A Message From The Creator

“When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing, when your activities and actions become gratifying and purposeful, when what you do serves both yourself and others, when you do not tire within but seek the sweet satisfaction of your life and your work, you are doing what you were meant to be doing.”
― Gary Zukav

Inspirational Woman Of The Day

Woman of the Week: Jasvinder Sanghera

MARCH 22, 2012 | VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Jasvinder Sanghera cut ties with her family to fight against forced marriage.

By Anna Louie Sussman

NEW YORK — What would it take to make you say goodbye to your family? To make you leave home, leave school, and sleep in parks and hostels?

For Jasvinder Sanghera, 45, it was the prospect of a forced marriage at age 14 to a stranger waiting for her in India. The sixth of seven daughters growing up in Derby, England, Sanghera had been promised to him since she was 8. Her family locked in her room when she refused to marry him. She knew she had to leave.

Today, her family refuses to speak to her.

“Even today, if I see my sisters, my family, they will cross the road and refuse to acknowledge me,” she told Newsweek & The Daily Beast’s Michelle Goldberg. “All of a sudden, I had become the perpetrator. I was the one who had dishonored and betrayed them, and I had no family.”

But Sanghera has found a new community in Karma Nirvana, a non-profit service and advocacy organization she founded in 1994. After her sister Robina committed suicide to escape her abusive husband whom she had been forced to marry, Sanghera made ending this practice her life’s work.

Karma Nirvana offers an “Honor Network” helpline that potential victims or those in their community can call. Sanghera encourages teachers, social workers, and law enforcement officials to report when they suspect a minor is at risk of forced marriage, but she has told the Guardian newspaper that 42% of the 500 or so calls they receive a month are from minors themselves. With her urging, the United Kingdom’s Home Office and Foreign Office launched a Forced Marriage Unit in 2005. In 2010, it handled 1,700 cases, 86% of which involved females. She also lobbied hard for the 2007 Forced Marriage Act, which prevents families from confiscating their children’s passports, intimidating them into marriage, or taking them abroad for a forced marriage.

Sanghera has also written two novels, “Shame” and “Daughters of Shame,” both of which were bestsellers in the U.K., and expanded Karma Nirvana’s work to include victims of domestic violence, female genital mutilation, and sexual abuse. Her caseworkers are trained to handle these issues and connect callers to the appropriate agencies. But her work is hardly done: forced marriage has recently been recognized as a growing issue in the United States, according to a new report from the Tahirih Justice Center, and Sanghera has been looking for ways to collaborate with groups in the U.S.

In 2009, she told the Guardian that though she misses her family, she wouldn’t have followed any other path.

“I feel lonely at birthdays, but I’d do it all again.”

Anna Louie Sussman is writer and editor for Women in the World Foundation, and a frequent contributor to major U.S. magazines and newspapers.

Women Making A Difference

Anne Pramaggiore

Anne Pramaggiore

President and COO, ComEd

Anne Pramaggiore made history by becoming the first female president of ComEd, which has 5,700 employees and revenues of approximately $6.1 billion. Although her hands are full with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, she still finds time to connect with the community through involvement on the boards of DePaul University, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Urban League and Lincoln Park Zoo. She also serves on the board of directors of Babcock and Wilcox.

Inspiration Of A Celebrity Mom

Charlize Theron

Celebrity Moms May 18, 2012 AT 8:45AM

By Zach Johnson

Charlize Theron: I Never Dreamed I’d Be a Single Mom, “But It Happened”

When Charlize Theron adopted her son Jackson in March, she was making good on a promise she made 28 years ago.
“My mother found [a letter I wrote]. It said, ‘Would you please take me to orphanage, so that I can go and adopt a baby?'” South African Theron, 36, recalls in the June issue of Australia’s Madison. “I always knew I would adopt. Always.”

Though she’s been single since ending her nine-year partnership with Stuart Townsend in 2010, Theron didn’t question her ability to raise a child on her own. “You know, I don’t think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn’t wish for that, but it happened.”

Besides, Theron says, the idea of marriage “has never been that important to me. I don’t know why exactly. Some might say it’s because my parents didn’t have a good marriage, but I don’t think so. I treat my relationships like marriages. The ceremony isn’t that important to me.”
In her Madison interview, Theron also bemoans working with actors who take themselves too seriously.
“I hate actors who come and quote Nietzsche. I don’t like pretentious sh-t. I like being around people who like to live life and understand the value of it. I need to be around people who understand we’re not curing cancer here,” the Oscar winner says. “I like professional actors who show up, do the job and are not a pain in the ass to either myself or the crew.”

The Prometheus star adds: “I don’t believe in this idea that if you’re f-cked up . . . that’s the only way to do good work. It’s bullsh-t. A professional actor does their homework beforehand and they do their job. Then when it’s all said and done, they have a beer with the crew. That’s what a professional actor does.”

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