How Teen Girls Challenging Terrorism & Other Problems

Listen to the experience of a brave Pasthun Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai from her own mouth in her own candid words. She is the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, a remarkable brave young soul with enormous impact around the world.



Janna J: Meet Palestine's 10-year-old Girl Journalist

She is fearlessly documenting inustices through her camera. She thinks camera is more powerful than gun.

Do you know about the 10 Kids, who changed the world

While millions of Teens are swept by the consumerism of MTV style brand marketing, electronic gadgets, diet and beauty products (tested on animals and with harmful chemicals), there are a few people under 20 who already made a change in the world by using wise attention (yonisomanasikara)

Have you watched the HeforShe Campaign Video? This may change the dynamics of the feminist movement, if not politicized.

Also see the Ugly Truth about Beauty Industry. While European Union has banned 1300 ingredients in cosmetics, USA has banned only 11. 

Commentary: The unwise attention and wrong views arise from four perversions in auto-pilot behavior and conditioned mind; believing what is impermanent (all material things including one's body-mind-beliefs-possessions) as being permanent, seeing what is painful (addiction and bondage to sensual pleasure & material happiness) as pleasurable, seeing what is not self as self (mistaking ego and its identification for true self), what is foul (in substance) as beautiful (violence, porno, gluttony, greed).

Saving Girls from a Life of Shame

Stop selling our daughters and girls to Sex Trade, violence and sexual slavery. One brave woman Anuradha Koirala was recognized by CNN Heros in 2010 for her work in rescuing over 12,000 women and girls in Nepal. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting courageous Urmi Basu, Founder of New Light Foundation (which provides safe refuge and education for the vulnerable children in the red light district of Kalighat, Kolkata) at Tri-State Durga Puja 2015, Lexington, KY.


Getting Enlightened about Prostitution by Dr. Susan Smalley of UCLA is worth reading. The Nordic Model pioneered by Sweden to protect women from human sex trafficking is gaining acceptance by other countries like Canada and Northern Ireland.

A research of 700 men over six countries were asked why men buy sex and the results do not confirm stereotypes. Most men did not feel good and actually carried some guilt and shame about buying sex but still kept doing it. Trace of Misogyny and insecurity/anxiety around sex due to lack of relationship skill with opposite gender may be some unconscious factors under play here. Lack of Social-awareness around the issue of human trafficking and forced prostitution of girls is what keeps the problem in place.

Some of the glorified philosophers like Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women's role in society was to reproduce and serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous. [Patriarchy, Wikipedia].  Some blame Buddhism (or distorted teachings of Buddha) being responsible for high level of Prostitution in Thailand. [Q &A on Buddhism]

University of Calgary psychologist Kibeom Lee and colleagues (2013) examined the correlations among the  Dark Triad qualities (Machiavelian, psychopathic/sociopathic, and narcissistic traits) and the “outcomes” (though correlational) in the tendencies toward exploitative sexual liaisons (“Sex”), to dominate and exploit others (“Power”), and to be motivated toward materialistic ends and conspicuous consumption (“Money”). The opposite traits of the Dark Triad are Humility and Honesty. I will add Empathy as the third and most critical human trait lacking in the highly ego-driven dark triad.

Imagine What IF every high-school and college level education had a course on Social-Gender awareness and also created healthy opportunities for one to one social meetup between boys and girls or same gender based on mutual interest?

Gender and Domestic Violence are Men's Issues

Why do so many men have the compulsive need to abuse, molest and beat women, children and brutalize and kill other men and boys to hold up their distorted sense of power and manhood. Men (and women) need to stop pretending (and enabling) that watching pornography, violence and indulging in pedophilia in private is harmless to self and society.
Blaming the victim and killing the messenger is not the solution! [See world statistics at UN Women]



Young women are more likely to be violated in domestic situation and many of them even with ivy league degree do not leave the abusive situation. Listen to this story by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

End of violence against women begins with MEN and BOYS! It is important for a Woman to find her voice to be liberated from a Culture of Shame.

It is important to recognize and understand how guilt and shame has been used as a means of social and religious control. The more masculine culture of the West is guilt-based and the more feminine culture of the East are shame-based. Of course both can co-exist in the unconscious of the same individual or group. It is no wonder that much of this guilt and shame is played out in the private shadow arena of sexuality and intimate relationship and fear and distortions around them.

Buddha showed a way out of this deep ancient unconscious habits by being mindful of one's own unconscious mental conditioning through ignorance and craving (sankhara dukkha), genetic/family patterns, social perception and cultural attitude towards the opposite sex and one's own gender, by cultivating a meditative mind that sees things as they arise without condemnation or attachment, practice of goodwill and non-harm, kind and true speech, train one's mind-body-speech in wholesome ways, restraint of senses from indulgence and overstimulation and abandoning wrong-view of self.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali - a rare Voice of Sanity and Courage


After watching another senseless mass shooting in San Barnandino, California and its aftermath with hyperbole from Donald Trump, I was looking for something better to watch for my own undestanding of radical Islam. I found Ayaan among the three brave muslim women, who won the 2015 Lantos Human Rights Award, USA.

It is often said that there is no justice without freedom (political, economic, religious and cultural). 
Yet genuine freedom in a mindful society can only be protected through both individual and collective social responsibility in developing greater understanding of oppressive mass belief systems and harmful assumptions within modern and traditional societies. 


“Multiculturalism should not mean that we tolerate another culture’s intolerance. If we do in fact support diversity, women’s rights, and gay rights, then we cannot in good conscience give Islam a free pass on the grounds of multicultural sensitivity.” 


The following youtube was made 5 years ago.



Ayyan was also interviewed in major news network including CNN recently by Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.

Following the events of the Arab Spring, Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes in her latest book, “Heretic,” she came to the conclusion that “ordinary Muslims are ready for change.” 

Is there a Regressive Left? Listen to this interview of Ayaan by D. Ruben. Learn more about Ayan Hirsi Ali's life in her autobiography Infidel: My Life and her work with AHA Foundation here.

According to PBS Global Connections, muslim women like other women across cultures have to fight for inequality and injustice. But maany of the oppressive local practices, do not necessarily come from Islam itself, but are part of the local  customs and patriarchal cultural traditions. 

Is Bible more violent than Koran: 

Read the story at NPR.Org

Violence and CrueltyTotal versesPercent
Bible1321311024.25
Quran53262368.53

Attitudes and laws towards both peace and violence exist within the Jewish tradition.

The Quran explicitly states that men and women are equal in the eyes of God. Furthermore, the Quran:
  • forbids female infanticide (practiced in pre-Islamic Arabia and other parts of the world)
  • instructs Muslims to educate daughters as well as sons
  • insists that women have the right to refuse a prospective husband
  • gives women rights if they are divorced by their husband
  • gives women the right to divorce in certain cases
  • gives women the right to own and inherit property (except for majority Sunnis). Read more here.

Breaking Conventions

Watch CODEGIRL an inspiring documentary.

Glass ceiling broken in Candian Cabinet by newly elected PM Justin TrudeauCBC News, 11/4/2015, 2nd Link

Marc Benioff, CEO of tech company Salesforce just erased gender gap. [Source]

Hiring more women at C-level can make your company profitable.

Nike's The Girl Effect initiative.

UN Girl Up Campaign and Let Girls Learn

Since the Nobel Prize was established in 1901, only 5.35 percent of 
the 897 recipients have been female.

Our First Lady Michelle Obama has taken up a great cause the World needs and America needs now. Girls need to hear positive messages everyday before being coopted by the Makeup, Junk food, Soft drink,  retail advertisement industry praying on their poor body-mind-self-image. 62 Millions girls do not get to go to school and perhaps many more cannot stay in school or continue higher education.


When teachers & society think girls are bad at math and science, it has an impact. 

One mathematician’s formula suggests that all-male lineups don’t “just happen,” despite what conference organizers might claim. 




Girl Up engages girls to take action. Led by a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates raising awareness and funds, our efforts help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.

Girls are powerful. When they’re educated, healthy, and safe, they transform their communities. When girls stand up for girls in need, they empower each other and transform our world. As the United Nations Foundation’s adolescent girl campaign, Girl Up engages girls to take action. Led by a community of nearly half a million passionate advocates raising awareness and funds, our efforts help the hardest to reach girls living in places where it is hardest to be a girl.Girls are powerful. When they’re educated, healthy, and safe, they transform their communities. When girls stand up for girls in need, they empower each other and transform our world. [Source Link]

[Let Girls Learn teams Up]

A very rich resource on conversations on Women and Power at OMEGA Institute

can be browsed here. [Eomega Key initiatives, 2002-2015] 

Women, Leadership, Business and Technology

Is gender dynamics changing in India and US, especially at Silicon Valley?
Here is an unconventional view on Sexism in Silicon valley by author. 

For real change, we need feminine energy in the management of the world. We need a critical number of women in positions of power, and we need to nurture the feminine energy in men. 

Are leadership traits masculine traits? Female leadership traits are to be embraced. Female leaders are transforming and redefining leadership. 


Created by OnlineMBA.com

Only 30% of workers at GoogleTwitter and Facebook are women.
Among executives, women fill just over 20% of the positions.
Electric car maker adds a little diversity to its otherwise all-male leadership team by appointing a woman to its board. [Reports Fortune.com]As of July 2013, there were only 19 female elected presidents and prime ministers in power around the globe.  In the business world, women currently hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions and the same percentage of Fortune 1000 CEO positions. Gender bias in STEM jobs is extraordinarily prevalent.

In times of planetary and organizational crisis and change, traditional codes of male conduct are coming under serious scrutiny and the feminine values are in the ascendant and leaders need to think more like women. The essence of a great leader is incresingly defined by feminine values of selflessness, patience, collaboration, common good, inclusion, empowerment and profit with purpose. This is called the Athena Doctrine (listen to inspiring Tedx Talk by author John Gerzema).
Women and men need to work together for a paradigm shift in patriarchal culture, religion, education, politics and economics. 


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Men will apply for jobs when they meet 60 percent of the hiring criteria, while women wait until they meet 100 percent. One study found that replacing a woman’s name with a man’s name on a résumé improved the odds of getting hired by 61 percent.
  • Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women.
  • A significant body of research shows that for women, the subtle gender bias that persists in organizations and in society disrupts the learning cycle at the heart of becoming a leader. [Harvard Business Review]

Women in Politics, India & US

Satisfaction with political leaders worldwide stands at 30 percentEighty percent of world's political leaders are men. Coincidence?

Growing up in India and seeing Indira Gandhi as the most visible and top political office holder for 15 years (1966-1984), I felt confident about women's ability to lead in a very complex socio-political world despite the weight of gender expectations and biases in Indian society. I left for US the year after Indira's life ended tragically. Whole of India mourned her death like America did after JFK assasination. Unfortunate riots erupted against the Sikhs in some major cities. [Bio of Indira Gandhi]. The Indian Womanifesto is a 6-point plan critical to the freedom and safety, equality and flourishing of India’s women and girls. Watch the meeting of two leaders of World's two largest democracies. [President Obama and PM Modi dialogue, Whitehouse.gov, 9/30/14, Obama's Visit to India 1/26/15]




Women's turnout during India's 2014 parliamentary general elections was 65.63%, compared to 67.09% turnout for men was significant, but women consists only 11% and 11.5% of the members of Lokshabha and Rajyasabha (Lower and Upper House of Parliament) respectively. Things may shift with 25% female ministers in Modi's cabinet. [Source link 1 and link 2]

After seeing some spooky statistics of women in US politics I felt compelled to go out door to door day before midterm election 2014) to encourage people to go out and vote. 

Why Does the US Still Have So Few Women in Office? 

Although Voters individually tend to see candidates through their partisan stereotypes, collectively they support women candidates at the same level that they support male candidates. Compared to India (67%), less than 60% of eligible voters in US vote in Presidential election and only 40% in mid-term election.  Meanwhile Rhode Island and New York moves country closer to eliminating the 'electoral college' system. I am puzzled by the fairness of Electoral college system in the US, since President and Vice President is not elected by National Popular Vote. [Read Free Book ]

Since US history (1776) only 294 women have served congress against 11,813 men [Source]. Something gotta change. Women aspiring to hold political office now can receive support and training from groups like Emergeamerica and Emily's list.

HOW did WOMEN CANDIDATES DO AS OUTLIERS in this Midterm Election.
Many Historic Firsts in this election. There is now a solidarity movement to address gender equality by HeforShe.org and a commitment supported publicly by Barack Obama, Ban-Ki-moon, Matt Daemon and many other public figures. More on  Men are People too. Staying indifferent and ignorant is being part of the problem.
Sluggish Progress On Women in Politics Will Hamper Development in Africa [Link] 

Breaking Free From Marriage Trap for Girls in India

Nearly half of all girls 18 years and below enter marital relationship in India due to poverty and social-cultural-religious-political-economic biases and entrenched social perceptions working against girls. children. After My Garden Grows is a new short documentary about Monika, one of 40,000 rural Indian girls participating in the Girls Project, a partnership between the government of West Bengal and Landesa. This story highlights the struggle of rural girls to avoid early marriage and how a small parcel of land is creating new opportunities for Monika.


Bengali author and Berkley Professor Bharati Mukherjee depicts the story of escape from the conventional life of a Bengali girl Anjali to the Yankee high-tech call center opportunity of Bangalore in her latest Trilogy book 'Miss New India'. A large number of girls do not escape violence and violent death after marriage. The Global Gender Gap Report 2012 says the progress in gender gap reduction is positive but very slow.

"ONE of the most enduring cliches about India is that is a country of contradictions. Like all cliches, this one too has a grain of truth in it. At the heart of the contradiction stand Indian women: for it is true to say that they are among the most oppressed in the world, and it is equally true to say that they are among the most liberated, the most articulate and perhaps even the most free. Can these two realities be simultaneously true?" - Urvashi Butalia, publisher Kali for Women


CNN reports on India's 'Womanifesto'
How central are women's rights to this year's elections? 
India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes his first choice of foreign visit to Bhutan. BBC Link. He shares his views on a participatory and evolving democracy. Modi warned lawmakers against "politicising rape", saying they were "playing with the dignity of women" in his
  first speech to parliament since sweeping to power at last month's elections. - Guardian, 6/11/14

In China, unmarried women over 27 years are labeled as 'leftover' by a Government-run Women's Organization! Does that make sense? 
China's growing gender gap: women are not just 'leftover' but left out [reports Gaurdian]

Holding back half the nation : Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result. Shinzo Abe would like to change that. [reports Economist Japanese society had been ordered largely on matrilineal lines before the advent of Samurai in 15th century.  The fine line between economic empowerment and economic exploitation of women is not always obvious from the frontside. [Global Labor Right Campaign

Unmasking Gender Misrepresentation in Media and Culture


How would society change and cultures transform if boys and girls could grow up without the social mask of gender stereotypes?



Watch the film Miss Representation at vimeo. Social mask hinders development of human empathy, empathic connection, listening and communication.

If we like to work for a 'Future without Violence', we need to embrace a different kind of Social Awareness in our secular and spiritual education.

The great tragedy of wearing a socially approved gender roles and other mask too tightly too long is that we risk losing genuine connection with our own humanity and all living beings in our natural world. It perpetuates an artificial myth of separation, fuels animosity, insecurity and ill will, disconnecting us from our own sense of 'basic goodness' and deep realization of interdependence of all energies (including emotions) and forms in our everyday experiential world. - Susmita Braua

Our society needs to be aware of the suffering caused by unexamined gender stereotypes and expectations on our children. Just as we need to encourage respectful assertiveness in girls, so also we need to be welcoming of sensitive/empathic boys. Boys suffer quietly when they are rejected for their sensitivity and empathy. [ see hubpages aricle]

Is there a fear of showing our true face, our human vulnerability among men and women in modern culture? "The longer we mask our fear the more we experience the terror of our inauthenticity—perhaps creating chronic anxiety and despair. An ongoing red alert sounds off in response to threats that the terror we mask might be exposed. We might even say that the terror, as in the outer world, can become systemic within us. We become our own terrorist." -  Zenju Earthlyn Manuel.