Thank you for joining me again this week and if you’re a new subscriber – welcome! This week I write to you from San Francisco. 🇺🇸
Women & The World is a newsletter powered by Love; love for meaningful connection, love for progress and celebration, and love that sheds light on the beautiful things happening in our world. Combine this love with a Hope to inspire, and that's how my weekly message to you begins.
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We could all use a healthy dose of optimism, so let's see what was good in the world last week.
🗽Art opens window on sex work for New Yorkers and beyond: In the United States, prostitution is governed by state laws and is illegal almost everywhere. Globally, nations are divided. Many countries outlaw it, some including Canada and Sweden punish the clients, while others - such as Germany and New Zealand - have legalised or decriminalised it entirely. Advocates for decriminalising sex work, or legalising it with regulations such as pay and health standards, say the age-old and universal occupation isn't going anywhere. But many sex workers are feared to be trafficking victims, according to campaigners known as abolitionists who support a ban on prostitution. To highlight all these intricacies and experiences in sex work, a group of artists and sex workers have created a pop-up exhibit of international art in NYC aimed at building support for legalising prostitution. Sculpture, photographs and other works by more than 20 artists - most from the sex industry - festoon an exhibit space in downtown Manhattan, portraying what it is like to make a living from sex and sexual acts. "Sex work is often misunderstood and stigmatised, and this exhibit is really about authentic storytelling, and we want people to hear directly from sex workers," said Daveen Trentman, curator of the show. Full Story
🌏 From Guatemala to Afghanistan, photographers capture stories of trailblazing women in their local communities: A new photography exhibition arrived in London to celebrate female trailblazers in poor countries, and the female photographers who captured their stories. Among the fascinating photographs featured in the exhibit is Marcelline Budza from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Budza is the founder of the non-profit coffee collective Rebuild Women’s Hope, set up in 2013 with the aim of economically empowering Congolese women. The NGO now has nearly 2,000 members and their coffee is sold around the world. Budza's photograph was captured by Pamela Tulizo, who started her career as a journalist but now works primarily as a documentary photographer. Pamela has led two photography exhibitions in the DRC, both focusing on women and their role in society. More recently, she captured images of the country’s Ebola outbreak for Agence France-Presse, which were featured on news sites around the world. ‘I love my work, even though most of the time I am in danger,’ says Tulizo. ‘But because I am so passionate about photography, I always tell myself that it’s worth it.’ Full Story
🚽Urinals for women encourage gender equality through design: Hands up who has ever endured an uncomfortably long line to use the women’s bathroom, while gazing off to the quick turnover at men's with a tang of envy? Good news!! Things are changing. Bathrooms and urinals designed for women are on the rise globally. Copenhagen-based architects, Gina Périer and Alexander Egebjer are leading the bathroom revolution with "Lapee," a female toilet consisting of three squat-urinals, moulded from bright pink, recyclable plastic. "It's just insanely more efficient," says Ms Périer. "There's absolutely no reason that women shouldn't have urinals as well." According to their research, 90% of toilet queues are women needing only to urinate. The team claim Lapee takes only 30 seconds to use, compared to one to two minutes for a regular cubicle. A 1,100 litre tank stores waste liquid underneath, allowing for about 3,500 visits. There are no doors, but the curved walls screen users from view, while encouraging quick use. Full Story
A few opportunities and projects that caught my eye.
NGO // Florence // Consultant at UNICEF - Details Tourism // Bolzano // Manager at Booking.com - Details Internet // Milan // Engagement at Salesforce - Details Retail // Milan // Store manager at lululemon - Details HigherEd // Florence // Residence coordinator at NYU - Details Internet // Milan // Partner manager at Pinterest - Details
Publishing // NYC // Writer at The New Yorker - Details Healthcare // Dallas // Coordinator at Children’s Health - Details NGO // NYC // Manager at OpenStreetMap - Details Internet // SF // Community manager at Reddit - Details Media // LA // Writer at Netflix - Details Media // Burbank // Coordinator at The Ellen Show - Details Publishing // NJ // Content at Forbes - Details Music // NYC // Partnerships at Spotify - Details Retail // LA // Business manager at Nike - Details Media // Atlanta // Writer at CNN - Details Policy // DC // Newsletter writer at Foreign Policy - Details Media // LA // Coordinator at Women in Film - Details
Publishing // London // Editor at NYTimes - Details Media // London // Manager at VICE - Details Food // London // Community manager at Foodie - Details Publishing // London // Editor at The Economist - Details Consulting // London // Diversity consultant at Green Park - Details Media // London // Editor at BBC - Details NGO // London // Legal researcher at Amnesty Int. - Details Internet // London // Communications at Instagram - Details Entertainment // London // Editor at Warner Bros. - Details Beauty // London // PR at benefit - Details Publishing // London // Writer at Penguin Random House - Details
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for your eyes, mind, and heart.
🎶At first, we were afraid, we were petrified… It took all the strength we had just to stay alive but.. We will survive!! Sound familiar? Gloria Gaynor’s global hit has made a big comeback in with her hilarious rendition of the song, just to remind us to wash our hands.
⛵️Tourism meets empowerment meets sustainability meets badassness: meet the women-only tour of Turkey that helps change local women’s fortunes while also empowering more solo-female travelers. Women’s Expedition is a tour led by and for women and their itinerary intersperses famous sights with the chance to meet local women who are using tourism to change their fortunes. The first women-only tours were launched in 2018, to Iran, Morocco and Jordan and they sold out in just one month. This month they also introduced trips to Pakistan, and Israel and Palestine...How does a Women & The World 2021 tour sound??
👑This past Friday was the Friday 13th, the fear-mongering holiday we've all likely been aware of since childhood. But what is lesser known is that behind this date is actually a fascinating piece of women’s history; Friday the 13th was considered a day to worship the Divine Feminine that lives in us all and to honour the cycles of creation and death and rebirth.
🎓This single working mom was Europe's first professional woman writer: Christine de Pisan upended medieval norms not only by refusing to remarry but also by being the first woman to make a living with her pen.
🚀Meet the 19-year-old who is training to become the first human on Mars.
💪For those of you currently on lockdown at home who might want to start or keep up a fitness routine, here are 8 of the best fitness apps you don't need a gym membership to use, and some equipment ideas you can order online.
“Every storm begins with a single drop."
I fell in love with this quote a few years ago when I read it for the first time graffitied in small, simple letters on the corner of a Florentine wall. It's been quite the unexpected "word chameleon" for me as its constantly taken on new meanings each time I've come back to it. Today, I share this expression with you prompted by a beautiful video I came across online. In the video, a woman gives an emotional pep talk to a 4-year-old girl who shared that she felt ugly and was told that she "wasn't pretty like other little girls", while getting her hair done. The video was not staged; it was raw, vulnerable, tragic in many ways but, more than anything, it was full of hope. ‘Baby girl, you are beautiful. Black is beautiful’, the woman reassured. Each reassurance was like a magical wave of a wand, bringing life and light back to the little girl’s face.The video was a beautiful reminder that just as easily as it takes to tear a person down with one phrase like "you're ugly", all it takes is one person, a single drop, to bring on a downpour of joy and hope.
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