A Message From The Creator

A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream. The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone.  

“The Wise Woman’s Stone” 
 Author Unknown

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Gloria Marie Steinem (born March 25, 1934) is an American feministjournalist, and social and political activist who became nationally recognized as a leader of, and media spokeswoman for, the women’s liberation movement in the late 1960s and 1970s. A prominent writer and political figure, Steinem has founded many organizations and projects and has been the recipient of many awards and honors. She was a columnist for New York magazine and co-founded Ms. magazine. In 1969, she published an article, “After Black Power, Women’s Liberation” which, along with her early support of abortion rights, catapulted her to national fame as a feminist leader. In 2005, Steinem worked alongside Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to co-found the Women’s Media Center, an organization that works to amplify the voices of women in the media through advocacy, media and leadership training, and the creation of original content. Steinem currently serves on the board of the organization. She continues to involve herself in politics and media affairs as a commentator, writer, lecturer, and organizer, campaigning for candidates and reforms and publishing books and articles.

Local Inspiration

Photo of Deborah Estrada

Young Women Making A Difference

HERstory: Deborah Estrada, Achieving Her Goals One Click at a Time

Deborah Estrada is a 20 year old student who graduated from One Economy’s San Francisco Digital Connector program in 2004. Through this program, she learned all about technology and gained valuable skills. As a Digital Connector, she taught people in her community how to use the computer and the Internet. With the knowledge she gained in the program, Deborah used the Internet to conduct research for school, build a resume, apply to college, and even buy a car. She graduated from high school with a 4.0 GPA and got a scholarship to college. Deborah is now a student at the Dominican University of California.

To learn more about Deborah, we asked her to tell us a little bit more about herself:
I am twenty years old and am in my third year at Dominican University of California. I am working on my bachelor’s degree in business and will be graduating in 2011. Last semester I was accepted into the Master’s program and started my first MBA class this semester. Being first generation to go to college and even start on a Masters degree is something both my parents are proud of. As the oldest of four and growing up in a low-income family, I am doing all that I can and taking every opportunity to be a role model to my siblings and to pursue a better life for myself.
I am also extremely involved in my church. I am the singing leader and the Youth leader’s assistant. Therefore, I work with all types of personalities that each day I learn to cope with and adjust too. Members of the church all give back to the community by visiting the elderly, feeding the poor, and influencing youth to stay away from gang violence.

  1. The proudest moment in my life so far was: graduating with a 4.0 GPA from high school and being accepted to a private university, where I received many scholarships. The moment I was asked to stand in front of my graduating class because of these achievements, I felt proud and very grateful at all the opportunities that came my way.
  2. One woman that I look up to is: my mother. She arrived to the United States in 1977 at age eight from Guatemala. She had suffered her whole childhood there, and as she came here she wanted to take advantage of the opportunities presented to her. She learned the English language and eventually graduated high school, where she met my father. As she attended San Francisco City College at nineteen years of age she became pregnant. Her own family and the church members looked down upon her and were extremely disappointed. She had to give up her education to give birth to me and eventually raise me on her own. As I get my education, I am metaphorically doing it for her as well. What she could not achieve I am doing for her.
  3. I am inspired by: all the struggles I have faced in my life. As women face troubles in their lives, many times it leads them onto the wrong road. However, this inspires me to get an education and pursue a better life for my future family and myself.
    1. One of the greatest things about being a woman is: being able to give birth. Even though I have never experienced it, I believe that it is an amazing moment when you get to receive your own child into your arms, who you have been carrying for nine months. It is a special connection between a child and mother that no one else can replace.
    2. One thing I do to make my life easier is: In order to make my life easier and take the stress away, I sing and pray. Singing takes my mind off of worries and praying gives me strength and reassurance that everything will turn out fine.
    3. My favorite thing to do in my free time is: During my free time I love to play my piano. Even if it is just for a couple of minutes, I can sit at my piano and learn new chords on my own and practice.
    4. I hope that someday: I hope that someday I will get to see a woman president. So far, men have only been the ones to run the United States of America. A woman president would show independence to those women who think that they do not have any.
    5. One piece of advice I would give other women is: to get an education. Women without an education are submissive and dependent of their partner. An education will get you far in life and will aid you in the end, no matter the cost.
    6. Something that makes me smile is: Food always makes me smile. Yes, I love food and am always open to trying new things.
    7. I would like to accomplish: Lastly, I would like to reach a high education level in business. As I gain experience in this industry I would like to give back to my community by referring low-income families to resources that will help them achieve financial independence. Helping low-income families reach a better life is something I would love to pursue as I reach financial independence myself.

Women In The News

By Melissa Josephs

WeNews commentator

Monday, April 9, 2012

Illinois Sick Day Bill to Require 7 Paid Days

CHICAGO (WOMENSENEWS)–Illinois lawmakers have introduced the Healthy Workplace Act, a bill that would allow workers to accrue up to seven paid sick days a year.

Women need laws like this.

Women still bear the brunt of caretaking responsibilities, and it is largely women who go without paid sick-days benefits. Female-dominated industries, including childcare and food service, are among the least likely to offer paid sick days, according to the National Partnership for Women and Families. Nearly three-quarters of workers in those two industries don’t enjoy paid sick time. In fact, half of all working mothers, and two-thirds of low-income working mothers, report that they do not get paid when they take a day off to care for a sick child.

Opponents argue that legislating paid sick days would be a job killer, driving up payroll expenses, and bankrupting small businesses. They argue that if all workers had paid sick days, they would abuse the privilege, costing employers valuable dollars in a tough economy.

The evidence doesn’t back this claim.

San Francisco was the first city to mandate paid sick days for their workers. The law went into effect in 2007. Four years later, in a survey of 727 employers, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that 6 out of 7 employers report no impact in profitability. While business opposition was strong before the law went into effect, two-thirds of employers now support the law.

The study also found that parents who have paid sick days were 20 percent less likely to send a sick child to school, reducing the risk of an outbreak of disease. These workers are also much more likely to stay home when they are sick, ensuring that they won’t cough on your food, blow their noses and then ring up your groceries, or take care of your elderly relatives when they have the flu. Paid sick days are a win-win for everyone.

Some people don’t think twice about staying home when they’re sick or leaving work when the school nurse calls about a sick child.

They get annoyed when the guy in the cubicle next to them comes to work with a nasty cough.

They’re disgusted when their waiter at a restaurant sneezes while bringing their food.

If someone’s sick, they should stay home so they’re not spreading germs, right?

But what would the complainers do if taking a sick day meant losing a day’s pay, risking a demerit at work or even losing their jobs?

Prepping Food with a Bad Flu

This is the dilemma of many a single mother making minimum wage, scraping every last penny just to pay her bills. If she stays home sick she might not be able to make rent that month or put enough food on the table. Going to her food-prep job with a bad flu seems like her only rational choice.

Forty two million private sector workers – roughly 42 percent of private-sector workers– do not get paid sick days.

The situation is particularly bad for low-wage workers. Only one quarter of these workers have paid sick days.

In the top earnings quartile, by contrast, 81 percent enjoy this benefit.

The majority of workers in the lowest-paid jobs are in food service, retail, and other service professions where they come into contact with the public on a daily basis. When these workers get sick, they either go to work (a major risk to public health) or suffer the financial consequences, which can be devastating for a family who can barely make ends meet.

Tina Jackson, a single mom, knows what a strain it can be when someone gets sick.

“I’m a healthcare worker, and I’m always on duty,” says Jackson. “My son got sick with the flu, so for three days I was home with him with no healthcare, no sick days, no vacation days, because that doesn’t come with the job. So that was three days of pay that I lost. With everything focused on making sure we still have a place to stay and that bills are paid, that three days really hit home hard.”

A worker such as Jackson, earning the federal minimum wage and working 40 hours a week, earns just under $300 a week before taxes. If she has to miss three days of work, that is $174 in lost wages. That leaves $126 to cover that week’s expenses, an impossibility for most.

Meet Toni Park, a restaurant worker and single mom of four kids. “When I get sick, I have to either go to work or lose wages. I have a daughter who got a very strange illness, and I had to miss two months of work, so that meant two months without any pay at all, and that really affected my family adversely.”

Stories such as Jackson’s and Park’s are extremely common, but they don’t have to be. Several cities across the nation, including San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Seattle, have passed ordinances requiring employers to provide paid sick days to their workers.

Connecticut is the first state to have a law on paid sick days.

Other states must follow quickly. We should all have the opportunity to stay home when we’re sick and prevent the spread of the illness.


Inspiration Of Motherhood

Working Mommy
by Sarah Amick
Feels the guilt as she’s driving away
Her thoughts are divided:
One listens attentively to the business at hand;
The other wanders to where she left her heart.
She values small qualitative moments
while juggling the motion of her world
Her hands are never idle.
This mommy organizes every minute of her day
never a down time, her world is always
time on task- always motion
Her heart is always drawn between
her dreams, goals, and responsibilities
The world of self, and selfless
She is always the last on her agenda
Always putting herself to the bottom
She is needed
Her list is full
She will make herself matter…

Inspiration Of Style

Sporting Goods

The couch-potato mantra doesn’t jibe with an active lifestyle, but this couch might. The result of a collaboration between Eastpak and Belgian design brand Quinze & Milan, the hybrid club sofa has backpack-style pockets and zips, ideal for storing five-pound weights, Pilates bands, even yoga mats, making a workout session mid–Downton Abbey very doable.

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