Jacki Zehner On Women, Money, and Changing the World  » Blog

September 13, 2016

Do You Know About MAKERS?

makersWhere are the women? That’s the question I often ask myself when reading a historical or current event piece. Where are the women?

It is a well documented phenomenon that history has long since overlooked, undervalued, or simply written out the stories, influence, and importance of women. This is why we know the names of DW Griffith and Buzz Aldrin, but not Alice Guy-Blaché and Katherine Johnson, and it’s why Hedy Lamarr is more famous for her looks than for inventing the technology that was the precursor to today’s modern GSP systems. Thankfully, due in no small part to the ever expanding reach of the Internet, there are many organizations out there who are trying to rectify these historical omissions, and even more importantly, there are many who are trying to recognize the extraordinary achievements of women while those trailblazing women are still alive.

Today, one of the largest collections of women’s stories comes courtesy of MAKERS, a co-production of PBS and AOL, which strives to highlight women’s leadership and achievements through documentary film and online content. Launched in 2012, MAKERS premiered on PBS in 2013 as a three-part documentary titled MAKERS: Women Who Make America, and has since gone on to include an online collection of over 3,000 videos featuring the stories of over 300 incredible women, a second documentary film series in 2014, and an online app that allows women from across the globe to share their own stories with…

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August 26, 2016

US Olympic Women #1! US Women? #28

DSC02229On August 26th, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was certified as law, granting women the right to vote throughout the country. In commemoration of this important day, every US President since 1972 has proclaimed August 26th as Women’s Equality Day, not as a celebration of equality achieved, but in recognition of the need to continue to work towards greater gender parity. Because whether or not people want to believe it, there is not a single country in the world that has achieved true gender equality. Not one. How do I know this? The research says so.

Since 2006, the World Economic Forum has published its annual Global Gender Gap Report, which analyzes a country’s gender gap in four main indexes: education, health, political representation, and economic participation. The latest report, published in 2015, ranked 145 countries on a scale of 0.00 (inequality) to 1.00 (equality), with Iceland topping the list at 0.881 and Yemen in last place at 0.484. The United States was ranked 28th (a drop from 20th in 2014), just below Mozambique, and well below developing countries such as Rwanda, the Philippines, and Namibia. All of the statistics, data, and research that are used to compile this report can be found on the World Economic Forum’s website.

When looking at the country profile of the United States, it’s clear that the political representation score is where progress is needed most. In 2015, the United States scored…

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August 18, 2016

Women Are Rocking It At Rio! But…

Olympic postEvery four years, athletes from around the world gather to compete in the Olympic Summer Games. Over the span of two weeks, athletic feats that defy comprehension are accomplished by men and women of every race, religion, and orientation, and the rest of us mere mortals can only watch in awe. To be an Olympic athlete is to dedicate your life to the pursuit of excellence, and as a viewer, to watch the results of decades of hard work manifest in feats of athleticism, grace, and power is something truly astonishing to behold, not to mention incredibly inspiring.

Even more inspiring is the fact that the Rio Olympics are shaping up to be the most diverse in history, with record numbers of female and LGBT athletes competing. Team Canada’s delegation (my home country) is 60% women, with the first 12 medals of their 13 medal haul (as of my writing this) being won by women, while Team USA sent a record 292 female athletes to Rio. In the first week of competition, Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win an individual swimming gold medal, while Simone Biles proved that in the world of gymnastics she’s in a league of her own. Katie Ledecky went into her 800m freestyle final holding the top 12 best times in the world for that event and still managed to post a new world…

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