you ever been streaking?
  57. What about skinny dipping?
  58. Do you want to?
  59. What food do you love, but would hate as a Dairy Queen Blizzard?
  60. What’s the food you like to have the most on your birthday?
  61. What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
  62. What was your childhood nickname?
  63. What was your favorite thing to wear as a child?
  64. Would you rather crank call or ding-dong-ditch your neighbor?
  65. What cartoon character am I most like?
  66. What movie did you feel you wasted time watching?
  67. What is your favorite chick flick?
  68. What is your favorite children’s book?
  69. What is your silliest pet peeve?
  70. What is your most frustrating pet peeve?
  71. What is your grossest habit?
  72. Do you know how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism?
  73. What are your favorite slangs?
  74. What is your lamest skill?
  75. When your dog farts, do you leave the room or tough it out?
  76. Where was the worst place that you had to fart?
  77. How many selfies do you take a day?
  78. Do you delete them or keep them?
  79. Have you ever looked in the mirror and winked at yourself?
  80. Do you ever talk to yourself in the mirror?
  81. What is the cheesiest pickup line you’ve ever tried to use on a girl?
  82. Did it work?
  83. Have you ever been kicked out of a public place?
  84. If you were a biker, what would your biker nickname be?
  85. What is the best mode of transportation?
  86. What’s grosser: Yellow teeth or yellow toenails/fingernails?
  87. If there were a food that you absolutely couldn’t give up, what would it be?
  88. What is your worst habit?
  89. If you had a pet unicorn, what would you name it?
  90. If you could make any animal your pet, what would it be and why?
  91. If you could become any animal, what would it be and why?
  92. What kind of animal am you?
  93. If you made up an ice cream flavor, what would be in it?
  94. What would you call it?
  95. You can only eat one thing for the rest of your time on earth. What do you eat and why?
  96. Who was your celebrity crush as a teen?
  97. Who was your real crush as a teen?
  98. Who’s your current crush?
  99. When was your first sexual encounter?
  100. When have you been most embarrassed about something you did?
Read Also: Sexting Right: Tips To Reinvigorating Your Sex Life

Thuso Mbedu Biography: Age, Family, Career, Awards & Nominations

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Thuso Nokwanda Mbedu is an award winning South African actress. She is famous for playing the lead roles in top South African shows like Saints and Sinners  and Scandal.

Thuso Mbedu
Thuso Mbedu

Thuso Mbedu was born on the 8th of July, 1991 in Pelham, a borough of Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. Her parents passed away while she was still very young and she was raised by her grandmother who became her legal guardian after the death of her parents. When Mbedu was eighteen years old, she began her study of Physical Theatre and Performing Arts Management at the University of Witwatersrand and graduated with an honours. In 2012, she attended the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York, USA.

Career

Her acting career began in 2014 when she landed a small role in the second season of the Mzansi Magic soapie isiBaya. After that, she played the role of journalism student and wild child Kitso on Scandal!  in 2015. In that same year, she had a guest role as Kheti on the second season of the SABC 2 teen drama series Snake Park. After her role in Snake Park, she was jobless for six months but later bagged her first starring role in television in the Mzansi Magic teen drama series Is’thunzi, which premiered in October 2016. Her character in this show was named Winnie – a sassy goal driven girl who dreams of marrying a rich and famous rugby player only to have these dreams shattered when she is exiled to move in with her strict aunt in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal. She reportedly had a panic attack while filming a rape scene for the show. In 2017, she was cast in the popular MTN series Shuga as Ipeleng and in 2018, she played the lead role Okuhle Cele in the drama series Side Dish.

She was cast in the Barry Jenkins film adaptation of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. She is starring as the lead character, Cora.

The Underground Railroad is a limited series which tells the story of Cora, who is a slave in America’s deep south. Cora attempts to escape slavery through the Underground Railroad. The series was shot in Atlanta Georgia, in the United States.

Thuso Mbedu’s Nominations

In September 2017 she was nominated for the 45th  International Emmy award in the category Best Performance by an Actress category for her role as Winnie in Is’Thunzi and was the only African to be nominated that year. That same year, she was nominated for the DSTV Viewers Choice Awards in the Best Actress Category. In 2018, she  won the South African Film and Television Awards  for Best Actress in TV Drama for her role in Is’Thunzi. Is’Thunzi, was described as  “one of the most compelling television programmes on South African television” by Mail & Guardian.  For that same movie, in 2018, she was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actress for the 46th International Emmy Awards.

In October 2020, she was nominated for the E! People’s choice award. She was quoted by The Citizen saying that the nomination caught her by surprise. “I don’t feel qualified, I have been very much been under the radar this year, only lending my voice here and there. It is humbling and it is a thumbs up that voicing your opinion on social ills doesn’t go unnoticed”, she said.

Read Also: South African Actress Mohau Mokoatle-Cele Says Her First Professional Set Was In Nigeria

The “Good Men” Misogyny

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Otherwise known as benevolent misogyny, the good men misogyny is no different from your everyday misogyny. However, it has been branded ‘benevolent’ because it is perpetrated by the self-proclaimed good guys who keep drawing a line between themselves (good guys) and others (bad guys) to accommodate their own bigotry.

Let us start from the basics. Misogyny is the hatred of or prejudice against women. We see this hate/prejudice expressed in many ways in our very patriarchal society but we are so used to ‘clear cut’ and outright misogyny that many people, especially women ignore or even allow misogyny to thrive simply because it comes from the ‘good guys’. Still on the basics, a self-proclaimed good guy is that guy who admits that patriarchy exists and that society (men) deny the humanity of women but never admits that he could be one of these guys. According to the good guy, he is different, special and should even be appreciated for not being a bigot. He believes in gender equality even though his contribution to the fight for equality begins with “we need to protect our women” and ends with “we need to do better”. However,  like most men, the good guy is still misogynistic and just as harmful.

A few months ago, there was a conversation on social media about the place of men in feminism and a lot of women (feminists) gave the opinion that men had no business being called feminists and that even the term “ally” was not for them to confer on themselves. They further explained that men calling themselves feminists gave the impression that they (men) had the power to differentiate between “good guys” and “bad guys” but the reality is that it is not a man’s place to determine whether or not he is a bigot. This makes a lot of sense because it is human nature to want to be seen as good. Even some of the worst criminals that the world has seen described themselves as good people and if you give people that power to determine the line between good and bad guys, they will keep adjusting the line to ensure that they never cross it. We can draw perspective from the conversation about race – just as it is not a white person’s place to say whether he is or isn’t racist, it is not a man’s place to say whether or not he’s misogynist.

Another reason why benevolent misogyny is very harmful is because it fails to recognize that misogyny is driven by a patriarchal system. It neglects the fact that the system is oppressive and instead tries to sway us with tales of “few bad eggs”. It makes us believe that the system is equal but ‘some’ men are just bad or creepy. In the words of comedienne Hannah Gadsby “Men are not creepy. Rejecting the humanity of women is not creepy. It is misogyny.”

As women and as feminists, we should not attempt to classify men as good and bad while ignoring the oppressive system that denies our humanity from which ALL men benefit. It should be our focus to completely dismantle this oppressive system and if men decide to join the movement,  good for them – it’s for our collective good anyway.

Read Also: Girls Who Code CEO: How A Typo Can Be A Radical Act Of Feminism

Women in Politics: How Society Can Amplify Their Voices

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Female Inclusion In Politics Is Necessarily For Sustainable Development

The feminine political voice is personal… it is about bringing more love, caring and justice into the world. It is also fierce and determined. – Tabby Biddle

The world has seen a significant increase in female participation in politics as women’s participation in national parliaments all over the world was recorded to be 23.5% in 2018. While this is an impressive figure compared to two decades ago, it is still not enough especially as women make up half of the world’s population. There are not enough women in politics and we cannot deny that society still struggles to accept the idea of women in some/any political position.

During my first year in the University, I engaged in a conversation with one of the Student Union representatives and when we were done, he had looked at me and said “You’ll make a great vice president of the union someday”. In true Capricorn fashion, I’d asked “Why not president?” to which he’d responded “Women don’t become presidents”. Ouch! This hesitation to accept the idea of women in politics is one of the contributors to the poor representation of women in politics.

We need women to have a political voice not just because of inclusivity but also because research has proven that it leads to economic productivity and overall sustainable development.

According to Madeleine Albright the Chairman of the National Democratic Institute  (NDI), women in power can be counted on to “raise issues that others overlook, to support ideas that others oppose and to seek an end to abuses that others accept”.

The world recently saw these claims play out during the COVID-19 pandemic where most countries including New Zealand and Germany that handled the pandemic efficiently were headed by women.

Women (In Politics) Are Not A Homogenous Group

We are all different. We see things differently…And even if we agree on much, we perceive the world differently. – Zamm Zamudio

During my final year in the University,  I took up a political position in my Hall of Residence, making me one out of the only two women in the ten-person executive council. One of the many unsolicited comments that I got from people during my campaign and tenure was “You are not like the other woman”.

Even when, despite the odds, a woman aspires to, and, attains political positions, society compares her to the next woman – but women are not a homogenous group and even politics doesn’t change that. Not all women in politics are going to prioritize female employment or appear “friendly” or “feminine” or even, as much as I hate to say it, be good leaders. But the actions of individual women in politics should not be a yardstick for all women in politics.

All women in politics cannot think or act the same and that does not reduce the necessity of their presence at the political table.

Women Should Not Be Put On A Higher Pedestal Than Men

Women are usually held up to a higher standard when they hold leadership positions. Their actions could make or break the entry of other women into that same position and that, in itself, is inequality.  – Olanrewaju Ajeigbe

Still on my University (quite the place huh?), we recently got our very first female Provost after 50 years of existence. I found it exciting but also embarrassing that it took so long for a woman to occupy that office. While we happily tweeted the news, I noticed many tweets opining that the newly elected woman was not a good leader and for that reason, we should be cautious of giving women political/administrative positions.

This perspective is so loud yet so wrong. Women holding political positions does not automatically make them saints or even good leaders and in the event that they fail at their job, it is still not a justification  to deny women political positions.

We must stop holding women to standards higher than we hold men and if you have any doubt about that, think about how men in history led their countries to wars that claimed millions of lives -has that ever caused you or anyone to believe that men have no place in politics?

We need more women in politics and we must approach this not by simply instructing more women to venture into politics but by attacking the systematic challenges that has led to the poor representation of women in politics.

Read Also: Why We Need More Female Politicians

All You Need To Know About Lucinda Southworth

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Lucinda Southworth is an American Scientist, Researcher and Philanthropist. She is married to Larry Page, the co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Google. He (Larry Page) also served as the CEO of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc until 2019.

lucinda southworth and larry page
Lucinda Southworth and Larry Page

Lucinda Southworth was born on the 24th of May, 1979 in the United States to Dr. Van Roy Southworth and Dr Cathy McClain. Her father, Dr. Van Roy Southworth, holds a PhD from Stanford University and works at the World Bank. Her mother, Dr. Cathy McLain, is an educational psychologist.  Her mother (Dr Cathy McClain) also founded the McLain Associations for Children in the Republic of Georgia, and Stepping Stones International Organization in the United  States – both NGOs are committed to providing help for mentally and physically handicapped children. Lucinda Southworth has an elder sister named Carrie who is a model and an actress popular for playing the role of Dr Claire Simpson in the show ‘General Hospital: Night Shift’.

Lucinda Southworth attended and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation, she proceeded to  the University of Oxford, where she obtained an MSc degree, on the study and data analysis of Eukaryotic organisms. She also completed her PhD in Biomedical Informatics at Stanford University.

Lucinda Southworth and Larry Page began dating in 2006. On December 8, 2007, they got married on Necker Island, a secluded island in the Caribbean owned by billionaire and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, who was also Page’s Best Man. The couple flew in over 600 other guests on Page’s private Boeing 767 to the private island and the wedding was witnessed by many stars including Oprah Winfrey and current president Donald Trump. The couple have two children, born in 2009 and 2011. 

Together, Lucinda  Southworth and her husband founded their own charity organization called the Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation and the couple announced that they donated $15 million to help fight the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa. In addition to her and her husband’s philanthropic efforts, she also actively works with her mother’s charitable organizations and has previously worked with medical relief charities in West Africa.  

Together, Lucinda and Larry Page have a net worth that is estimated to be around $50 billion. Her husband is estimated to be worth about 69.4 billion dollars making him the 13th richest man in the world according to Forbes in 2020.

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Anne Wojcicki Biography

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anne wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki is an American business woman who co-founded and also serves as CEO of the personal genomics company 23andMe. She is also a co-founder and board member of the Breakthrough Prize.

anne wojcicki
Anne Wojcicki

Anne Wojcicki was born July 28, 1973 in Palto Alto, California. Her parents are Esther Wojcicki, an educator of Russian-Jewish descent, and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish-born physics professor emeritus at Stanford University. Her grandfather, Franciszek Wójcicki, was a politician of the People’s Party and Polish People’s Party who was elected MP during the Polish legislative election, 1947. Her grandmother, Janina Wójcicka Hoskins, was a Polish-American librarian at the Library of Congress and was responsible for building the largest collection of Polish material in the United States of America.

As a result of her father’s affiliation with the institution, Anne Wojcicki grew up in the Stanford University campus alongside her two older sisters. Her two sisters are Susan Wojcicki who is the CEO of YouTube and a former executive at Google,  and Janet Wojcicki, who is an anthropologist at the University of California, San Francisco. By the time Anne was only two years old, she began learned how to figure skate, and later started playing ice hockey.

For her high school education, Anne Wojcicki attended Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, and during her time there, served as an editor for The Oracle, the school newspaper, and won a scholarship for her sports stories. She then attended Yale University, where she was a competitive ice skater and also played on the varsity women’s ice hockey team. In 1996, she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in biology and proceeded to carry out molecular biology research at the National Institutes of Health and the University of California, San Diego.

After her graduation, Anne Wojcicki began work as a health care consultant at Passport Capital, a San Francisco-based investment fund and at Investor AB. She was a health care investment analyst for 4 years, overseeing health care investments, focusing on biotechnology companies. Disillusioned by the culture of Wall Street and its attitude towards health care, she quit in 2000, intending to take the MCAT and enrol in medical school. Instead, she decided to focus on research.

Her company, 23andMe was founded  in 2006, along with Linda Avey. 23andMe is a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company, based in Sunnyvale, California, that provides genetic testing. The company’s name represents the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell.

In 2008, Time Magazine named the 23andMe personal genome test kit was named the “Invention of the Year” . From 2015, the FDA started to give approval to 23andMe’s health-related tests, including risk from diseases like anaemia, Parkinson’s ,  cystic fibrosis, sickle cell  certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, and coeliac disease. In 2018, 23andMe entered into a four-year collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new medicines.

Wojcicki is also a member of the Xconomists, an ad hoc team of editorial advisors for the tech news and media company, Xconomy. In October 2013, Fast Company named Wojcicki “The Most Daring CEO”. 

In May 2007, Anne Wojcicki got married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin . The couple welcomed their first child (a boy), Benji Wojin, in December 2008, and  their daughter, Chloe Wojin, was born in 2011. The couple separated and stopped living together in 2013, and finalized their divorce in 2015. Although divorced, Anne and Brin both run The Brin Wojcicki Foundation. The foundation has made several donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and in 2009 gave $1 million to support the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.

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Zimbabwe’s Patriot Bill – All You Need To Know About It

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zimbabwe patriot bill
Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa (C) inspects the guard of honour from a car during the Defence Forces Day celebrations held at the National Sports Stadium in Harare on August 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

The government of Zimbabwe currently led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, has allegedly announced that it would soon table the “Patriot Bill” before its parliament.

zimbabwe patriot bill

Zimbabwe’s Patriot bill which is anything but patriotic attempts to criminalize oppositional demonstration, and communication with foreign embassies that take place without government clearance among other things.

The bill seeks to make it a criminal offence for private citizens to meet with foreign governments without the approval of the Zimbabwean government. It will also impose jailtime on those convicted of this action.

Zimbabwe would not be the first country to pass laws infringing on basic human rights of its citizens (freedon of speech and freedom of association). Countries like Tanzania, Ethiopia and Sudan have also passed similar laws.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Is Releasing A New Short Story, Zikora

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chimamanda ngozi adichie zikora

Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is releasing her first piece of fiction since 2013’s Americanah. The short story book, Zikora would be hitting the stores soon.

chimamanda ngozi adichie zikora
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Zikora tells the story of a Nigerian Lawyer based in Washington, D.C., who was abandoned by her partner after he learned that she was pregnant for him.

Zikora has to go through the challenge of losing her partner while she goes through a life changing moment of her life and at the same time, meandering a tense relationship with her own Nigerian mother who has come to prepare her for her journey to motherhood.

Zikora will be available on October 27th as part of the Amazon Original Series.

Excerpt from “Zikora,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

All through the night my mother sat near me but never touched me.

Once, I screamed, a short scream that lanced the air in the hospital room, and she said, “That’s how labor is,” in Igbo, and I wanted to say, “No shit,” but of course she didn’t understand colloquial Americanisms. I had prepared for pain but this was not mere pain. It was something like pain and different from pain. It sat like fire in my back, spreading to my thighs, squeezing and crushing my insides, pulling downward, spiraling. It felt like the Old Testament. A plague. A primitive wind blowing at will, evil but purposelessly so, an overcoming in my body that didn’t need to be. Hour after hour of this, and yet the nurses said I wasn’t progressing. “You’re not progressing,” the smaller nurse said as though it were my fault.

This excerpt was orginally published on Entertainment Weekly. Continue reading the excerpt here.

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Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch Biography

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Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch  is a Moroccan businesswoman born in Casablanca. She is known as one of Morocco’s most powerful businesswomen and North Africa’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs.

Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch
Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch

Salwa is  the daughter of Boulajoul Idrissi from the small village of Aguerd-Oudad, Tafraout and the granddaughter  of Haj Ahmed Benlafkih. She is married to Aziz Akhannouch, a wealthy businessman who  became Morocco’s Minister of Agriculture in 2007 (till date) and is also the president of a Royalist political party.

Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch is the founder and CEO of the Aksal-Morocco Mall Group that successfully deals in luxury goods, department stores and shopping malls. The Aksal group owns 50% of the Morocco Mall  which was built in 2007 with over 240 million dollars. This mall is one of the largest shopping centres in Africa. The group Aksal, also owns the sole franchise rights for many leading brands in Morocco, including Zara, Banana Republic, Fendi, Gucci, Ralph Lauren,  Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear and Gap. Salwa Idrissi is the founder of the cosmetics brand Yan & One. 

Salwar Idrissi inherited a fortune from her grandfather, Haj Ahmed Benlafkih, a businessman who had a monopoly of tea business in Morocco in the 1960s.  She ventured into the world of entrepreneurship in 1993 when she created a distribution company of floor laying materials. She then ventured into and specialized in the acquisition of franchises. She obtained the  Zara brand in 2004 for Morocco and the Massimo Dutti brand in 2006.

Today, Salwa Idrissi is the head of Akwa Group, a  major distributor of petroleum products, and the founder of Aksal Group, a Moroccan company that deals in luxury goods, retail, department stores, and shopping malls. The Aksal group reportedly has 15 million visitors every year and generates a revenue of 5 billion Moroccan dirhams ($514 million). One of Aksal Group’s centres In Casablanca covers more than 250 000 m2.

Salwa Idrissi Akhannouch has accrued quite a number of accolades. She is recognized as one of Morocco’s most powerful businesswomen and North Africa’s wealthiest female entrepreneurs. In 2012, she won a MIPIM Award in the best shopping mall on the architectural plan category. In 2015, she ranked 8th on a list of the 100 Most Influential Arab Women, compiled by Arabian Business. In August 2018, she was ranked second on a list of the 50 Most Influential Business Women in Africa. Salwa Idrissi was named in the “Women Behind Middle Eastern Brands” list compiled by  Forbes Middle East magazine’s in 2020 – making her one of only two Moroccan women to feature.

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Interesting Facts About Eve Schiff

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Eve Schiff is the wife of Adam Bennett Schiff, a Democrat Lawyer and US Representative for California’s 28th congressional district. Schiff was born on the 12th of December, 1962 in Burbank, California.

eve schiff

Eve Schiff’s maiden name is Sanderson, but she does not use her maiden name. Her husband, Adam Schiff is 3 years older than her and was born on the 22nd June 1960 to Edward and Sherrill Ann in Framingham, Massachusetts. Sherrill Ann has passed on after a long battle with Alzheimer. Schiff’s mother, Marion Sanderson was an artist and passed away in the mid 90s. 

Eve Schiff was raised a Catholic and attended Torrey Pines High School. She then proceeded to University of California in Santa Barbara where she graduated with a Literature and Sociology degree. She then became a tennis player and in fact met her husband in 1990 at a tennis court in Marina Del Rey. She still plays till today. According to Adam, his friend introduced him to Eve so that they could crack Adam and Eve jokes with themselves. The couple finally tied the knot on 19th February 1995 after dating for five years. 

Three years later, Adam Schiff gave birth to Alexa Marion, their first child on the 12th July, 1998; while Elijah Harris Schiff, their 2nd child was born in July, 2002. Their family celebrates both Christian and Jewish holidays, as Adam Schiff is Jewish. However, the children are all raised in a Jewish way.

Alexa Marion studied at Winston Churchill High School and graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature. She speaks English, French, and Spanish language.

The former tennis player, Eve Schiff, now works as a volunteer and has been at her husband’s side throughout his political career. 

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All You Need To Know About Nita Mukesh Ambani, One Of The Most Influential Women In Asia

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nita ambani biography

Nita Mukesh Ambani (nee Dalal) is an Indian philanthropist and businesswoman. She is the first Indian woman to become a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and was included in ‘the most influential women business leaders in Asia’ list by Forbes.

nita ambani biography
Nita Ambani

In  2016, Nita was listed in ‘the fifty high and mighty Indians’ list by India Today. For her initiatives on sports in India, Ambani was given the ‘Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Award 2017’  by the President of India. She is also the recipient of the Times of India award for Best Corporate Supporter of Indian Sports.

Nita Ambani (née Dalal) was born on 1 November 1963 to Ravindrabhai Dalal and Purnima Dalal. She was raised in a middle-class Gujarati family in Mumbai and has a sister, Mamta Dalal, who currently works as a school teacher. Nita completed her bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics, and took up  the classical Indian dance called Bharatnatyam from an early age and grew to become a professional Bharatnatyam dancer.  She worked as a school teacher and it was during this period she met Mukesh Ambani and married him in 1985. After marriage, she continued to work as a teacher for a few years. They have two sons and a daughter – Akash Isha and Anant Ambani.

In 1997,Nita Ambani participated  in the project of building a company township for the employees of Reliance’s refinery at Jamnagar. The project involved establishing a tree-lined and environmentally-friendly colony to house more than 17,000 residents.  Currently, the Jamnagar complex has one of the largest orchards in the world with nearly 100,000 mango trees that is also home to a variety of birds.

Nita Ambani is the chairperson and founder of the Reliance Foundation; the CSR arm of Reliance Industries. The foundation was founded in 2010. Ambani is also the founder of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School and it has been ranked among the best schools in Resources & Services.

In 2014, she was elected to the board of Reliance Industries and became a non-executive director of the company. Her husband, Mukesh Ambani is the chairman and managing director of  Reliance Industries. Their family fortune is estimated in excess of US$80 billion (August 2020), making the Ambani family among the richest in the world. Apart from philanthropy, Nita is also an art collector and owner of the Indian Premier League cricket team Mumbai Indians. Her team, Mumbai Indians  won the title in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. She also championed the ‘Education and sports for All’ (ESA) initiative under the Mumbai Indians’ as a way of giving back to society. This initiative, ESA, has impacted over 100,000 underprivileged children and created awareness for education using both traditional media and digital platforms.

Ambani was one eight candidates nominated for membership in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) by the Swiss-based panel in June 2016. Ambani was elected as a member of the IOC on 4 August 2016, making her its first Indian woman member.

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