Jamilah Taib Murray founded Sakto Corporation, one of Ottawa's foremost property development and management companies. She is a long-time philanthropist with a particular dedication to fostering education for women and children, and female empowerment through promoting participation and leadership skills building
Because my baby girl, you come from a proud line of loving, nurturing, loud laughing, often giggling, deeply feeling and wonderful women with curves who have been wounded by other people's aesthetic expectations and cheated by their own understanding of perfection. I want you to see me love myself for all the gorgeous, nurturing mamas that came before me.
I've witnessed the power that water can bring to a community -- not hydroelectricity, but human empowerment. It happens when a single borehole is drilled deep into the ground, and a pump installed. Clean water becomes a source of hydration, refreshment and strength, freeing people up to do great things.
The symptoms of PMS can be agonizing on several levels. I broke up with my boyfriend, my uterus hurts, I look three months pregnant, I snapped at my boss, I'm exhausted, my skin is gross, I had chocolate for dinner and I cry every time I see an elderly dog. We all have our own set of complaints and remedies.
Sometimes we, as strong and independent individuals, want to believe that we can face the storm single-handedly, but having supportive friends makes all the difference. As Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and a strong advocate of women's leadership, says, we are more effective and productive once we have a support group.
I've always been an advocate for speaking openly about sex and masturbation. I make a point in asking my friends (and mother) who are in long term relationships about their sex lives, partnered or solo. The singles are more likely to offer information, but I'll pester them every once and a while anyways.
One time I heard that menopause is the last chance a woman has to straighten out whatever isn't right in her life. It's her last time of insight into the reality that "all is not well in the kingdom." I wonder, dear PMS, if you aren't a microcosm of that concept. My anger may actually be an insight into truth.
The stereotypical argument against gender parity for women is that there just aren't enough of them who are qualified to do X. The stereotypical argument against gender parity for men is the opposite: that "women's work" isn't as attractive or well-paying. But the prejudices and economics that propped up both those arguments are falling fast.
Life can be beautiful, but occasionally it can also kick us in the teeth. We can experience loss, disappointment, adversity. Eventually, everyone has to face their fair share of pain. What makes the difference between someone who barely survives these challenges in life, and someone who meets these challenges head-on and thrives?
Internally, the inner warrior is the part of you that recognizes and rejects any negative self-talk. In the world, the inner warrior looks out for you and identifies who's friendly and who's a potential threat. When you embody this warrior part of the psyche, it enables you to stand up for yourself any time you need to and walk away from a bad situation any time you have to.
Many women around the world are placed in situations where they are often unable to negotiate with their partners to be faithful or to use condoms. Stepping it up for gender parity requires that women have access to a range of HIV prevention options, including those that they can use without partner involvement if they choose. Recent advances in oral pre-exposure prophylaxis have contributed to an expanding set of options, and two weeks ago, the results of two vaginal microbicide trials were released, taking us one momentous step forward along this path.
Each year, International Women's Day offers us the opportunity to take stock of how much progress women in communities all around the world have made, and how much further we have to go. As we continue to fight against ingrained patriarchal structures that constrain us all, it is important that we advocate for increased recognition and a shared division of labour across all spheres including our emotional lives.
Ending the AIDS epidemic requires that we discuss the invisible side of HIV/AIDS, such as cases of sexual violence... Many women may be aware of the risks of HIV during unprotected sex, but without equity and rights over their bodies, they may not be able to enact any measures of protection. Giving women and disempowered persons a channel to ask for help, network, and gain information is essential.
The presence of gender inequality becomes apparent within the communities of CAP-AIDS Uganda's CBO partners upon observing gender disparities in domestic labour and unpaid work, access to capital, as well as land and housing rights. These women are breadwinners, caregivers and active agents of community development who are entrenched in the social welfare of family, friends and neighbours.
POZ women (women living with HIV) may face further incursions on their mental, physical, and emotional health, as gender-based disparities often interfere with socioeconomic stability. Employed may become unemployed or underemployed. Unstable housing may lead to a risk of homelessness... Being in an unhealthy and abusive relationship can severely affect a woman's sense of safety and security.
A few years ago I decided to embark on a backpacking trip across Europe for two months. Towards the end of my travels, I found myself at the Sisteen Chapel in Rome, Italy. As I was standing there, enchanted by this insanely crazy masterpiece, I felt a soft whisper perk the tiny hairs on the back of my neck.
The last time I breastfed my first child, I bawled. Unbeknownst to my 13-month-old, I was about to disappear for several days, a last-resort measure to terminate a relationship that was marked by inadequate milk supply, sleepless nights, blocked ducts and metabolic chaos. She was frustrated, I was frustrated, I was losing more weight than was healthy and I had a job interview in a week. It was taking a huge toll on everyone. Heaving with sadness and guilt, I finally agreed to go cold-turkey.
As I continued to lose weight and get stronger, I no longer had a to-do list full of other people's priorities. I now had personal goals that were all about me. I was losing weight with purpose, so that I could run, jump, play and enjoy my life. Being active was becoming fun. I was in my fifties, and I was just now learning how to play.