June 9, 2017


Saudi Arabia has re-arrested women’s rights campaigner Loujain al-Hathloul, who is best known for her defiance of the kingdom’s driving ban.

Ms Al-Hathloul was detained at King Fahad International Airport in Dammam on the country’s east coast near the border with Bahrain on 4 June and is expected to be taken to Riyadh for questioning by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.

She has had no access to a lawyer and has not been allowed to contact her family, Amnesty International reported.

The exact reason for her arrest has not been made public but Amnesty said they believe it is due to her human rights activism in the country.

The 27-year-old is most famous for defying the kingdom’s ban on female drivers after attempting to drive into Saudi Arabia from the United Arab Emirates.

Following the stunt, she was arrested and detained by the Saudi authorities for 73 days.

She then went on to stand as a candidate in the 2015 Saudi election – the first time women were ever allowed to stand – but her name was never added to the ballot paper.

Samah Hadid, Director of Campaigns for Amnesty International in the Middle East, said: “The Saudi Arabian authorities’ continuous harassment of Loujain al-Hathloul is absurd and unjustifiable.

Ms Al-Hathloul was detained at King Fahad International Airport in Dammam on the country’s east coast near the border with Bahrain on 4 June and is expected to be taken to Riyadh for questioning by the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution.

“It appears she is being targeted once again because of her peaceful work as a human rights defender speaking out for women’s rights, which are consistently trampled in the kingdom. If so she must be immediately and unconditionally released.


“Instead of upholding its promise of a more tolerant Saudi Arabia, the government has again shattered any notion that it is genuinely committed to upholding equality and human rights.”

The Kingdom is notorious for having one of the worst records when it comes to women’s rights.

All women living in the Kingdom are required to have male “guardians” – usually a male relative such as a husband, father or brother – who can decide whether they are able to work, go out in public and or study at university.’

Source: The Independent

Born in Bandar Lampung on August 26, 1962, Sri Mulyani earned her bachelor degree in Economics major from the Universitas Indonesia (1986). She continued her studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, United States and earned Master of Science of Policy Economics (1990). In 1992, she earned PhD of Economics.

This specialist of Monetary Economy and Banking, as well as Labor Economics research, was chosen to be the Executive Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) representing 12 countries in the South East Asia (SEA Group) at the beginning of October 2002. Starting from November 1, 2002, she represented 12 member countries of SEA Group at International Monetary Funds.

On December 5, 2005, she was appointed to serve as the Minister of Finance. During her devotion as the Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani Indrawati achieved many achievements, such as stabilizing macroeconomy, maintaining prudent fiscal policy, decreasing the cost of loans and managing debt, as well as creating trust among investors.

She championed the Minister of Finance’s reform. Hence, it created many fundamental changes in the Ministry of Finance. On September 18, 2006, Sri Mulyani was crowned as the best Minister of Finance in Asia by the Emerging Markets in the sidelines of World Bank and IMF’s Annual Session in Singapore.

She was also elected as the 23rd world’s most influencing woman from Forbes magazine in 2008 and the 2nd most influencing woman in Indonesia from Globe Asia magazine in October 2007. Sri Mulyani was also awarded as the best Minister of Finance for 2006 from the Euromoney and the best Minister of Finance in Asia by the Emerging Market Forum in the same year.


In 2008, she served as the Acting Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs after the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Dr. Boediono was inaugurated as the Governor of Bank Indonesia. Then she was appointed as the Executive Director of World Bank commencing on June 1, 2010.

On July 27th, 2016, President Joko Widodo inaugurated Sri Mulyani Indrawati as the Minister of Finance in his Working Cabinet.

Esther Nikwambi Mahlangu was born in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, South Africa, on November 11, 1935. She started painting at the age of ten with a great flair for art. She had her mother and grandmother as a guide and they taught and directed her on how to go about it.

The painting had been her family’s trademark and it was a tradition among the Ndebele people of South Africa, where young women are isolated from the society for a period of time to be taught the traditional craft. On this traditional hall of fame, Mahlangu started her journey on painting.

It was also the tradition of the Ndebele people to pass on the traditional motif of their type of painting to their girl-child through dedicated teachings. The core purpose that birthed this traditional rule was the ancient tradition of decorating houses for a particular occasion observed by the people. This ritual is a rite of passage for boys between the age of 18 and 20. At this point, such a boy is expected to be circumcised before he can be confirmed a youth. To celebrate this event the women are to repaint the entire part of their houses with cow dung and natural pigments.

At the early stage of her career, around 1940, advanced paintings which involved the use of modern paints and colourful geometric shapes, emerged. She found out that the use of these modern techniques would be suitable to define Ndebele’s art. This inspired Mahlangu ideas and enhanced her creativity.

She became outstanding in her work, and from her teenage days, she executed professional jobs with her skill in traditional Ndebele art of wall painting. With an excellent work in craft, she became famous and gained international attention that brought high commissions from various places to her.

Her first international recognition was in 1989 when her work was commended at Magiciens de la Terre meaning Magicians of the World; a European art exposition shows that counteracted ethnocentric practices within the contemporary art world.

In 1991, Mahlangu received a big time contract from BMW to create an art car.  She became the first and female non-Westerner to design one of these art cars. The car, a BMW 525i, was the first “African Art Car”. In order to promote the African culture, Mahlangu painted the car with the designs and pattern of the Ndebele tribe.

In 1994, the car was a spectacle at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC Showcase. It was mind blowing because her designs were unique; it was something no one has used or seen before.


With her root in tradition, Mahlangu based her designs on traditional techniques which she engaged tireless because she discovers that her strength lies in her traditional root.  And as she progressed, she began creating a new path from other contemporaries and she experienced challenged by artistic counter influences.

 In 1997 British Airways planes used her design on their tail.

Currently, Mahlangu runs a school of art and craft where she guides young girls to achieve a dream in painting only, just like her mother and granny did for her. She is not reluctant to share her knowledge with the young people around her who are inspired by her success story and aim to be better than her.

One of the best things about summer is all the delicious summer salads! What can I say? I am a girl who loves a good salad! This chicken caesar pasta salad is one of my new favourites, and I do not only like the fact that it is delicious, it is also very easy to make. It’s a delicious mix between a green salad and a pasta salad, with all the delicious flavour of a caesar salad. What could be better than that?

This salad would make a perfect light summer meal or an easy side dish. Cooking the pasta takes the longest, and everything else can be prepped while it’s cooking. I absolutely love the combination tastes and textures in this salad.


  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 to 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound skin-on, boneless chicken breasts 
  • 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices focaccia or whole-wheat Italian bread
  • 4 romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish



Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Make the dressing: Chop 2 garlic cloves and puree with 1/2 cup olive oil, the anchovies and lemon juice in a blender until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Pound the chicken with a mallet or heavy skillet until about 1/8 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tablespoon of the Caesar dressing. Grill the chicken until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Brush the bread with olive oil on both sides and grill, turning, until toasted, about 2 minutes. Rub with the remaining garlic clove. Brush the romaine with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the dressing and grill until marked, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Chop the lettuce and transfer to a bowl. Cut the bread and chicken into bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Toss with the remaining dressing, the parmesan, and pepper to taste. Garnish with more parmesan.



For some women, enrolling in an engineering course is like running a psychological gauntlet. If they dodge overt problems like sexual harassment, sexist jokes, or poor treatment from professors, they often still have to evade subtle obstacles like the implicit tendency to see engineering as a male discipline. It’s no wonder women in the U.S. hold just 13 to 22 percent of the doctorates in engineering, compared to an already low 33 percent in the sciences as a whole.

Nilanjana Dasgupta, from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, thinks that mentors—people who can give advice, share experiences, or make social connections—can dismantle the gauntlet, and help young women to find their place in an often hostile field.

In a year-long study—one of the strongest yet to look at the value of mentorship—Dasgupta showed that female engineering undergraduates who are paired with a female mentor felt more motivated, more self-assured, and less anxious than those who had either no mentor or a male one. They were less likely to drop out of their courses, and keener to look for engineering jobs after they graduated. “Often, science is messy and things don’t turn out neatly,” Dasgupta says. But in this study, “it was very gratifying how clean the results were.”

She sees mentors as “social vaccines.” Just as medical vaccines prepare the immune system to deal with infections, good mentors inoculate the mind against the stultifying effects of negative stereotypes. “And this study isn’t just about women,” adds Radhika Nagpal, from Harvard University. “It’s about all the groups who have been historically and legally excluded and are now slowly entering the world from which their members were barred. There’s a famous saying: You can’t be what you can’t see.”

“The mentors helped to straighten these arcs that, by default, veer towards exclusion and attrition.”

Between 2011 and 2015, Dasgupta and her colleague Tara Dennehy recruited 150 women who enrolled in the university’s engineering course and randomly assigned them to either a female mentor, a male mentor, or no mentor. The mentors were all high-performing senior students who shared the same majors as their mentees. After a brief training session, they were asked to meet with their charges once a month, and help them to wrestle with academic problems, develop long-term plans, find a social network, and more.

A year later, Dennehy and Dasgupta surveyed the volunteers. Compared to their mentor-less peers, the students with female mentors felt more accepted by their peers and less invisible. They were more confident in their engineering skills and more likely to think they had a talent for the subject. They were more likely to think that their ability to overcome their academic challenges outweighed the stress and uncertainty they felt.

“It’s not that having a female mentor increased belonging or confidence—it just preserved it,” Dasgupta notes. This is a critical point. Without any mentorship at all, the volunteers felt increasingly anxious, under-confident, and out of the place through the year. But the mentors helped to straighten these arcs that, by default, veer towards exclusion and attrition.

That has long-term effects. As the months wore on, Dennehy and Dasgupta found that women without mentors increasingly thought about switching majors, and became less keen on pursuing graduate degrees in engineering. By the end of the first year, 11 percent of them had dropped out. By contrast, the students with female mentors remained equally committed to their fields, and every single one of them stayed the course.


Why? The answer had nothing to do with academic performance: The students’ actual grades had no bearing on their odds of staying in engineering. Instead, “the active ingredients are belonging and confidence,” says Dasgupta. “Humans are social animals. Our ability alone doesn’t determine whether we stay in or leave a field. It’s ability mixed in that feeling that these are your people, this is where you belong. Absent, that even high-performers might not feel motivated to stay.” Which makes you wonder: How many brilliant minds have been lost from engineering and other STEM disciplines because those disciplines didn’t create spaces for them?

Dennehy and Dasgupta also found that male mentors were somewhat of a mixed bag. In some measures, they were just as effective as female mentors. In others, they were indistinguishable from having no mentor at all. And in some cases, they were worse: They actually increased women’s anxiety about their performance over time.

Why? Dasgupta expected that the female mentors would provide more social and emotional support—but that wasn’t the case. The mentors all kept diaries about their conversations with their mentees, and these revealed that both genders largely talked about the same kinds of academic problems. And the mentees themselves felt that the male mentors were just as supportive and available as the female ones. Instead, Dasgupta speculates that the men just couldn’t act as role models in the same way that other women could, and so couldn’t catalyze those all-important feelings of belonging.

That’s not to say that the men have no role to play. “They could connect women to other women in engineering, or to female faculty who could do the work of social belonging in a way that the male mentors can’t provide themselves,” Dasgupta says.

Lin Bian from the University of Illinois, who recently showed that gendered stereotypes about intelligence take root at the young age of 6, says that Dasgupta’s study reveals how “role models inoculate women against negative beliefs during critical transitions.” The start of college is one such transition—a point when life gets upended, and when people feel a surge of uncertainty about their place in the world. That’s when mentoring can make the most difference.

“It makes an incredible case for near-peer mentoring to increase the graduation rate of women in engineering degree programs,” says Sheila Boyington, the president of the Million Women Mentors initiative. “While much of the study is indeed intuitive, it affirms a well-defined path forward for universities to follow if they want to increase diversity in STEM.”

And although mentoring is just one of many possible solutions, “it’s not an either-or situation,” says Nagpal. “We need to do everything, like mentoring, fighting sexist exclusionary behaviors, training men to behave better, and investing money in better practices. We need to make up for a century of neither-nor.”

Source: The Atlantic

Maria Teresa Ruiz is a South American, born in Santiago de Chile on September 24, 1946. She is a born academician and her heart beat towards her work is amazing and worthy of emulation.

In 1975, she obtained a PhD in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University, making her the first woman to study astronomy at the University of Chile. Professor Maria reveres her scholarly goals and she wears her job like a dress. She is a trailblazer and a goal getter with a great impact on the academic space of Chile.

In 1997, she was named National Science Prize after discovering the first “coffee dwarf”, stellar objects that do not have independent light. This discovery opened the understanding of many individuals in the academic field. On this account, she was recognized and her fame traveled amongst other scientists in Chile.

After her work on physical sciences, Professor Maria received an international award at the 19th Women in Science Awards Ceremony that held in Maison de la Mutualité in Paris, France.


Professor Maria is also the first woman to receive her country’s National Award for Exact Sciences. She obtained an employment structure of tenure-track position at the University of Chile Astronomy Department. Shortly after, she was made a full-time professor at Universidad de Chile where she still works and directs as Center for Astrophysics and Associated.

She is a member of the Centro de Astrofísica CATA (CATA Centre for Astrophysics).

Professor Maria has written over 200 publications on science and 5 astronomy books that have been published for the general public. Currently, she works as a professor of astronomy at the University of Chile and she is a member of the Chilean Academy of Science.

As a humanitarian and political crisis in neighbouring Venezuela deepens, a growing number of Venezuelan women are working in bars and brothels across Colombia.

“I didn’t do this in Venezuela. I never ever imagined I’d be doing this in Colombia,” said Maria, who declined to give her real name, to Reuters.

She charges $17 for 15-minutes of sex, and the money earned is spent on buying medicine for her mother who has cancer.

For the past year, she has travelled back and forth from Bogota to Venezuela’s capital Caracas every 90 days, before her tourist visa expires, carrying medicine, food, and soap.

“I’m ashamed I have to do this. It’s a secret,” said Maria, 26, who has told her family she is a travelling salesperson.

Venezuelan migrants are often lured by false promises of well-paid work in Colombia’s restaurants and bars or as domestic workers.

But then they find they are forced to work long hours with little or no pay, are not free to leave the bar they work in and may be trapped by debts owed to the agents who brought them across the border.

According to Asmubuli, a Colombian sex workers association, currently, there are around 4,500 Venezuelan sex workers in the country.

Fidelia Suarez, head of the sex workers association, cited the case of 11 Venezuelan women trapped in a dingy bar in Colombia’s northern city of Bucaramanga. At first, she said, the women were allowed to come and go as they pleased, but in February the bar owner seized their documents, withheld their wages, and prevented them from leaving the bar.

“That’s slavery,” said Suarez, who has visited the bar. “They are enslaved there, under the conditions and rules decided by the owner, which aren’t legal.”

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia in the past year, as triple-digit inflation, a collapsed health system and weeks of violent protests engulfs oil-rich Venezuela.

As prostitution is legal in Colombia it makes it difficult for society to see sex workers as victims of trafficking, and a blurry line often exists between those who voluntarily engage in adult prostitution and those coerced into sex work.

It’s not just women who say they have no option but to sell their bodies for sex, but young Venezuelan men too.


Dorian, 25, started working in Bogota’s Lourdes Park about two weeks ago.

“It’s disappointing. I’m disappointed in myself,” said Dorian, a business studies university graduate unable to find a job and with no money to pay for rent and food.

He left Venezuela six months ago after a close friend was shot dead by gang members on his way home from a party.

“It could have been me. I knew then that I had to flee, that I was in danger,” said Dorian, dressed in tight white trousers.

“The economic instability, the insecurity in Venezuela, it all becomes unbearable.”

Source: FOX News