The past two decades have shown that it pays to invest in girls and women, and we have seen tremendous improvements in some areas. However, challenges remain, and progress has been uneven across regions and within countries.
The inspirational workers that I met there provided me with an even sharper reminder of how far we still have to go to protect women and girls (and boys) from violence and to help empower them to live a life without discrimination.
My recent semi-memoir "The Burden of My Red Lips in Tehran" is an eye-opener to what life really entails for female teens in the most heated years of Iran's modern history and it also serves as a weapon and shield to help teenagers move through the limitations and roadblocks.
Friendship with the most beautiful of souls, ourselves, is one of the most treasured relationships in our world, and one that frankly, more of us should invest time to nurture.
The practice of giving daily has changed my life. In 2012, I co-founded The Pollination Project which makes daily $1000 grants to social change visionaries around the world. Here are the extraordinary people we supported this week.
Today, on Equal Pay Day, we lift up the fight against wage discrimination, an affront to our moral sensibility. Unjustly paying some workers less than others undermines their value and their dignity as human beings and constitutes an intolerable act of discrimination.
This Tuesday, April 14, marks Equal Pay Day. The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. That's right; women must work more than four extra months to earn the same about as her male counterpart.
In far too many places, being a school girl is dangerous business. Girls face the threat of violence on the bus ride to school, the afternoon walk home, or even during a bathroom break. The barriers that prevent girls from going to school vary. But what's clear in any community is that education can change everything for a student.
We aren't out to fix boys; we're out to build better men... by creating the conditions whereby their predisposition to be good friends, good partners and spouses, and ultimately good fathers will shine.
The road to achieving gender equality in the U.S. is quite clearly checkered with significant potholes.
Solutions are possible. Times have changed, but we haven't yet made the changes we need to ensure that women are paid more than spare change. In short, we are living in a Modern Family World with Mad Men workplace policies.
As a new mom, I resented my law degree. I resented the responsibility and the expectation it placed on me. But for the first time in a long while, I am grateful to be an attorney. I am grateful to have a profession.
This Equal Pay Day it is time to take decisive action to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men. Why is Equal Pay Day marked every April? Because currently a woman has to work a year and three months into the next year just to earn what a man earns in one year.
When I reflect upon my own experiences and life lessons, I think of my mother Jeannette Kagame, who has helped change the women of Africa for the better, starting with me.
Most strangers believe that I've manipulated my way to, for and in every opportunity possible. I'm used to it now. I have adjusted by disarming them with self-deprecating humor and/or hiding behind a bun, glasses and clothes purchased a size too big. (At the advice of my father.)
When women own land, we are better off. In 2005, after conducting case studies in Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ghana and the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the World Bank concluded that having a protected right to land can increase women's access to food, water and safety.