Month: July 2015

‘Whatever you do, do it with confidence’… ‘Don’t let anyone intimidate you’

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One of the issues that you keep hearing every now and then is Women’s right. People use various platforms to advocate the issue. To make the voice of ‘women rights’ more alive some decided to use their talents such as singing.

Nneka Lucia Egbuna is one of the most talented musicians who use her voice to address various challenging issues and one of them is Women Rights. She is an award-winning Nigerian singer based in Germany. Born to Nigerian father and German mother, Nneka, who relocated to Germany in 2003, after her basic education in Nigeria . Born and raised in Nigeria, Nneka is deeply influenced by her roots. The political and social states of her home country are often prevalent in her music and live performances. It is this message of awareness, hope and love that made her a perfect fit for a collaboration with Nas and Damian Marley, both legendary artists and personal influences of Nneka’s. “With this tour,” Nneka explains, “we represent the fact that we are all connected to one another, all part of one entity and one source – which is love.”

Nneka in My Home performance

She is an ambasador as well as member of various NGOs that deals with women, children and young people. While she uses her music to empower women, Nneka says, ‘whatever you do, do i t with confidence’ and also added that ‘Don’t let anyone intimidate you’. To continue shedding the light on women’s rights, Nneka shared another song with the World Bank, Shining Star, at World Bank Group’s headquarters in Washington D.C.

Nneka performs “Shining Star” on #Music4Dev




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From hate speech to rape speech: Women in South Sudan are targets of sexual violence

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By Anna Therese Day

The U.N. describes the crisis in the world’s newest country, where government forces are raping and burning women alive, as “among the gravest in history”

A market in Juba, South Sudan. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

A market in Juba, South Sudan. Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

In April 2014, armed opposition fighters hijacked the airwaves of Radio Bentiu FM in South Sudan to broadcast a message of terror. Their dispatches quickly escalated from hate speech to rape speech, with opposition fighters calling on men to commit acts of sexualized violence against the women and girls of their rival ethnicities. Specifically, the broadcast incited rebels and ethnic Nuers to attack Dinkas and other government-aligned ethnicities.

The rebels’ tactic, chillingly reminiscent of Rwanda’s genocidal “hate radio,” left civilians bracing for the unspeakable, and international organizations scrambling to respond.

In villages across South Sudan’s oil-rich Unity State, opposition fighters gathered civilians into churches, mosques, and hospitals where armed men separated the crowds based on their ethnicities. Some groups were escorted safely from the buildings; others were shot dead, tortured, sexually abused, burned alive, or abducted into the rebel ranks.

Hundreds were killed in just a few short days, and the attacks are now recognized as one of the deadliest offensives of South Sudan’s ongoing civil war. By May of 2014, the U.N. described the deepening crisis as “among the gravest in history,” with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warning that the world’s newest nation stood on the brink of genocide, disease, and famine.

Last week, the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) released a new investigation into the latest trauma in the South Sudanese conflict. In a sickening case of déjà vu, the report again outlines allegations of rampant killing and sexualized violence, throughout April, in South Sudan’s Unity State. This year, however, it is the South Sudanese government forces accused of perpetrating these crimes.

“This recent upsurge has not only been marked by allegations of killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity,” reads the UNMISS report, which includes multiple accounts of government forces raping women and burning them alive. “The scope and level of cruelty that has characterized the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences.”

Yet, despite the magnitude of the crisis, a lack of international political will — combined with the logistical challenges of aid distribution in such an underdeveloped and volatile country — has left South Sudanese civilians trapped in a maze of dangerous options.

The fundraising effort of the U.N.’s Emergency Response for South Sudan lacks nearly 60 percent of its stated funding goal. In the high-stakes landscape of competing international crises, the catastrophes of Syria-Iraq, Ebola, and Nepal have consistently eclipsed that of South Sudan in the eyes of donors over the past two years.

Inside the country, local and international organizations work around the clock on limited budgets but regularly face delivery challenges due to the country’s harsh terrain and hostile environment. At one point last summer, for example, aid organizations encountered the front lines of six different armed groups in their efforts to cross from the helicopter landing to the UN civilian shelter in Bentiu. In a country with few paved roads and torrential thunderstorms, delivery of aid is often limited to aerial drops or helicopter transit, as planes are unable to land in the thick mud and swamps that characterize South Sudan’s rainy season.

“It’s the perfect storm of catastrophes here,” said Aimee Ansari of CARE International from their offices in Juba. “I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s crisis on top of crisis here. There are no breaks.”

CARE International works with more than 600,000 South Sudanese civilians, on efforts including gender-based violence prevention and awareness-raising initiatives. However, their data collection on women’s issues found that nearly 60 percent of survivors of gender-based violence did not report crimes due to the climate of impunity, and 40 percent of their respondents kept quiet out of fear.

“The threat of rape is very real. It paralyzes us,” explained Rebecca, a 24-year-old South Sudanese community organizer, who now lives in one of the U.N.’s civilian encampments in Juba, after having fled Bentiu last year. “But more often, it is not the violence ruining our lives. It’s the poverty, the food shortages that the war has created, and the disease, that are threatening us and our children.”

Last month, an outbreak of cholera further crippled the country’s ailing health system. Thirty-two South Sudanese civilians recently died of cholera, an easily preventable and treatable water-born illness. More than 4.5 million face severe food insecurity due to the conflict’s disruption of South Sudan’s annual harvest. Children are particularly susceptible and vulnerable to cholera and starvation.

Upwards of 2 million residents have been displaced from their homes since the war began in 2013 and, as the world’s newest nation commemorates its four-year anniversary, the fighting continues across South Sudan in other places like Bentiu.

“It brings me courage and faith working with women. It will be the women who rebuild our country because we have seen the most horror,” insisted Rebecca, describing the community-based cholera response team that she and her friends have built with the training of an international aid organization. “But it is also the women who have the least power right now … because we experience the most horror.”

11-Year-old English Girl Gang-Raped on the Playground by 7 Pakistani Muslim Immigrants Over a 5-Year Period

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This is not right at all…..There are a lot of girls around the world who are still living in fear…why this happens???what need to be done???

sharia unveiled

  • Sarah Wilson was 11 when she was befriended by a group of older men

  • They showered her with gifts and made her feel special

  • She said this grooming was ‘normal’ in Rotherham

  • By the age of 12, she was forced to have sex with them

  • They threatened to harm her family if she didn’t cooperate 

by, Lucy Waterlow | Daily Mail | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop

For five years from the age of 11, Sarah Wilson was groomed and raped by Rotherham paedophiles who showered with gifts and made her feel special in what was to become one of the biggest abuse scandals in the UK.

The now 23-year-old admits she became so ‘brainwashed’ by the older British Pakistani men in the South Yorkshire town she considered it normal for them to expect to have sex with her in return for all they had given her.

Writing an emotional…

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13 ways successful women make the most of their time

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A share trader checks share prices at the German stock exchange in Frankfurt, December 18, 2008.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (GERMANY) - RTR22OPMImage result for women working

By Kathleen Elkins

Balancing work and family life can seem impossible, particularly for women with children and ambitious career goals.

But it is possible to “have it all” — a thriving family, great sleep, exercise, and career success — according to time management expert and author Laura Vanderkam.

“People seem to have this idea that having a full-time job leaves no space for many other things, but clearly that’s not true,” she tells Business Insider. “It is quite possible to have a more than full-time job and have a very full personal life, too. It’s just a matter of where that time goes.”

In her recent book, “I Know How She Does It,” Vanderkam details the results of her Mosaic Project: a time diary study of 1,001 days in the lives of women who make at least $100,000 a year and still have time for family and friends.

So how do these women do it all? From Vanderkam’s study of the time logs, we’ve highlighted 13 ways successful women make the most of their time.

They plan their toughest tasks for early in the morning.

The quiet hours of the morning can be the ideal time to focus on a top-priority work project without being interrupted or distracted.

Vanderkam cites a study conducted by Johnson & Johnson that found that our energy levels peak around 8 a.m.

“When you show up at work with your coffee, it is game time. You’re pumped and ready to go,” she writes. “By 3 p.m. or so, most people’s energy levels are flagging. If you aim to tackle a vexing item then, you’ll get distracted, and take twice as long as you would have at 8 a.m.”

Take advantage of the early morning surge to knock out intense or deep-thinking work.

They work “split shifts.”

The traditional 9 to 5 arrangement doesn’t work for everyone. Vanderkam says many successful women work in “split shifts,” meaning they work some during the day and some during the night. “It’s the same number of hours, it’s just worked in two chunks instead of one,” she explains.

“Rather than work these hours straight through, a woman might leave work at a reasonable hour during the week,” she says. “The exact hour varies; it could be 4:30 or it could be 6:30. The point is that it’s early enough to give you the evening for family or personal pursuits. Then, at least one weeknight per week, you go back to work after the kids go to bed.”

They work remotely.

Working remotely is not critical to success, but it can be a good option. “Remote work need not be the either/or. You do not need to only work from home or only work from the office,” Vanderkam points out.

She found that several of the Mosaic Project women worked from home one to two days a week. Not only does it allow for more family and personal time, and eliminate that day’s commute, it can also be productive to get out of the office — which oftentimes is distracting — and hunker down at home.

Vanderkam prefers Wednesdays as her work-from-home day. “It breaks up the week well, and if you do have a brutal commute, you won’t have to endure it more than two days in a row.”

They think 168 hours, not 24.

Avoid “The 24-Hour Trap,” Vanderkam warns.

“When it comes to time, we often think that ‘balance’ requires fitting all of our priorities into 24 hours,” she writes. “In particular, we want to fit those priorities into each of the 24 hours that constitute Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We act like these are the only four days that count.”

Instead, look at the whole picture: There are 168 hours in a week. That means if you’re working 40 hours a week and sleeping an average of eight hours a night, you still have 72 hours for other things.

She found that many of the Mosaic Project participants chose to work late in the office a few nights — until 10 or 11 p.m. — but would come home at 5 p.m. on other days, allowing for quality family and personal time. “Any given 24 hours might not be balanced, but the 168-hour week as a whole can be.”

They take real breaks.

“When you don’t take real breaks, you take fake ones,” Vanderkam says. The fake ones include scrolling through Facebook or checking your stocks or responding to emails.

“We get lost in transition. And that’s a shame because breaks are a great opportunity to nurture yourself and to shape work culture,” she writes. “You have to build unclaimed time into your life. A too-busy schedule precludes new opportunities.”

It’s not easy to “build in slack,” but sometimes you have to put your foot down. One of Vanderkam’s tricks is using a small weekly paper calendar. “It provides a visual signal that a day is getting too full. When I find myself scribbling items in the margins, that’s a sign I need to look for time on a different day,” she writes.

They plan ahead.

“Time management is like chess. The masters always think a few moves ahead,” Vanderkam writes.

The most successful people spend 10 to 15 minutes each day after work thinking about the next day. “Plot out what you’re going to do when you get to work,” suggests Vanderkam. “That way you can capture that first burst of energy when you show up at work and use it to tackle something important.”

Additionally, successful women will allow time to plan for the upcoming week. “People don’t take advantage of Monday in the way that they could, partly because we don’t think about Monday until we’re in it,” she says. The best time to do this is Friday afternoon or Sunday evening. Friday afternoon is not the most productive of times as is, so repurpose it as planning time. Or try Sunday night, when you’re already in workweek mode.

They make time for exercise.

Exercise does not have to be a casualty upon entering the working world, but it does require planning and a bit of creativity.

Most of the Mosaic Project women engaged in “functional fitness.” They would actively commute to work, use family activities such as going to the zoo to get extra steps in, or go for a walk with colleagues rather than scheduling a formal meeting.

If functional fitness isn’t an option, try finishing your workout first thing in the morning, as we tend to have the most willpower then and we’re less likely to be interrupted by a meeting or client call.

One of the Mosaic Project women used her lunch break to work out and loved it. “Immediately, I started sleeping better,” she told Vanderkam. “I had been an insomniac before, and couldn’t shut my brain down at night. Even though I took time away from work, I had much greater mental clarity in the afternoons after I exercised, and was able to accomplish more in less time.”

They don’t go to every networking event, but are “strategically seen.”

It can be easy to skip out on networking events or post-work happy hours to make more time for family and friends, but “being seen” is important for your career.

“It’s not just about the higher-ups seeing you so that you are at the front of their minds,” Vanderkam writes. “Even after you reach management levels, teams can interpret efficient, no-nonsense interaction as coldness if it’s not tempered with the occasional relaxed get-together.”

You don’t have to go to every conference or dinner, but when you do make time for the occasional event, make the most of it. This means going in with a goal, knowing exactly who will be there and who you want to talk to, and spending time introducing yourself to others, rather than just listening to the speaker and taking off immediately afterwards.

They don’t watch much TV.

The Mosaic Project women averaged 4.4 hours of television watching per week, several hours less than the average employed mothers.

Plus, contrary to popular belief, television doesn’t bring us that much happiness. “TV is fun, but it’s not that fun. Scales of human enjoyment place it somewhere in the middle,” Vanderkam writes.

Try turning the TV off a half hour earlier than you normally would and use that time to read, write a letter, or watch a TED talk.

They skip out on a lot of meetings and opt for one-on-one time.

“Meetings are often a bad institutional habit,” Vanderkam writes. They chop up your day, take time away from deep work, and often are longer than they need to be. Productive people find extra hours during their days by simply recognizing meetings that they don’t need to attend and cutting them from their schedules.

If you can’t cut it, shorten it. Two 60-minute meetings cut down to 45-minute meetings means an extra 30 minutes in your day.

Oftentimes, one-on-one time can be more productive than the traditional team get together, says Vanderkam. Many of the Mosaic Project women made time for coffee or lunch meetings and found them to be much more productive than formal meetings.

They multitask — the right way.

Multitasking is often inefficient and does not boost productivity or happiness.

Successful women know how to multitask effectively. “The best categories for multitasking are things that use different parts of your brain,” explains Vanderkam. “A few studies have found that doodling actually helps you pay attention and retain more information in meetings as it absorbs that slight bit of extra capacity that can lead your mind to wander.”

Examples of effective multitasking are calling a family member or friend while folding laundry or ironing. Functional fitness is also productive multitasking; walking your kids to the park means quality family time and exercise.

They take advantage of unexpected moments.

Using unexpected time distinguishes the productivity masters from the novices.

“Anyone can plan something fun or meaningful for an open block on the calendar,” says Vanderkam. “The best stewards of house can pivot in the moment. To these mosaic makers, a broken tile is an opportunity, and not a source of angst.”

It’s always good to have ideas on hand for extra time that might appear throughout your day if a meeting finishes early or a trip gets canceled. One of the Mosaic Project women uses her unexpected time to indulge in a massage. She’s become a regular at one place, where they know her by name and will squeeze her in for an appointment within 30 minutes on any given day.

They know how long things take.

Being able to estimate accurately how much time things will take is one of those things that separates the average person from the super-successful person, Vanderkam says.

“There are many things we do daily, and yet we seem to have no idea how long they actually take, and because of that we’re surprised at what doesn’t fit into a day,” she says.

She suggests trying the time diary exercise that the Mosaic Project women did, where you log each hour of each day and are forced to pay attention to where your time goes. “Try it for a week. It’s an eye opening experience.”

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