A Message From The Creator

Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

Cecil Beaton


Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Gro Harlem Brundtland

Emine Saner

The Guardian March 7, 2011

Article History

Gro Harlem Brundtland

A woman with a remarkable CV: former doctor, prime minister of Norway and director of the World Health Organisation

To look at Gro Harlem Brundtland’sher CV, it is hard to believe all these jobshave been held by one person. After training as a doctor, she went into politics, serving as Norway‘s minister for environmental affairs before becoming the country’s first female prime minister in 1981. She served another two terms, appointing women to almost half of her cabinet posts – a legacy of this informal quota is that around 40% of government posts have been held by women ever since, and Norway became the first country to enshrine a similar quota for boardrooms.

She became chair of the UN’s commission on the environment in 1984 and her 1987 report Our Common Future – which became known as the Brundtland report – propelled responsibility for the environment on to the international agenda. In and in 1998 became director general of the World Health Organisation. She disappointed many by not standing for re-election, but was praised for her work on tobacco control, making drugs accessible to poor countries, moving towards the eradication of polio and getting world leaders to understand the links between poverty and diseases such as Aids and malaria. She has served on international boards, is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders and is the UN special envoy on climate change. She also managed to raise four children.

Local Inspiration


Juanita Tamayo Lott of Silver Spring, Md., is one such woman “Making a Difference.”

Nationally known as a pioneer in the field of Filipino American and Asian American Studies, she is the founder of the first Asian American Studies program in the United States at San Francisco State University and the first (and only) College of Ethnic Studies. In 2007, she co-founded the Filipino American Studies program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

As a demographer, she has been instrumental in diversifying the U.S. Census. She joined the U.S. Census Bureau in 1997 as special assistant to the Director in preparation for the 2000 Census and subsequently directed the 2010 Census Planning Unit. She was special assistant to Dr. Martha Farnesworth Riche, only the second woman director of the Census Bureau since the first census was conducted by Thomas Jefferson in 1790 (the first was Barbara Everitt Bryant for the 1990 Census).

Much of her work has helped to put human faces to statistical numbers, which has led to major changes. For instance, it is because of her that there are no longer a “head of household” or “wife of head” categories on the Census form. In addition, she made it possible for those filling out the form to be able to check more than one race or ethnicity.

Furthermore, she has lectured and written on demographic changes for over 30 years for both public and scholarly audiences. She is the author of Filipinos in Washington, D.C.Asian Americans: From Racial Category to Multiple Identities, and Spotlight on Heterogeneity: The Federal Standards for Racial and Ethnic Classification. In 2010, she co-authored “Race, Ethnic and Gender Bias in Educational Statistics” for the International Encyclopedia of Education.

A strong civil rights advocate for Asian Americans and women in particular, she serves as a board member of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center.

As Juanita Tamayo Lott mentioned, “I really believe that a critical component of effective, long term community organizing and civic engagement is statistical and financial literacy for women and girls.” 

For more information or to become involved in supporting the creation of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center, visit our website at www.MDWomensHeritageCenter.org, call 410-767-0675, or e-mailmwhcjill@comcast.net.

Inspiration Of Motherhood

Breast-feeding Hurts Mom’s Earnings, Study Finds

By Linda Carroll, msnbc.com

Along with a list of breast-feeding’s health benefits for mothers and children, pediatricians often tout an added bonus — unlike formula, breast milk is free.
Not so fast, researchers say.  Breast-feeding comes with a cost to new moms that is often overlooked, according to a new study published in the American Sociological Review. The study looked at data from 1,313 first-time mothers in the U.S. who were in their late 20s or 30s when they gave birth.
Women’s incomes dropped precipitously when they choose to breast-feed for six months or longer — and they remained low some five years after the babies were born, says the study’s lead author, Phyllis L.F. Rippeyoung, an assistant professor of sociology and coordinator of women’s and genderstudies at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. 
Rippeyoung’s interest in the hidden costs of breast-feeding was sparked by personal experience. When she became a mom, she was flooded with information about the benefits of breast-feeding — including the suggestion that it would save her money.
“I thought that it was weird that they were saying it was free,” Rippeyoung remembers. “I was a grad student at the time driving back and forth between teaching and classes, and my milk was drying up since I couldn’t drive and pump at the same time. It was a very difficult thing, but I had to stop breast-feeding. If I’d continued I couldn’t have worked at the same time.”
The data for the new study came from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, which included information about the moms’ jobs and incomes, as well as stats on their family life, including the decision to give their babies formula or to breast-feed for a short duration (less than six months) or a long duration (six months or more).
The researchers found that on average women who breast-fed their babies for six months or longer experienced a dramatic drop in income.  Five years after the birth of their babies, the women were still making about $5,000 per year less than they had before the birth of their children.
One factor that explained much of the drop in income was a reduction in hours — and this was true even though most of the women in the long-duration group were managers or professionals and said they worked because they liked to.
Rippeyoung doesn’t think that breast-feeding needs to come at such a cost — and she isn’t advocating that women give it up.
“I don’t think it’s inevitable,” she said. “If there were more ways in which women could combine breast-feeding with working you’d see less of this earnings decline.”
One thing that could help is if more companies offered on-site day care and allowed women time to visit their babies during working hours, she said.
“If there’s going to be a push for women to breast-feed then we need to take into account all of the costs,” Rippeyoung said. “And the responsibility for raising the children shouldn’t be solely borne by women.”
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