Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

International Women’s Day 2011 (tomorrow)

Monday, March 7th, 2011

Tomorrow, March 8th, is International Women’s Day. Do you know what the International Women’s Day is and why it is celebrated and recognized? Please read on and find out…

From the International Women’s Day website,

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

1908
Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1909
In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

1910
In 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

1911
Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses’ campaign.

1913-1914
On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

1917
On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year’ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

GoogleAnnually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

The internationalwomensday.com website was created and is managed by Australian entrepreneur and women’s campaigner Glenda Stone as a global hub of IWD events and information.

Ms Stone says “A decade ago International Women’s Day was disappearing. Activity in Europe, where International Women’s Day actually began, was very low. Providing a global online platform helped sustain and accelerate momentum for this important day. Holding only a handful of events ten years ago, the United Kingdom has now become the global leader for International Women’s Day activity, followed sharply by Canada, United States and Australia. 2011 will see thousands of events globally for the first time.”

The theme this year is: “Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women.”

Of the estimated 72 million children who are not in school, girls are the majority.

— Of the 759 million adults who cannot read or write, the vast majority, close to 70 per cent, are
women – a trend that has not improved during the last decade.

— According to the 2010 Millennium Development Goals review there were 96 girls for every 100
boys enrolled in primary school, and 95 girls for every 100 boys enrolled in secondary school in
2008, a sizable increase compared to the 1999 ratios of 91 and 88 per 100 boys.

— Women’s educational attainment does not necessarily translate into improved employment
opportunities. Among the 20-24 year-old population, women continue to lag behind men in
labour force participation in all regions.

— When girls are able to obtain a secondary education, a country’s economy growth improves
through women’s increased labor force participation, productivity and earnings. It has been found
that when an educated girl earns an income, she reinvests 90 per cent of it in her family,
compared to boys who devote 35 per cent of their income to their families.

— Every year, approximately 10 million teenage girls marry – the majority of them without
completing secondary education. Adolescent girls aged 15-19 who give birth (approximately 16
million) to a child account for more than 10 per cent of all births worldwide annually. Adolescent
mothers experience much higher rates of maternal mortality and morbidity that older women.
At least 2.5 million adolescent pregnancies each year lead to unsafe abortions

Learn more at the following websites:

International Women’s Day
http://www.internationalwomensday.com/default.asp

United Nations – International Women’s Day
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/iwd/

No More Regrets, Just Dreams

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I have spent far too much time in the past few years going over and over and over all the things I’ve done wrong. Combing through the skeletons in my closet and beating myself with them. I have scoured my innermost thoughts so harshly I am raw within. It is time to move forward. I see I am not perfect. I know I have hurt people unintentionally. I know I have made poor choices I am not proud of but now it is time to take a mental photograph and leave this guilt behind. I will add these memories, these experiences to a much larger, much greater sum total of memories and experiences and see myself just a little bit more colorful because of them. We are a collection of thoughts, moments, people, experiences. And I am learning to be ok with who I am.

So the theme for 2011… no more regrets, just dreams. This goes right along with my pledge to be a little bit nicer this year, to myself and others. My motto will be a quote from Sara Teasdale,

I make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes.

a little girl made a great big wish

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I remember as a child reading some piece of advice that stuck with me.

“Decide what you like in others, what kind of characteristics or qualities you find admirable or worthy, and then become the person you want to be accordingly.”

I made a list, a simple list back then, and decided I would do just that. Many of the things on the list I already was inherently. But some I had to work at. I did. I do. And I continue to revisit this list throughout my life and compare it to who I am at the time. It has become my own measuring stick of success.

I equate success with intangible things like being most of the things on my list, or positively affecting another person’s life. I measure success in quality of love and of laughter and listening. And I think this helps put things in perspective for me. It is only when I start to look to other measuring sticks to gauge my own success that I struggle with distorted self-images.

And I have to admit, that has been my problem for awhile. I have been trying to measure myself against a different standard, a standard I can never reach. So, I am revisiting the list and the girl I once was…who was so very intelligent and wonderful so many years ago, the girl who started the list. And I am going to ask…

What does she think about it all today?

And it is my guess she would still choose love and laughter and listening over dollars and promotions and constant new professional goals. She would choose people over things. She would choose living over accumulating. She would choose a good book over a movie or a TV program any day, any time. She would spend less time focused on all that she had done wrong and more time on what she can do right.

And so should I. So should I!

Gratitude Journal

Monday, July 12th, 2010

In efforts to be more cognisant of the good in my life, in this world… I am going to keep a gratitude journal and write gratitude letters. I will start today!

I am grateful for a cool breeze, particularly during summer. I am grateful for ice. I am really really grateful for the love I feel every day by those people in my life and the love I feel for them. I am grateful for time to spend with them. I am grateful for books, publishers and authors! =) I am grateful for my ability to type so quickly… and to think. I am grateful that at any time I can pick up the phone, walk in another room or get online and connect with someone who genuinely cares about me and I about them.

The world AND people are mostly good.

10 Things scientifically proven to make you happier

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

From Yes Magazine

You can read more about each of the ten things here. You can order a print here. Or you can print out your own copy here.

I am going to try these, I already do most of them but I will try each and every one actively, mindfully. And I will report back. You do the same… and let’s see what we discover…

Be the change…

Monday, June 14th, 2010

It is time we Americans help be the change we voted for with Obama. He said he could not do it alone. It is time we help him. It is time we help ourselves and each other. Your time is precious. My time is precious. We can still give an hour or two a week. You can find local volunteering opportunities here.  Or maybe it is time to really give our time and to get back something far greater than we can imagine by committing to a year or two of full time service in programs like AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps. Long-term service commitments have financial compensation as well, not much but enough, particularly for students. (They even offer scholarships!) But mostly, it will offer you a new lifeview. It will change your life forever.

Or start researching what is needed in your community and figure out how you can help fill that need. Nothing is impossible with motivation and imagination.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.
    Albert Schweitzer

It's your world, your chance to make it better. Join AmeriCorps. Click here to learn more.

You'll actually look forward to your morning commute. Life is calling. How far will you go? Learn more about the Peace Corps

United We Serve - Let's Read.  Let's Move.

On the wings of hope…

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is so profoundly sad. It is causing widespread damages that we cannot even begin to access or understand accurately. It is such a shame. And most people feel so helpless… what can we do?

Well, when 5th grade Olivia Bouler heard about the oil spill in the place she vacations with her family, she sat down to write a letter with an offer to help the birds…

http://www.aolartists.com/profiles/olivia-bouler/

And so began “Save the Gulf” operation between Olivia, her drawings and the Audubon Society. As of today, June 11 2010, she has helped raise over $80,000 to help rescue the birds from the oil spill still happening. You can read the news story here. Or visit her AOL artist site and enjoy her drawings here. And you can donate to help save the birds here.

http://www.aolartists.com/profiles/olivia-bouler/

It only takes a willingness to help. And one person can make a difference. Thanks Olivia… you give hope to the future! I look forward to seeing you become an Ornithologist one day. The birds are lucky to have you!

(Originally posted elsewhere on one of my other sites for birds. However, I felt it worthy to share as many places as possible.)

Be Thoughtful

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I am officially trying to spread thoughtfulness, if it only it were as catchy as bad moods or the flu… let’s see what we can do to make that happen, shall we? Here is a list of 100 random things we can do to be thoughtful:

  1. Give someone flowers, anyone, strangers or someone you care about… near or far… pick them up at the grocery store, the florist, your garden or FTD them to a long-distance friend
  2. Write an unexpected letter for no other reason than to say hello and ask someone how they are doing
  3. Ask questions and listen, really listen, to the answers
  4. Participate in StoryCorps even if it unofficially done at your own home with a $7 microphone on your computer or tape player. (Ask a friend or family member to join you!)
  5. Offer to do the dishes when everyone is tired
  6. Pick up trash in your neighbor’s yard or in your apartment courtyard
  7. Help someone with their groceries
  8. Clean up after yourself
  9. Fold the laundry
  10. Ask if anyone else would like anything while you are up or out
  11. Order or bring enough lunch for two and share
  12. Make a lunch and bring it to leave in the fridge at work with “THIS LUNCH WAS MADE FOR ANYONE WHO IS HUNGRY — ENJOY” (add a nice quote or note inside!)
  13. When making a sandwich for someone, cut it into fun shapes, even if they are 92 years old, they will love it
  14. Offer to run errands for a sick or elderly family member or just someone who is super busy
  15. Paint a picture for a friend
  16. (more…)

Love Thyself

Friday, May 21st, 2010
OH! The art of self-love

(Photo Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8171839@N05/3195436504/)

I struggle between loving myself and loving someone else. It seems this is a balancing act I have yet to perfect. I am too passionate, too involved, too concerned, too something and it never works out the way I had hoped, the way I meant it to work out.

I have to learn to love myself but how?

I have decided to embark on a journey to loving myself. It is not easy because when you are so focused on other people, you lose sight of yourself. Since I love to read, I will start there… I will read some feel-good books. Each moment I spend with myself will remind me why I need to take this journey NOW before my light goes out forever.

THE HEART TRUTH CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of DHHS.

The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of DHHS.

The Heart Truth: Heart Disease is the #1 Killer of Women

The Heart Truth is that one in four American women dies of heart disease, and most fail to make the connection between risk factors—such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol—and their personal risk of developing heart disease.

The Heart Truth Campaign: Serious Messages about Women’s Heart Health

The Heart Truth is a national awareness campaign for women about heart disease sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Through the campaign, NHLBI leads the nation in a landmark heart health awareness movement that is being embraced by millions who share the common goal of better heart health for all women.

The Heart Truth campaign warns women about heart disease and provides tools to help them take action against its risk factors. It is primarily targeted to women ages 40 to 60, the time when a woman’s risk of heart disease begins to increase. However, it’s never too early—or too late—to take action to prevent and control risk factors since heart disease develops over time and can start at a young age—even in the teen years.

The campaign message is paired with an arresting visual—the Red Dress—designed to warn women that heart disease is their #1 killer. The Heart Truth created and introduced the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness in 2002 to deliver an urgent wake-up call to American women. The Red Dress reminds women of the need to protect their heart health, and inspires them to take action.

The Heart Truth partners include: The Office on Women’s Health, DHHS; WomenHeart: the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease; the American Heart Association; and other organizations committed to the health and well-being of women.

Campaign Background

The Heart Truth campaign began in response to recommendations of more than 70 experts in women’s health who met in March 2001 to develop a national action plan to reduce the toll of heart disease on American women. The campaign was developed with input from partner organizations and focus groups with women conducted across the country. This research revealed that most women underestimate their personal risk and do not fully understand the devastating impact that heart disease has on one’s life and family. The research strongly supported the urgent need to tell women about their risk of heart disease and how to lower it.

What’s a Red Dress Got to Do With It?

The Red Dress was designed to build awareness that women are at risk for heart disease, and motivate them to take action to reduce their risk. The creative concept of a Red Dress tested well with diverse women who cited its ability to get attention, convey the seriousness of heart disease, and change the perception that it is only a man’s issue.

The symbol links a woman’s focus on her “outer self” to the need to also focus on her “inner self,” especially her heart health. The Red Dress serves as a red alert to convey the message that “Heart Disease Doesn’t Care What You Wear—It’s the #1 Killer of Women.”

Seeking to advance the symbol, The Heart Truth forged a groundbreaking collaboration between the Federal government and the fashion industry, an industry intrinsically tied to female audiences. As a result of this partnership, fashion leaders—including top designers, models, and celebrities—have demonstrated their support for the issue of women and heart disease by participating in The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collections at New York’s Fashion Week annually since 2003.

The Heart Truth launched the first Red Dress Collection at Fashion Week in February 2003, when 19 designers—from Vera Wang to Donna Karan to Oscar de la Renta—contributed red dresses for a stunning display under the Bryant Park tents. In February 2004, the fashion platform expanded with the creation of the first annual National Wear Red Day and the same-day debut of Red Dress Collection 2004—a fashion show featuring red dresses from the industry’s elite designers worn by top fashion models and celebrities. The campaign returned to New York Fashion Week in 2005, 2006, 2007, and again in 2008 with celebrity-studded fashion shows. Some of the world’s most recognized stars have walked the runway for The Heart Truth in new collections of designer red dresses including: Sheryl Crow, Kelly Ripa, Heidi Klum, Venus Williams, Angela Bassett, Rachael Ray, Christie Brinkley, Thalia, Vanessa Williams, Rita Moreno, Billie Jean King, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson, Molly Sims, LeAnn Rimes, Ashanti, Christina Milian, Fergie, Eartha Kitt, and Liza Minnelli.

National Wear Red Day

The Heart Truth and many individuals and organizations celebrate National Wear Red Day on the first Friday of February each year. From a celebrity-studded Red Dress fashion show in New York City to local community events and awareness activities, thousands across the country wear red to unite in the national movement to give women a personal and urgent wake-up call about their risk for heart disease. Wear Red Day serves as a reminder to every woman to care for her heart, because heart disease is the #1 killer of women. On this day men and women can participate by wearing a red dress, shirt, tie, or the Red Dress Pin.

Campaign Ambassadors

The Heart Truth has been honored to have the support of former first lady Laura Bush, and six other first ladies, in sharing the message of better heart health for all women. Mrs. Laura Bush served as the national ambassador from 2003-2009 and The Heart Truth was part of her Women’s Health and Wellness Initiative, leading the Federal government’s effort to give women a personal and urgent wake-up call about their risk of heart disease.

As part of her ambassadorship, Mrs. Bush attended the launch of The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection at Fashion Week in February 2003 and hosted an American Heart Month kick-off event at the White House in February 2004. She also attended The Heart Truth’s Fashion Week events in New York in 2004, 2005, and 2007. At the Red Dress Collection 2008 Fashion Show, Mrs. Bush gave the opening remarks and joined the celebrity participants onstage at the close of the show. As Founding Ambassador, Mrs. Bush celebrates the contributions of leaders in the heart disease awareness movement. In 2007, she participated in two Heart Truth roundtables, and in February 2008, she saluted the fashion industry for their support in reaching women about heart disease at a reception at the White House.

The campaign looks forward to continued support from America’s first ladies in fighting heart disease, the #1 killer of women through such programs as the First Ladies Red Dress Collection, now in its third showing at the National First Ladies Museum in Canton, Ohio,through May 31, 2009. The Heart Truth’s First Ladies Red Dress Collection debuted in May 2005 in a special exhibit at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C, and was presented in 2007 at the Ronald Reagan Museum and Library in California. The Collection featured red dresses and suits worn by seven of America’s First Ladies, including Laura Bush, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, and Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson.

Campaign Resources and Activities

The campaign offers a wide variety of resources to help individuals and local communities spread The Heart Truth, including:

  • Educational materials for women to learn about heart disease and how to reduce their risks
  • The Red Dress Pin, the national symbol for women and heart disease awareness
  • Speaker’s Kit—a “talk-in-a-box”—and other promotional materials to facilitate spreading The Heart Truth message in local communities
  • Online Toolkit containing activity ideas and materials to help individuals and organizations plan their own Heart Truth events throughout the year
  • Online Activity Registry allowing organizations to share what they have done and learn about what other groups across the nation are doing to help spread The Heart Truth
  • Compelling photos and stories of real women telling how heart disease changed their lives
  • National public service advertising (print, radio, and television)
  • Partnerships with national non-profit organizations reinforced at the local level to extend the campaign’s reach and message
  • Partnerships with key women of color organizations, including the Association of Black Cardiologists, Catalina magazine, Essence magazine, League of United Latin American Citizens, The Links, Inc., National Black Nurses Association, and National Latina Health Network, as well as campaign materials tailored specifically to Latinas and African American women
  • Corporate partnerships to expand the reach of The Heart Truth campaign’s message, including collaborations with Diet Coke, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, IMG Fashion, Celestial Seasonings, Time, Inc. Women’s Group , and Swarovski
  • Community programs, such as the Single City program, The Heart Truth Champions program, and The Heart Truth Road Show, that extend the reach of The Heart Truth messages into local communities

Making A Difference

The Heart Truth is making progress in the fight against heart disease in women. Heart disease deaths in American women continued to decline in 2006, and for the first time, have declined seven years consecutively, from 1999-2006..More women are aware that heart disease is the #1 killer of women—57 percent of women in 2006, up from 34 percent of women in 2000. The Red Dress has become one of the most recognizable health symbols in the United States—in 2008, more than half of women recognized the Red Dress as the national symbol for women and heart disease. More women are living longer, healthier lives, and fewer are dying of heart disease. But challenges remain, and many women still do not take heart disease seriously and personally. The Heart Truth campaign will continue to build awareness among women and motivate them to take action for heart health.

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For more information, or to access photography and other creative materials for The Heart Truth campaign, visit www.hearttruth.gov.

This site is in no way affiliated with The Heart Truth campaign. The information is copied and pasted purely for informational purposes. We wish to pass along this worthy cause—that is all.