Forget about the biology of it for second (that was mom's job), my dad never let on that he thought there was a difference in when I could speak, how I could learn, what choices I should have or what I should be allowed to achieve and contribute with my life. My dad never questioned that I would grow up to be his equal, to be the equal of my brothers. To my dad, my value as an equal to boys and men was a basic truth.
This week, I'm on a trip with two important stops: the Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City, then the International Family Planning Conference in Ethiopia. I can appreciate how this ensemble might appear to clash -- the red carpet next to the green-brown fields dotting a country that's 80 percent rural. But sometimes juxtaposing seemingly incongruous things can reveal an underlying truth.