Saudi Women Register to Vote: But Will There Be Progression Civilly?

Women's iLab

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As of 2015, Saudi women have finally won the right to vote and run in municipal elections. Voter registration began this August and goes through mid-September.

This has been in the works since 2011 when the now-late King Abdullah announced that he was granting women the right to vote and run as candidates. Municipal councils are the only elected bodies in the entire kingdom. Two-thirds of the seats in the elected council are based upon votes, with the rest of the council seats granted by appointment.

While this is great news, will it actually lead to any progression for women civilly? In a country with little to no gender equality, we may wonder what affect these political advancements will have in these women’s day-to-day lives.

In Saudi Arabia, women have “male guardians,” that may be compared to the relationship between a parent and their child. Women must…

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Opinion Writer Slams Sorority Recruitment Video and Calls for Messages of Female Empowerment

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Hollywood tends to portray sororities and fraternities with a crazy-wild-party lifestyle. Frat parties, hazing, keg stands, and more—typically a “white America” fantasy college world. The stereotypical jerk frat boy, the bimbo blonde (though we can thank Elle Woods for somewhat breaking through that stereotype).

But that’s just Hollywood, right? One would hope that actual sororities and fraternities would try to stray away from this lone image. Instead, one would hope that they would rather highlight their philanthropic work, or values they represent. Values and work that created the strong foundation of Greek life. And hey, throw in an implication of those occasional mixers. We all know Greek life likes to balance fun and hard work.

Unfortunately, University of Alabama’s Alpha Phi sorority chapter did not do a balancing act when releasing their Alpha Phi 2015 Recruitment Video. Instead, Alpha Phi seemed to play right into the Hollywood…

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Humans of New York Visits Pakistan and Changes the World

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Brandon Stanton began his journey to create the famous blog Humans of New York in July 2010 after losing his job as a bond trader. In Stanton’s first book of photography, compiling three years of work, he explains that he originally wanted to create a photographic census of New York City. He envisioned thousands of portraits and an interactive map of the city. But when Stanton was directed by a friend to give social media a shot, HONY took off.

Stanton notes that Humans of New York really began to grow after he started pairing the portraits with a story or quotation. He stated, “I sought to provide my audience with a few good portraits, every single day. And I hope to continue doing so for a very long time.”

Humans of New York has an incredible social media presence with 14 million followers on Facebook alone…

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Stop Telling Women to Smile: An Art Project Against Gender-Based Street Harassment

Women's iLab

Photo from stoptellingwomentosmile.com Photo from stoptellingwomentosmile.com

According to Stop Street Harassment, internationally 70-99% of women experience street harassment at some point during their lives. Today, more and more organizations, and individuals, make it their mission to bring awareness to gender-based street harassment and to send the message that no—it is never okay.

One of these inspiring individuals is Tatyana Falalizadeh, a Brooklyn painter and illustrator. In 2012, Falalizadeh began Stop Telling Women to Smile, an art project against gender-based street harassment. Falalizadeh creates portraits of women she interviews and captions the art with their messages directed at street offenders.

According to STWTS, this new art project is “an on-going, traveling series and will gradually include many cities and many women participants.” The movement was inspired by the idea “that street art can be an impactful tool for tackling street harassment…creating a bold presence for women in an environment where they…

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10 Essentials For Your Every Day Work Bag

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The day the VP came to visit my college job was on a hot July afternoon in 2012. As we scurried to get ready, I realized, horrified, that I forgot to put on deodorant that morning. How could I have forgotten such a basic, crucial necessity?

I rummaged through my bag. Nope. Not there. I couldn’t find anything helpful at all. Except for my oversized makeup bag.

Luckily, one of the other women I worked with had some. We were close enough that she lent it to me. Ever since that day, I decided I would never be unprepared at work again.

I had to prioritize. Starting with adding an extra emergency deodorant to my bag, and removing any unnecessary makeup I was lugging around. But what else did I need?

Here is a list of the top 10 essentials for your workbag:

Your Wallet

Seems simple…

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The Afghan Women’s Writing Project: ‘To Tell One’s Story is a Human Right’

Women's iLab

In May 2009, Masha Hamilton founded The Afghan Women’s Writing Project, also known as AWWP. Their mission statement is simple, straight to the point, and pierces the heart with its truth: “To tell one’s story is a human right.”

Hamilton is a journalist, published author, and founder of the AWWP as well as the Camel Book Drive. She spent five years as a journalist in the Middle East, and also taught in Afghanistan.

Hamilton was compelled to create the AWWP after witnessing footage of an Afghan woman named Zarmeena being executed in 1999. She was sentenced to death for allegedly killing her husband. The execution took place in the Kabul Ghazi Stadium by the Taliban. Hamilton wanted to find out more about Zarmeena, but “few details were available and this brought home to [Hamilton] that not only were women hidden beneath burqas, but their stories were silenced.”

She then…

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What I Learned from My Trip to Nicaragua

Women's iLab

I am currently in those post-graduation months that envelope you, confuse you, and for the most part, overwhelm you. As fall waits impatiently behind the door, I’m reminded once more that I will not be attending a semester at my university. While I’m somewhat nostalgic, I’m also aware that I’m ready for this next chapter in my life. Somehow college already feels like a different era.

After graduating in January, I was finally in the right place to plan a trip to Nicaragua. This trip had been in the back of my mind for a good six months prior to buying my plane ticket. The initial reason was to visit someone who is very important to me and has been in my life for years. The second reason was my innate desire to learn and travel. I daydreamed about volcanoes and beaches, anything that was not New Jersey. I wanted…

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5 Things You Can Do Every Day To Increase Your Happiness

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Happiness. As human beings, we are infatuated with the idea of happiness. It’s the exhilarating, content, carefree, laughing emotion that tingles down your spine and puts a smile on your face. We want happiness to be the constant emotion, the one that dominates all the others. We want to honestly be able to say we are leading happy, fulfilling, and successful lives. And mean it!

The thing is, as much as we love to be happy, it has to battle with all of our other emotions. And on some days, it loses.

Or maybe not. Maybe one of you has found the secret elixir that allows you to be happy 24/7. But judging by all the happiness posts on blogs, the self-help books, and the mental health websites, I don’t seem to be alone in wanting to work on my happiness.

When I was younger, my mother…

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Why Amy Schumer Became the Ultimate Boss Lady with Trainwreck

Women's iLab

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By now, most of you have seen or heard of the movie Trainwreck, starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. Amy Schumer, the comedian, writer, and producer, is most known for starring in Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central. But now Schumer is taking the big stage with the lead role in Trainwreck, which she herself wrote and co-directed.

Trainwreck centers around the character Amy, a writer for a men’s magazine and single twenty-something who takes New York City by storm. As the character gives us a brief overview of her life, she cuts and talks directly to the audience, saying, “Before you judge, you should know, I’m doing fine. My friends are awesome. My apartment’s sick and I have a great job at a men’s magazine.”

This romcom redefines the typical female heroine and proves that Amy Schumer is the new boss lady of comedy…

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Adidas and Manchester United Under Scrutiny After Releasing Revealing Female Jersey

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It was announced in July 2014 that Manchester United would not be renewing any contract with Nike, with whom they previously had a 13-season contract. Instead MU locked into a sponsorship deal with Adidas for approximately $117 million a year.

With a new sponsorship company comes new uniforms designs for the team, and a new set of fan ones as well. This is the first time Adidas has made MU uniforms in 24 years, according to CNN.

So this summer, when Adidas and Manchester United released the fan kits (uniforms), people looked forward to the potential refreshing designs for the team. However, instead of a warm welcome, Adidas and MU were immediately overtaken by the negative online response of both MU fans, and female soccer fans in general.

This is due to the fact that there is a considerable difference between the male MU jersey and the…

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