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Kavita N. Ramdas
Kavita Nandini Ramdas is a visionary and mindful leader, a feminist advocate for gender justice and commentator on social change processes and challenges. She is passionate about advancing equitable development, gender and racial equity, and inclusive philanthropy. From 1996-2010 Kavita led the Global Fund for Women to become the largest public foundation for women’s rights in the world. A natural entrepreneur, Kavita later founded the program on Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University and is a member of Aspen Institute’s Henry Crown Fellows Program. After leading the Ford Foundation's team in South Asia, Kavita currently serves as Ford's Senior Advisor on Global Strategy in New York. She and her writer husband, Zulfiqar Ahmad, have a daughter Mira Ahmad and live in Brooklyn, New York.

Entries by Kavita N. Ramdas

Eclipsed: Making Herstory On Broadway And In Real Life

(0) Comments | Posted June 19, 2016 | 5:09 PM

This evening 5 African women, including the much-celebrated Lupita Nyongo, will command the stage at the Golden Theater on Broadway as they have for the past many weeks. Their final moving performance will transport the audience to the makeshift camps and traumatized villages and towns of Liberia, where...

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Where Are the Women?

(2) Comments | Posted March 8, 2012 | 3:48 PM

Today is International Women's Day. The last few weeks have suddenly moved women's health issues to the headlines. From Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut for speaking out on the importance of birth control access for women's health; to outrage expressed by religious leaders about employers having...

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Beyond Vietnam Lie Afghanistan and Iraq: In Memory of MLK

(2) Comments | Posted January 16, 2012 | 3:24 PM

"Abba, Amma, did you know we used to have to ride on the back of the bus?" our five year old daughter Mira Husnara emerged from her kindergarten class full of indignation. "And," she added breathlessly, "did you know, that Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks fought for us so...

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'Women, War and Peace' Series Gives Us 'Peace Unveiled;

(3) Comments | Posted November 2, 2011 | 2:25 PM

"Disillusioned," "outraged," "despairing," "frustrated," "conflicted," "sad," "hypocritical," "shaken," "angry;" The words came tumbling out. A small group of students at EAST house on Stanford's campus had gathered to watch and discuss "Peace Unveiled," the third installment in "Women, War and Peace," a 5-part series on PBS created and filmed by...

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Great Soul Gandhi: Activist or Entrepreneur

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 3:55 PM

Sunday was Gandhi Jayanti, the 142nd anniversary of the birth of the man India refers to as Bapu -- father of the nation. Gandhi's leadership of a social movement grounded in the principles of non-violence, truth, and justice helped propel the world's largest democracy, India, to her independence in 1947....

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Ten Years Since 9/11... Swords to Ploughshares?

(2) Comments | Posted September 12, 2011 | 2:49 PM

Every TV channel has a special show about it. George Bush is on National Geographic. The kids who were third graders then are now high school seniors. Oprah interviewed widows. The Economist has a cover of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The New York Times...

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The Social Network: It's All About the Girls, Stupid!

(10) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 11:09 PM

Social Network: It's all about the girls, stupid!

I have just come back from watching the Social Network with 2 of my best Facebook and real life friends. Its raining outside in Palo Alto, where I have lived for 14 years. Its raining inside my head too -- tears of...

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Reflections From a Colleague -- Justice and Community Building

(2) Comments | Posted October 10, 2010 | 5:02 AM

I was deeply moved by this piece that my friend and colleague, Yasmin Qureshi, wrote. It spoke to me in the aftermath of the outrageous responses I heard on the issue of the Islamic Cultural Center in Wall Street and the heartbreak and despair I felt after hearing about how...

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Violence Against Women Is No Rationale for Military Violence

(5) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 4:05 PM

The picture tears into you. Her eyes are haunting and courageous, her face brutally butchered. This is the face of an Afghan girl named Aisha who was attacked by her family that was supported by the local Taliban commander, according to the August 8th TIME magazine.

I wish that...

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Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2009 | 5:49 PM

Citing his attempts to create a "new climate in international politics, his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," and his vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded U.S. President Barack Obama the Nobel Peace Prize.

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More Troops Alone Won't Help Afghan Women

(4) Comments | Posted August 26, 2009 | 7:36 PM

Five years ago, I was in Kabul visiting Afghan women's groups, including the Afghan Institute of Learning, which had once operated underground schools for girls under the Taliban. The energy of Afghan women and girls was infectious -- I answered questions about Shahrukh Khan, joined them in Bollywood songs...

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The Silent Olympics

(4) Comments | Posted July 24, 2008 | 5:23 PM

It is important for the world to know that quietly and out of sight of the mainstream media, ordinary people from all over China have engaged in citizen activism even after the suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Their grassroots efforts are building a society that is likely...

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Playing Political Catch Up with the Rest of the World

(8) Comments | Posted March 20, 2008 | 3:09 PM

March 2008, Women's History Month has taken on dramatic new relevance for the women of the United States.

For the first time in U.S. history, a woman, Senator Hillary Clinton, is being taken seriously as candidate for president. After a long and still uphill struggle within the Democratic Party, including...

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Pakistan's Women

(3) Comments | Posted November 21, 2007 | 2:43 PM

Musharraf's acrobatics may actually mark the return of democracy to Pakistan after more than eight years of military rule. Here's why: while the world has been focused on Pakistan's bombs and viability as a state, its women see a flickering light at the end of the tunnel, a future that...

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No Fair Trade for Women

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2007 | 4:14 PM

This week marks the premiere of Trade in local theaters, a powerful new film about the underworld of sex trafficking. The movie is inspired by a 2004 New York Times Magazine cover story by journalist Peter Landesman, and shares with it the revelation that human trafficking exists right here in...

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Need a Safe Abortion? Go to Mexico City

(3) Comments | Posted April 24, 2007 | 10:00 AM

It is easier to access contraceptive services in Iran, an Islamic theocracy, than it is in Mexico or other Latin American countries. In the U.S. the pro-choice movement is reeling from last Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling to uphold a ban on partial-birth abortions. U.N. data shows that in countries where...

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On Giving

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2006 | 12:36 PM

At no time of the year do the deep-seated contradictions of our world become more apparent and more disturbing than these few weeks at the end of December. On the one hand, the pages of our newspapers and the screens on our TV are filled with advertisements for the latest...

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