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.
Three of the progressive movements that are most active right now are Black Lives Matter, the push for LGBT rights, and the push for a minimum/living wage. Each of these movements is powerful on its own. Working together, they can achieve much more. And they are coming together.
As the Internet becomes an increasingly important part of human existence and a critical space for marginalized populations to make their voices heard, a woman's inability to feel safe online is an impediment to her freedom, as well as to her basic human rights.
I should not have to work twice as hard as any male or elder in my position would in order to prove my worth. I should not feel the desperate need to grapple for job stability because I happen to have a '90s birthday and breasts.
Time for change has come. All men must take a firm stand against violence and discrimination, for Kenya to reach its full promise and potential as a people and a nation.
If a married couple doesn't have any babies, we simply ask them when they will have babies, as if it is a foregone conclusion. If someone has a crap ton of babies, we put them on TV and make them superstars, regardless of their personal character, because hell, they had a bunch of babies.
Since 2000, Tarasiewicz has worked as the director for the Network for East-West Women in Poland. She has watched as many foundations that funded women's issues have pulled out of Poland as money from the European Union became available. But the EU funding has been a mixed blessing at best.
In the struggle for equal rights at work, much remains to be done. Advocates recognize that despite existing federal and state protections, pregnant workers in this country still face discrimination when denied reasonable accommodations that would otherwise enable them to continue working and support their families.
Until society develops larger internal framework to accommodate all women in the workforce, we would benefit from looking to each other for mentorship and offering the support that is lacking on the institutional level. If properly supported in our careers, we would no longer perceive a lack of confidence as an obstacle for women in the workforce.
That's why I'm joining President Obama, Secretary Kerry and other U.S. officials in Panama this week for the Seventh Summit of the Americas. Here are some of the issues I'll be focused on during my trip.
The fact that various health issues and major life events specific to women can be so easily dismissed is astounding. If a female employee is suffering daily from a painful chronic condition or knows she needs to lighten her workload for a few months to protect the health of her baby, shouldn't her right to wellness be given the same consideration as her co-workers?
For me, the way out is to remain very much connected to the word at large, but to also have created my own rainbow colored bubble, that I can happily step into at will and enjoy the true beauty of life beyond idiotic ideologies propagated by corporations and institutions that prey on our vulnerabilities in order to keep cashing in. Is that good enough?
When questioned about Ted Cruz's chances of reaching the White House, Hope said: "In the case of Cruz, cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, fish AND pigs will fly".
In this way those of us who bump up against the challenge of all-out forgiveness could learn to let go while leaving those proponents of pain mentally behind. And maybe then we can forget, and, therefore, forgive; not exactly a proof-back guarantee that a future generation will escape the memories of trauma, but close.