Oct 16, 2011

If you're ugly.....you ain't going nowhere

Miss Representation Film - WATCH THISThe film explores how the media’s misrepresentation of women has led to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence.

We need more female representation in all public spheres - especially politics and in the media. People learn so much more from the media than any other source of information - it shapes our politics, our national discourse and our perceptions of what it is to be a man or a woman in today's society. 

Women are too often judged on how they look, putting aside their intellectual capacity or power to make a difference. From a young age we are programmed to believe that we will be successful if we look good and men will appreciate us if we look good - from Barbies to silly rom-coms, the message is clear: Look beautiful and you'll make it.

Our media (which is predominantly made up of men..) seems to enjoy patronising and undermining strong women who are in powerful posts. A strong example that stands out is Mary Portas' insult directed at the female members of the cabinet, calling them all 'an ugly bunch'. Her insult along with 'Calm down dear..' undermine the integrity and public face of our most talented female politicians. 

The same happened in Spain when Zapatero formed his cabinet, compromised of 9 female members (hurrah!) - but what did the media focus on? Their dress sense.... their looks.... their sensuality and the fact one of them was pregnant AND head of the armed forces.... how DARE a women lead our armed forces... isn't that a man's job? NO!

We must fight these preconceptions, fight for more female representation and put pressure on the media to create more female dominate roles to provide better role models for the future generation of women. 


Oct 9, 2011


And the winner for the Nobel Peace Prize is........

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia
Leymah Gbowee Liberia
Tawakul Karman,Yemen

awarded for "their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."

The fact that these 3 women have been given the Nobel Peace prize is evidence that women are key to developing more stable, happier and fairer societies. 

The only way to achieve gender equality in social, economic and political spheres is to give women a voice and give them the same opportunities as men to influence development at all levels. 

Congratulations to these 3 amazing role models and let's hope they act as an inspiration for all societies to achieve true gender equality. 


Oct 4, 2011

WorldSkills 2011 - Have you heard of it?

Before starting my internship at CC Skills and INSSO, I had never heard of WorldSkills - an international skills competition with young people from across the globe competing to be the best of the best in their chosen skill. 

It's truly impressive: 150,000 expected visitors will see 1,000 Competitors from more than 50 countries/regions competing in 46 skill areas over four exciting days of Competition.

I went along on Friday and it is absolutely mind-blowing. The huge Excel center has been taken over by young people demonstrating their skills in stonemasonry, hair-dressing, cooking, confectionery, landscape gardening, graphic design, information technology and many many more!!! You can walk around and literally stare while these young kids compete with each other to win top the gold medal.

A few observations: 

*huge gender divide - many more men than women competing, even in stereotypically women roles - hairdressing, jewellery design, cooking etc. It seems that young men are more encouraged to participate in this competition than women or maybe the girls haven't even heard about it ... this must change and it would be wonderful to see more girls at the competition in 2013.

*not many african or central/south american countries represented. There were a lot from Asia and the Middle East but not many from Central Africa or America Latina - let's get the word out there and get them involved!

I really recommend keeping your eye out for WorldSkills competition, especially if you work in education or with young people as it's a great event to be involved with..

The grand FINALE...... http://www.worldskills.org/index.php?option=com_wstv&catid=1&Itemid=708&pg=0&vid=875


Una casita para los gays ancianos

In Madrid they are building the first gay-friendly retirement home. It will be open to everyone but especially to homosexuals.

On the one hand it's great that older gays will be able to retire in a home where they feel comfortable and accepted because, from what I've read, a lot have a hard time when reaching retirement age. The old preconceptions of homosexuals being ill, mentally instable and dirty are still very much pervasive in the minds of the older generations.

On the other hand, it is sad that a retirement home specifically for gays needs to be built as they are in fact normal human beings who just happen to like the other sex, therefore they should get the same treatment as everybody else and be able to feel welcomed in any retirement home they choose to go to. 

Spain was one of the first countries to legalise same sex marriage and is known to be an extremely open society concerning gay rights. But it seems that even if the laws have changed, the hearts and minds of many haven't, hence the need for this retirement home.

I truly hope that by the time I reach retirement age, we will all, gays and straights alike, be able to sit together in our armchairs moaning about our misspent youth.


1, 2, 3.... VISA

At my cousin's wedding we played a great game - musical chairs with a 'twist' - you have to go and find an item and get back to your chair before the others.

This game will be played differently depending on what country you live in, being in Switzerland some of the items included:
*Visa card
*200 CFH note
*latest samsung

along with:
*toilet paper
*a black bra
*and.... a car jack!

We don't even think twice about having a visa card ready available or a wad of notes for this kind of game whereas in less developed countries one wouldn't dream of having those items on a list (that is if they even play this swiss musical chairs!). 

We are reminded, through playing this game, how fortunate we are and how rich we live.