November Mentoring Walks

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On the third Saturday in November each year, women—established and emerging—walk together in their communities. Each walk is followed by programs to initiate mentoring partnerships and foster the leadership potential of aspiring young women. To date, Mentoring Walks have reached thousands of women across four continents.

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson

 

Labels and Human Relations

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“ If you label a woman, you then relate to her as if her identity is defined only by these names. A label reduces a person to one description whether or not she is acting that way in the moment. This makes it difficult for you or anyone else to step out of the stereotype and try on new behaviors.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Voice of the Sea

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“The voice of the sea is seductive; never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander for a spell in abysses of solitude; to lose itself in mazes of inward contemplation.”

“The voice of the sea speaks to the soul. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”

The Awakening and Selected Short Stories by Kate Chopin

Fighting Domestic Violence in Russia

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October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

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Marina Pisklakova, Russia

“I imagine pushing a large boulder up a steep hill, and then one day that boulder begins to roll on its own. To me this is success.”

Vital Voices: The Power of Women Leading Change Around the World by Alyse Nelson

Shared Fantasies

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“Where a long lineage of tribal organization is far more powerful than any form of government, where language is poetry and few can read or write but it is common for an illiterate person to have memorized the work of Pashto and Persian poets and to speak more than one language, parameters for established truths and knowledge are manifested in other ways than those outsiders easily recognize. In Carol’s words, in a nation of poets and storytellers, “what matters here are the shared fantasies.””

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

Change and Self-Concept

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“If you want to change how you relate to others and run your life, you have to first transform your concept of self. If you try to change your behavior without first transforming who you think you are, the changes will last a few days until you quit thinking about them.

Before you can control the world around you, you must first master your thoughts and behaviors. Mastery starts with clarifying and expanding your self-concept.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

History of Harem Guards

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“Nancy also offered up an old photograph left in her care by the former Afghan royal court. In the yellowed black-and-white shot taken in the early years of the twentieth century, women dressed in men’s clothing stand guard in Habībullāh Khan’s harem. The harem could not be supervised by men because they posed a potential threat to the women’s chastity and the king’s bloodline. These women dressed as men solved the dilemma, indicating that such solutions may have been used historically in the highest echelons of Afghan society as well.”

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

Know and Protect Thyself

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“I learned one of my greatest life lessons—if you don’t know who you are, you will never be content with what you can do…

I choose my work based on what I have defined as my purpose and say “no” to everything else. When I am buried under a to-do list, I prioritize and let some things go with no guilt. My exercise and fun time can’t be compromised. These are the good days.

When your need to be regarded as the star keeps you from setting stringent boundaries, you give yourself away too easily. In the end, you burn yourself out or hold resentment for the people who took you up on your offers.

Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction by Marcia Reynolds

Transforming Daughters Into Sons

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“Azita and her husband approached their youngest daughter with a proposition: “Do you want to look like a boy and dress like a boy, and do more fun things like boys do, like bicycling, soccer, and cricket? And would you like to be like your father?” She absolutely did. It was a splendid offer.”

“All it took was a haircut, a pair of pants from the bazaar, and a denim shirt with “superstar” printed on the back. In a single afternoon, the family went from having four daughters to being blessed with three little girls and a spiky-haired boy…To the outside world—and especially to Azita’s constituents back in Badghis—the family was finally complete.”

“Some, of course, knew the truth. But they, too, congratulated Azita. Having a made-up son was better than none, and people complimented her on her ingenuity.”

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg

Need a Reason

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The older I get, the more I’m convinced: I’ve suffered for a reason. It’s a reason I don’t know yet, but for all of my twenty years it’s been circling me—a forecast of something mighty. There’s no way a person could be born into dysfunction, fighting to survive and helping her family do the same, without some purpose to give it all meaning. On the days that feel dark and endless, I make myself a simple promise: I’ll get out of bed in the morning. Then I’ll head up the hill to class. If I put one foot in front of the other, day by day, I’ll move closer to the light at the end of all this struggle.

-Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra