Author Topic: Strong, gorgeous women!  (Read 551148 times)

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #420 on: January 12, 2009, 02:08:17 pm »

Dr. Bogalech Gebre

Born in 1958, she overcame the tremendous odds associated with some of the harmful traditional practices in Ethiopia
that women are frequently forced to undergo and has since made huge accomplishments in helping to combat these practices
that she herself was once a victim of.  After losing two of her sisters to infections from FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
and escaping from four attempted early marriages, she became the first girl ever in her village of Zato to be educated
beyond the fourth grade.   She later attended Hebrew University in Jerusalem on a full scholarship and became the first woman
invited to join the science faculty at Addis Ababa University after having earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from UCLA, Los Angeles.

Gebre founded Kembatta Women’s Self-Help Center in Ethiopia (KMG) in 1997, a seven-acre women’s community in Kembatta,
to stop such practices.   KMG focuses on three interrelated areas; reproductive health rights (including elimination of FGM and
prevention of HIV and AIDS); vocational training and women’s entrepreneurial skills as well as the restoration of damaged
watersheds and other environmental degradations. KMG has also established legal clinics to teach women their legal rights
under Ethiopia’s constitution and is making inroads in empowering women to fight for their rights.

In the 10 years since Boge laid the cornerstone of the KMG centre in Kembatta, the percentage of girls in the region
subjected to genital mutilation has fallen from nearly 100 per cent to as low as three per cent.
As a direct result of her educational work, marriage by abduction has also almost disappeared, and HIV-AIDS and
domestic violence are no longer the taboo subjects they used to be. And at a ground-breaking event Boge (Bogalech) organized in 2004,
nearly 100,000 people turned out to celebrate "Whole body health life -- Freedom from FGM"
and the more than 35,000 girls who have publicly refused to be cut.

"This moment," says Boge, "was the community's affirmation that they no longer wanted to harm their children."
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 05:09:16 pm by Lumière »

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #421 on: January 13, 2009, 01:16:42 pm »

Tsitsi Dangarembga

African writer and director Tsitsi Dangarembga was born in Mutoko in colonial Rhodesia,
but at the age of two she moved with her parents to England. She returned to her homeland in 1980
just before it became Zimbabwe under black-majority rule.

Dangarembga studied film direction at the Deutsche Film und Fernseh Akademie in Berlin,
and was the first black Zimbabwean woman to direct a feature film, Everyone's Child (1996), which is about AIDS in Africa. 
[She also wrote the story for the film Neria (1993), which became the highest-grossing film in Zimbabwean history.]

She is best known for her remarkable first novel Nervous Conditions which was published by the Women's Press in 1988
and won the African section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989.
It broke the mould for East African women's writing, and has been read and taught all over the world since it first appeared.
Its popularity has not made its writer's life in Zimbabwe easy; the novel describes how a group of women and girls
in colonial Rhodesia are doubly colonized by Shona patriarchy and white supremacism.
One part of that oppression is still firmly in place.

The much-awaited sequel to her novel Nervous Conditions: The Book of Not, was published in 2006.

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #422 on: January 13, 2009, 01:21:20 pm »

Dr. Florence Wambugu

Dr. Florence Muringi Wambugu is one of the most eminent African woman scientists in the world today,
well known for her expertise and advocacy in biotechnology.

In Canada, genetically modified food may spark safety worries. But Florence Wambugu, the founder of Africa Harvest,
a nonprofit biotechnology research group with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, has a different view.

"Who are people in the developed world to tell those in Africa that using genetic techniques to increase crop production is wrong,
when they have full bellies every day?"
she asks. "A mother who has not seen her children eat for days would not question
the ethics of making crops more productive."

"Africa is in crisis," continues Florence. "With rising food costs, population growth and water shortages, more productive plants
are imperative to the survival of millions."
According to the United Nations, more than 14 million people in Somalia, Kenya,
Uganda and Ethiopia, countries in the grip of a prolonged drought, depend on food aid.

Florence is no stranger to their plight. Born in Kenya in 1953, the sixth of 10 children, she grew up on a small subsistence farm.
After her father's death, there was often no food to go around. So it was an extraordinary gamble when, braving village criticism,
Florence's mother sold the family's single asset -- their cow -- in order to send her daughter to high school.
Florence went on to take degrees in zoology and botany in Nairobi, the U.S. and the U.K.

In 2002 she founded Africa Harvest, and has so far helped more than half a million farmers increase their output.
"After seeing my community struggling and knowing what sacrifices my mother made to educate me,
I wanted to go back and help make their lives easier,"
she says.

"New strains of grains needing less water, or that are nutritionally fortified, can cushion against natural disasters by
helping farmers harvest even a small crop when conditions are dire. Food aid produced in other countries is not a viable
long-term solution when 80 per cent of the Kenyan workforce is employed in agriculture."

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #423 on: January 13, 2009, 07:19:14 pm »
Got my headphones on & I've been listening to Zap Mama all day.
L-o-v-e their music.

Zap Mama

is an all-female quintet founded by Zaire native Marie Daulne:

Zap Mama specializes in polyphonic, harmonic music with a mixture of heavily infused African instruments,
R&B, and Hip-hop and emphasizes voice in all their music.

Daulne's father, a white Belgian, was killed during the revolution of 1960 while her mother was pregnant with her,
so the remainder of the family fled to the forests and found refuge with a tribe of pygmies.
Daulne was raised primarily in Europe, but when she heard a recording of traditional pygmy music at age 20,
she decided to return to Africa to learn about her heritage. She was trained in pygmy onomatopoeic vocal techniques
before returning to the West to found Zap Mama.
Their 1993 debut, Adventures in Afropea I, became the biggest-selling non-compilation album in the history of Luaka Bop Records.

Their latest album, Supermoon was released in 2007.

Check this out - Zap Mama - "Brrrlak" (Adventures in Afropea)

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #424 on: January 14, 2009, 06:26:52 pm »

Hafsat Abiola

Hafsat Abiola (born 1974 in Lagos) is a Nigerian human rights, civil rights and democracy activist,
founder of the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND), which seeks to strengthen civil society
and promote democracy in Nigeria.

She was the seventh child of the late Chief Moshood Abiola, who allegedly won the first democratic elections in Nigeria in 1993,
but was put in prison for treason after declaring himself president. He later died there in 1998.
Her mother, Alhaja Kudirat Abiola [an outspoken political and business figure in her own right],
was murdered during a demonstration for the release of her husband in 1996.

Nigeria was one of 20 African countries to have been ruled by military dictatorships since most of the continent
gained independence in the 1960s. Chief Abiola's short-lived victory had been in the country's first-ever election.
It wasn't until a new military leader took over in 1998 that another round of elections was held, and that time honoured.
Hafsat, then 25, came home with a vision.

"I realized that to truly honour my mother's dream I had to provide a bridge that would enable women to cross
from being society's silenced to being its vital voice for change," she explains.
"I set up the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) in memory of my mother to give Nigerian women
the leadership skills necessary to run for political office."

Women, she says, ensure that politics stay relevant.
"Women bring to the table issues that concern families, like health care and education." ...

KIND's Thirty by Eleven Campaign was established in 2006 and received money from CIDA [Canadian International Development Agency]
under its Gender Equality Support pilot project. The campaign aims to help women win 30 per cent of political
and decision-making positions in the 2011 elections. Currently, they hold only six per cent.
"This is what we urgently need to change," says Hafsat. "We aim to make young women feel they have a right to a voice." []

In 2006 she raised funds by organizing performances of The Vagina Monologues in Nigeria.
In 2008, the Europe-based A Different View chose Abiola to be one of the 15 Champions of World Democracy.
Other champions include Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Corazon Aquino, and Sima Samar.

Offline Sharon

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #425 on: January 21, 2009, 05:18:57 pm »
Hey M.

It is amazing what you have created here in the last time!
I am impressed by so many powerful women!

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #426 on: January 22, 2009, 12:58:49 pm »
Hey M.

It is amazing what you have created here in the last time!
I am impressed by so many powerful women!

Cheers S.

I was beginning to feel like I was talking to myself up in here.    :)
Good to see you passing this way, bud.

~M  :-*

Offline Brown Eyes

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #427 on: January 22, 2009, 01:08:59 pm »

Heya M!  Thank you sooooooooooooooo much for keeping this wonderful thread so active!  I'm thoroughly enjoying all your posts to this thread!!


I know Anne Hathaway is already on this thread, way, way back there... But, in honor of her Oscar nomination today, I thought I'd add her here again.

<img src="" border="0" />

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #428 on: January 23, 2009, 05:17:42 am »
      Michelle Obama


First Lady of the United States
Born    January 17, 1964 (1964-01-17) (age 45

Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the current First Lady of the United States, and the wife of the forty-fourth President of the United States Barack Obama.[1] She is the first African American First Lady.

She was born and grew up on the South Side of Chicago and graduated from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. After completing her formal education, she returned to Chicago and accepted a position with the law firm Sidley Austin, and subsequently worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.

Michelle Obama is the sister of Craig Robinson, men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. She met Barack Obama when he joined Sidley Austin. After his election to the U.S. Senate, the Obama family continued to live on Chicago's South Side, choosing to remain there rather than moving to Washington, D.C.
    Michelle Robinson was born on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois to Fraser Robinson III,[2] a city water plant employee and Democratic precinct captain, and Marian Shields Robinson, a secretary at Spiegel's catalog store.[3] Michelle can trace her roots to pre-Civil War African Americans in the American South; her paternal great-great grandfather, Jim Robinson, was an American slave in the state of South Carolina,[4][5] where some of her family still reside.[6][7] She grew up on Euclid Avenue in the South Shore community area of Chicago,[3][8][9] and was raised in a conventional two-parent home.[10] The family ate meals together and also entertained together as a family by playing games such as Monopoly and by reading.[11] She and her brother, Craig (who is 21 months older), skipped the second grade. By sixth grade, Michelle joined a gifted class at Bryn Mawr Elementary School (later renamed Bouchet Academy).[12] She attended Whitney Young High School, Chicago's first magnet high school, where she was on the honor roll four years, took advanced placement classes, was a member of the National Honor Society and served as student council treasurer.[3] The round trip commute from her South Side home to the Near West Side took three hours out of her day.[13] She was a high school classmate of Santita Jackson, the daughter of Jesse Jackson and sister of Jesse Jackson, Jr.[11] She graduated from high school in 1981 as salutatorian,[13][14] and went on to major in sociology and minor in African American studies at Princeton University, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1985.

     Beautiful mind

Offline Lumière

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Re: Strong, gorgeous women!
« Reply #429 on: January 23, 2009, 05:46:21 pm »
Great to see some activity in this thread again.  :)

African Herstories series contd..

Dora N. Akunyili

She is the former Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC)
of Nigeria and current (since December 17,2008) Nigerian Minister of Information.
She is a pharmacist, professor and governmental administrator who has gained international recognition
and won hundreds of awards for her work in pharmacology, public health and human rights.

Since Akunyili took over leadership of NAFDAC, she has established as a top priority the eradication
of counterfeit drugs and unsafe food.[1] Before Akunyili assumed duty, Nigeria became a place where fake
and substandard foods and drugs were being dumped without any form of regulations.
She became angry because “so many of (her) countrymen and women (were) fighting killer diseases like malaria
and tuberculosis with little more than sugar syrup and chalk tablets, cynically packaged to look like the real thing.”

She has faced considerable risk to her personal safety in order to combat the issue of fake drugs.

In a culture steeped in corruption, she has not had an easy ride.  She built a new team of female inspectors
and pharmacists (she believes most men are too easily tempted by bribes) and started to prosecute importers of fake drugs.

When the public saw the dragons she was slaying, she may have become Nigeria's uncrowned queen,
but the counterfeiters fought back.  They burnt down Nafdac's offices and threatened to kill her and her children.
When she stood firm, they shot her in her car. The bullet grazed her skull but she survived.

"Eradication of counterfeit drugs should be treated as an international health emergency," she says.
She believes that raising public awareness has produced dramatic results in Nigeria and urges other nations to be more open.