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Hi lady!

Running late for dinner? Too tired to cook? Ouch!

How about we make this fun? And dinner  is served quicker with minimal or no stress at all?

Introducing you to the Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker which helps you to control your cooking anywhere with your smartphone.

Slow cookers have always won a place in the heart of many cooks as it is less stressful and allows the cook manage other chores while cooking.

Slow cookers have the slogan of ‘’Cook all Day While the Cook’s Away’’.

There are times when the cook is inevitably late coming home.  It could be an unexpected traffic build up on your way home or the kid’s baseball game goes into extra innings. Having a smart Crock-Pot comes in handy at times like this.

The use of Crock-Pots began in the ’40s inspired by the inventor’s grandmother. However, slow cooker has not been this magical until the addition of WeMo technology which has made life even more convenient for all women. Now, with this device, you don’t need to be frustrated about looking after your baby while cooking or going to the grocery store to get something while you are still cooking. All you need to do is get a WeMo Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker that helps you to cook anywhere you are, using your smartphone.

With Crock-Pot Smart Slow Cooker, you can turn the temperature of your cooking pot up or down (or even turn the device off) remotely with your smartphone. You can also monitor the progress of your meal and let people know when it is ready, even if you are not there.

This app allows you to know how much cooking time is left; helps you to adjust your cooking time and/or temperature so your tried-and-true slow-cooked dinners won’t turn to mush. You can trust this device to do the magic you want while you take your time.

 

How it works?
The smart Crock-Pot connects to your Wi-Fi at home or a friend’s house. It syncs up with the WeMo app, and you can use the app to do all sorts of things, such as setting or changing the cook time, monitor what is cooking and even control the temperature.

You can even shift to warm or turn off your Crock-Pot remotely; it also has a six-quart capacity, meaning there’s plenty of room to cook just about any dish.

Having done all this, Dinner is ready!

Daphna Nissenbaum and Plastics Revolutionization

Good thoughts bring beautiful ideas, innovations, unique inventions and lots of creations. People who do not engage their minds to think are actually living their lives on waters. Wondering if this is true?

Think about the heroes and heroines of today. None of them got their ideas without thoughts, fantasies, imaginations, assumptions and even dreams. But in every act, whether through imaginations or thinking, the mind was engaged.

The entrepreneurial journey of Daphna Nissenbaum started on the platform of deep thinking and productive curiosity. Having received her children back from school on a certain day, she realised that one of her sons did not come back with his bottle of water. She was worried because it drew her attention to the millions of “plastic bottles lying at the bottom of the ocean for hundreds of years” without any remedy to its usage.

This got her worried and she kept thinking of a solution. She asked herself, “what can I throw into the waste bin without guilt?” this question was all she needed to end her days of worries, the answer was bio-degradable. These are organic matter in waste that can be decomposed into carbon dioxide, water, methane or simple organic molecules by either micro-organisms or other living things using composting or aerobic digestion.

“Then it hit me!” she said, “What if I put water in a bag, a bio-degradable bag? And like an orange, we will eat or drink the content of the package, disposing of the package into the organic waste stream. The package will then decompose and go back to nature. If that happened, I wouldn’t have to worry anymore about my kids not bringing their water bottles home!”

At this stance, she was ready to solve a world environmental problem of pollution. Glad about her remedy, she began to draft her plans.

However, she was the CEO of a research center on capital markets and had worked as a software engineer at different times previously. Venturing into packaging plastics was a new deal for her, but she had this perfect idea of making beverage bags out of bio-degradable. This was new and very big and she was ready to take the bull by its horn by giving it all it takes to bring it to actualization.

She met with her co-founder and discussed her idea to him, they set out to design perfect packaging bags that could be used by school children and students, athletes, adults and many others who consume contents of packaged products. They also went as far as hiring bio plastic experts to help them find the appropriate material that could be used for the bags.

“After six months they came back to us and said that there was no biodegradable material on the market that was suitable for the bags. They suggested we come back in few years and make the same inquiry.

We thought to ourselves: well, humanity landed on the moon, so how difficult can it be to make this bio-degradable bag? We had no idea then, how difficult this could be. That’s how Tipa, our company, was founded,” she said.

Obviously, the establishment of Tipa did not come on a bed of roses it took time, research, energy and a lot to bring Tipa to existence, considering how rare it is to gather degradable. But Daphna had a vision, she was not ready to give up, she knew that it will not only solve the problem of her children littering packaging plastics around but will reduce the amount of waste that is gotten from food packaging industries.

But as she continued to search for measures to tackle the challenge that seems to be limiting her prospective engagement, she realised two key things, “The first was that it isn’t that easy to develop a flexible biodegradable packaging solution.

The gap between conventional plastic and biodegradable plastic is quite big and challenging. The second realisation was that the problem of bio-degradable or recyclable packaging was most prominent in the flexible packaging segment of the market, a segment that is huge and growing.

I then understood that my kids’ water bottles were actually the smaller part of the problem, a drop in the ocean of the packaging industry…” she thought.

Plastics are equipment used by industries to package beverages over several decades, and it is very convenient and easy to use. But the pollution that comes along with them is very deteriorating because they litter the surrounding and cannot decompose even in many years to come. they can only be moved from one place to another put them away will mean burning or burying which are not better solutions either.

A possible solution is recycling but this method is very limited. It is limited to just the rigid packaging, such as bottles. The other flexible packages because they aren’t made from polymer and they are made of several layers of materials, they are not recyclable.

This is a huge problem because the amount of waste that is produced by the food industry is huge, Food-related plastics waste makes up 66% of the volume of plastics waste and 50% of the weight of total packaging waste. Yet there is no appropriate solution to this problem because more food is being packaged and more waste are generated.

This is the point where Tipa plans to dominate. The vision of Tipa is to Create a compostable future for flexible packaging. According to Daphna, “Imagine that your package was just like an orange peel, you eat or drink your food and your package just goes into the organic waste stream. It would decompose in the same way as organic waste and leave nothing (except fertiliser) behind.

Tipa’s packaging is bio-based and fully compostable. It offers a compostable package that feels like plastic, looks like plastic and has the properties of traditional plastic. There’s just one difference – at the package’s end of life, it is fully compostable.”

Nonetheless, biodegradable products are now being produced more than before, in form of waste bags, shopping bags, disposable utensils, etc. So, Daphna’s company is engaged in creating similar compostable plastic and bringing new properties to the material with the aim of “making the experience of choosing Tipa products seamless”.

Tipa’s packaging solution offers a way to treat packaging like an organic waste, like a creation of nature, like an orange peel. This is a new way of thinking and handling our packaging waste. The infrastructure is there – we just have to integrate into it.

I believe that in the future the only place for flexible packaging will be in the food waste stream, and this is where it ought to be. Get into the compost system, decompose, and go back to nature.  Just like an orange peel. In this future world, the piles of plastic that we use for packaging will disappear within a short time. The world will take care of its waste. This is the legacy I would love to leave for generations to come,” said Daphna.

Cynthia had gone for her routine workout that morning when she caught sight of Kayode jogging beside her and urging her to keep pace.  As they shook hands when they both stopped to catch their breath, there was an instant connection. As they got talking, Cynthia realized she might just have found the “one” and Kayode too said he “had never felt love like this before. In the next couple of months, they were inseparable.

Picture Source: mcscooby

Kayode was eager to introduce Cynthia to his older sister Kate, who was his only relative in town. A date was fixed and Cynthia could not wait to meet her future sister in-law as they were already discussing marriage. They ‘’couple’’ arrived Kate’s house and as the doorbell rang and Kate opened the door, Kayode watched in astonishment as his older sister flew into Cynthia’s arms screaming “ Aunty Cynthia”.

To wrap up the story, Cynthia had been Kate’s school mother in secondary school and was 3 years older than Kate (her fiancé elder sister).  In fact, as Kate will derogatorily put it, “Cynthia, this is Kayode that used to run around naked when we go to my house during our hostel outing days. Remember how he used to cry, wanting to follow us back to school those days? And how we will buy him ice cream to distract him and sneak out’’?  That began a long road of emotional and physical blackmail from Kayode’s family to Cynthia.

Now, Kayode was a focused young man who knew what he wanted and fought for it. 1 year later,  albeit the opposition from his family, he married Cynthia. She was 7 years older. 10 years down the line, Kayode described his marriage to Cynthia as the best decision he had ever made in life.

With an online statistics showing that the man is older in 64% of heterosexual couples, an age gap in which the woman is significantly older in a relationship is still somewhat unusual in most cultures. Notwithstanding this cultural objection, more and more couples with significant age differences are getting together and building successful families. This article highlights

7 Positives of Marrying an Older Woman.

  1. Sexual Compatibility –It is generally believed that women’s sexual hormones peak in their 30s while men peak at 18. How is this case for marrying an older woman? Well, since women reach their sexual peak much later in life than men, this might make a younger man and an older woman to be perfectly in sync sexually. Moreso, older women know what they want sexually and are not shy of letting their partners know. Ever wondered how the word ‘’cougars’’ came to be?
  2. Wisdom – An older woman has heard all the pickup lines and can more easily tell if a potential partner is genuine or not. An older woman can give you excellent financial and career advice that a younger woman or a woman your age might not have. Experience is still the best teacher.
  3. Maturity-She has had her fair share of life’s issues which tends to give one a certain kind of maturity. She is less likely to pick a fight over trivias and not as likely to have an affair as she should have gotten that out of her system.
  4. Better Parenting- Parenting requires great experience and maturity. Dealing with tantrums, emergency health issues and setting boundaries all require great maturity. A 40-something is more likely to have that maturity than a 20-something. She must have nurtured a lot of nieces and nephews and have garnered all the experience which will make parenting easier for both of you.
  5. Financial Stability- The older woman is more likely to be financially stable and less likely to depend on her partner for her financial needs. They are skewed entrepreneurs and more likely to give more attention to detailSo marrying an older woman will help you have shared responsibilities financially. An experienced career wife can offer her mate confidential career advice that may not be possible from peers.
  6. Social Poise – Older women are more poised in social gatherings and are less likely to cause an embarrassment to their partners at a social function.  They are mostly very polished, dignified, and trustworthy.
  7. Health compatibility– According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics, women live 5 years longer than men and are less likely to die of any of the top ten leading cause of death. This is not lifestyle depended, but caused by biology. So it is safe to say a man whose partner is 5 years older is married to his physiological equal. There are more than 5 widows for every widower alive. So a man who marries a woman five years or some older will realize later in life that they are health peers and will fade away together.

Now you know marrying an older woman is not all bad news as society will have us belief. Age is an issue of mind over matter, if you don’t mind, then it doesn’t matter.

Choose rightly!

Kembet Bolton

Several years ago, we could say that there was a huge career gap between the genders all over the world. More women were involved in caregiving roles, family functions, and specific jobs which were considered suitable for women (because of the deeply rooted feminine features, and ability to multi-task within somewhat stress-free subtleties) such as teaching, nursing, and catering. Women were regarded as the “weaker sex” as they were generally considered incapable of keeping up with roles that involved security, physical strength and might, and an all-around mental/emotional stability.

The men, on the other hand, were seen as protectors, leaders, and builder who in most cases, have things figured out. This notion was born out of a close study of natural occurrences over time and not particularly because a certain category of the individual was selected to be marginalized. A meta-analysis concluded that men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people.

In the past in developing continents like Africa and Asia, customs and traditions dictated the roles of each member of the society. For instance, in rural African communities where communal living was the structure upon which they were built, girls were groomed to be home keepers and in order to avoid distractions, they weren’t sent to school. At that time, the only medals a woman could get revolved around being responsible through marriage, being a good home keeper (which included the proper training of her girl children), and the act of submission as a wife. Short of these, she was limited in vision not because she couldn’t dream big dreams, but rather because she didn’t even know what to dream about. Her society had made her short-sighted to the possibilities of career paths.

It was not the men that limited her by relegating her to the background and seizing choice jobs in exotic places. No! it was cultural norms passed down from one generation to the next. The custodians of these norms didn’t know any better. They saw a weaker sex and not the strength capable of causing socioeconomic development across nations of the world.

An article by Rebecca Onion titled “Unclaimed Treasures of Science “, reveals that as far back as the Cold War, there were already women in STEM in the developed countries. The official government line during the Cold War was: STEM careers for everyone! But as historians Margaret Rossiter and Sevan Terzian have pointed out, that push for science, technology, engineering, and math conflicted with gender norms and discriminatory institutional practices, resulting in a confusing set of mixed messages for women and girls. A book by historian Laura Micheletti Puaca titled “Searching for Scientific Womanpower: Technocratic Feminism and the Politics of National Security, 1940-1980 buttresses this point. Puaca wrote about female scientists, engineers, and educators who used innovative tactics to help women succeed in STEM, long before second-wave feminism in the late 1960s and the 1970s made issues of employment equity and stereotyping part of the national conversation.

According to the historian, World War II gave women their starting point. During the war, demands for more of what was often called “scientific manpower” and a shortage of civilian male workers prompted government and industry to start programs to train women in science and engineering. But when men returned from the service, women’s status in STEM fields worsened. The GI Bill sent a flood of male students to American universities, and opportunities—both for women who had gotten quick wartime training and for more established female scientists—dried up.

Importance of having women in STEM

It goes without saying that it has become a necessity to have more women in the STEM fields with the rush of digitalization consuming the world. The coming years will see massive changes in all sectors of the economy and nations of the world need to be prepared for this surge. Women constitute up to half of the world’s population, they are ready to be involved in developmental activities and should be put to good use. In addition, STEM-related organizations and groups must be commended for their relentless efforts towards encouraging a greater participation of women and girls in STEM fields and activities.

The way forward

Despite the successes already recorded regarding women participation in STEM activities, there is a lot of work to be done.

Mentors: There is the need for a greater support and encouragement from mentor figures. This will go a long way in women’s decisions of whether or not to continue pursuing a career in their discipline.

This may be particularly true for younger individuals who may face many obstacles early in their careers. Since these younger individuals often look to those who are more established in their discipline for help and guidance, the responsiveness and helpfulness of potential mentors are incredibly important.

Cultural Exchange: Another way to spike up the number of women in STEM is through Cultural exchanges.

It is true that some tribes and races have cultural barriers which may affect their decisions, cultural exchange programmes should be incorporated in those systems to enlighten such communities on the benefits of having women who are self-reliant.

By: Eruke Ojuederie

Examining the life of a Woman and her journey in S.T.E.M, you will find that almost everything she ever did from the stone age till date has had some elements of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, which in today’s world is referred to as S.T.E.M.

Now, when we think about S.T.E.M and related jobs, we envision Physicists, Aeronautic Engineers, Software Developers, Biotechnologist, Medical Doctors and the likes. We tend to see more men in these fields and it is only natural to assume that men have always dominated these fields. This is not completely true, women have always been in the S.T.E.M field from the beginning of time, however, their contributions have not been adequately recognized or commended. Some may argue that this lack of appreciation may have contributed to the decline in the number of girls interested in S.T.E.M fields.

In this edition, we are looking at certain factors that make up the S.T.E.M disciplines and how much women have contributed to them over the years.

Let’s take a closer look at the genesis of machinery, which we identify as “technology” today, and the invention of some household products; we would find that long before we had modern-day science to create new and easier methods of performing household chores and activities, women had always performed all these activities without the use of technology.  Women washed, cooked, cared for the daily health needs of their family, devised means to preserve foods etc.

Women changed the world through S.T.E.M in areas like:

Research: Many simple things that have been modified today for daily use, were as a result of women’s discoveries, for example, researchers from the ACI, while describing the origin of soaps, state that women found that a slippery mixture of melted animal fat (or tallow), washed down from Mount Sapo (sapo: the name from which the name soap is derived), the mountain where animals were sacrificed, made their wash much cleaner without much effort, this led to the discovery and manufacture of soap. Maybe we owe the amazing feel of clean fresh washed clothes to women.

Technology: Have you ever wondered whom to thank when you’re getting your coffeemaker ready for your first cup of the day? Melitta Bentz was a German Housewife and entrepreneur who invented the coffee filter in 1908. Bentz modified the old tedious method of coffee brewing to a new method. She received a patent for her coffee filter system in 1908 and founded a business that still exists today.

Looking further into how certain tasks were achieved in the past, you would see that there was quite a very strong influence of the women community in how things were done.

Women such as Ellen Eglin an African-American who during the 1800’s invented a clothes wringer, which started the mechanization of the uncomfortable but predominant method of hand washing. Her invention would be further modified as washing machines today.

Eglin sold her patent to a “white person interested in manufacturing the product” for $18. The buyer went on to reap considerable financial awards, while Eglin, disadvantaged in colour and gender, spent her life making a living as a housekeeper and a government clerk.

Going back to the past, and women’s’ contributions to the S.T.E.M field, let’s take a look at the subject of water purification. A scientific process, pioneered by a woman Hypatia.

Chemistry: Hypatia lived in Alexandria Egypt from 350–370 died 415 AD; she was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician. She taught philosophy and astronomy and is recorded as the first female mathematician whose life is reasonably well documented. Hypatia was one of the scientific pioneers that introduced the distillation of water which has now become a common activity in every household. Easy as it now seems, it was considered a scientific exploit meant to make a substance purer than its original state. A process made possible by the contributions of a woman, and not many people have heard of her.

In tackling this issue of how much influence or participation women had in S.T.E.M in the past, it can also be viewed be from a very unconventional point of view. Take Alchemy, (defined by the urban dictionary as a form of chemistry before the periodic table, and speculative philosophy practiced in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance which was aimed at transmutation of the base metals into gold) – some called it magic.  During the time of the alchemist, women had far more reputable standing especially in the depth of their research when compared to men in the field of alchemy. Something their male colleagues did not particularly like.

A good example of such a woman is Marie le Jars de Gournay, who was not allowed to receive the same education in science as her brothers. Blessed with an inquisitive mind, she was able to teach herself Latin and later went on to edit academic manuscripts. As a fully-grown woman and with all the knowledge she had acquired, she became the first female mineralogist and mining engineer.

She later moved to Paris, where she tried her hands at alchemy and published books expressing her views on how women were very much capable of creating a career for themselves in science-related fields like men. During her practice of alchemy, in a time when people still believed in magical creatures and witchcraft. Marie who was very proud of her work ignored the advice of people who cautioned her to stay away from mining. Her bold refusal to give up her practice had her accused of witchcraft and imprisoned, she died in jail at age eighty (80). How dare she thrive in a ‘Man’s’ field, poor Marie.

Isabelle Cortese is another remarkable Alchemist who lived during the sixteenth century in Italy. She chronicled her discoveries in her book titled “The Secrets of Signora Isabella Cortese”. Among her discoveries include; practical methods of perfume production; the production of essential oils and methods of melting metals to make durable jewellery. Most of her works are still in use today.

Innovation: In the area of manufacturing, we have Margaret E. Knight, she was born February 1838, in York, Maine. Armed with only a basic education, she started as a mill worker at age 12. Witnessing an accident at the mill, where a worker was stabbed by a steel-tipped shuttle from a loom, Knight was prompted to invent a safety device for the loom – Her first invention. A device which was later adopted by other mills in Manchester. Several years later, Knight moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where she was hired by the Columbia Paper Bag Company; here she invented a machine that folds and glues paper to form the flat-bottomed brown paper bags familiar to shoppers today.

While Knight was still working to perfect the processing machinery, Charles F Annan, a would-be-inventor of dubious morality, tried to bully her out of her hard work, stealing her design, and patenting the device. Knight filed a successful patent interference lawsuit and in 1871, and she was awarded the patent. Before her death, Knight held over 20 patents and a decoration by Queen Victoria.  At the time of her death in 1914, an obituary described her as a “Woman Edison” A name which many people will come to remember her by. Somewhat dispiriting, to think that she needed a reference to male inventor for the value of her work to be understood?

Katharine Burr Blodgett is another remarkable woman, an American physicist, and chemist known for her work on surface chemistry. Blodgett contributed important research to military needs. Her work in chemistry resulted in her most influential invention: non-reflective glass. Her non-reflective glass is today, an essential for eyeglasses, car windshields, and computer screens. She was a pioneer in several respects, but how many know about her?

The list of women that have made remarkable contributions to various branches of S.T.E.M remain unending, however, the questions remain “What happened?”, “Where did it all change?”. Women had always been in the S.T.E.M field, what held them back to create the gap?

We can see that there was quite a large number of women who were genuinely interested in this field of study, but over time the number began to dwindle. Taking into consideration, the environmental, societal and mental factors that have come into play between then and now, we can begin to understand why women and girls are slowly losing interest in the S.T.E.M. community.

Some of the reasons include: They were not encouraged; they were held back by pressures; their efforts were sabotaged, and they are oftentimes not acknowledged for their contributions.

The most common is lack of Encouragement. Most cultures in the world have given a high level of dominance to the male-folks when it comes to studying S.T.E.M related courses. It is no new issue that some countries see the place of the woman solely in a domestic light. Little wonder girls who study in all girl’s schools tend to be more interested in the S.T.E.M field, and oftentimes outperform their co-ed counterparts. Psychologists found they have less discouragement and little or no negative comparison which their co-ed counterparts are regularly faced with.

What do we do?

Create an “I Can Do It” Atmosphere. In order to excite the minds young girls into studying S.T.E.M related courses, they need to be exposed to the right atmosphere. Vanessa Vakharia who runs The Math Guru science and math studio noted that one of the reasons for the low number of girls in science, is simple; many girls have come to believe that they do not have what it takes to be in S.T.E.M. She advises that incorporating a more psychological and critical means of approach would benefit the girls, especially while they are still trying to figure out who they are.  

Mentors and Role Models for Girls in S.T.E.M. The place of role models cannot be overemphasized when it comes to the girl child development, this cuts across all areas, education, workforce etc. Increasing access to S.T.E.M Mentors (women who have excelled in these fields) for the young girls, would go a long way toward building their self-confidence. Interaction with S.T.E.M mentors would serve as a confidence booster, and as a driving force towards achieving their goals.

Condition their minds. It’s quite common knowledge parents and guardians play an important role in preparing their children psychologically towards their career path. They can do this in various ways; for instance, introducing a variety of television programs that can help them identify what their kids are interested in – e.g. kids may show interest in S.T.E.M inclined programs like Doc McStuffins or Dexter’s Laboratory, which gives you an idea of where best to channel their energy

Other areas include; S.T.E.M inclined books, toys, fun activities like visiting the aquarium; that way you will awaken the marine biologist in them. You can also encourage your girls to participate in their school’s science exhibitions e.t.c.

While early school years can contribute to developing an interest in S.T.E.M in girls, parents can also work towards encouraging their kids with the littlest things in their surroundings. A little nudge once in a while can help create that enthusiasm to study.

S.T.E.M is a very broad and interesting study area and having more women interested in it will definitely be better for the world.

As parents, we find often find ourselves in a situation where we have to put our feet down and completely disagree with our teenage wards. It could be due to their late-night habits, rude retorts or simply avoiding daily chores. Have you ever wondered what your teenage daughter would choose if she was presented with the options to stay with you, or be emancipated?

Ariel Winter, an American actress and voice actress, popularly known for her role as Alex Dunphy in the comedy series Modern Family, earned her legal right to emancipation at 17, in 2015. As stories of her emancipation due to a complicated and somewhat strained relationship with her mother swarmed the media, it was sure to give mothers a great cause for concern.

Teenagers had a new weapon, they could threaten to file for emancipation and get away with mischief; Many parents wondered if they were getting it right with their teens; What I’m I doing wrong? I wish she would talk to me and not a stranger; some thought their daughter would choose to be emancipated if presented with that option.

In this article, Lauren Paige Kennedy Journalist and author of Keeping Mum: On Mothers & Mortality, tries to allay the fears of these mums with tips on 10 Things to Say to Your Teenage Daughter Who Wants to Be Emancipated. She writes:

We moms can’t help but recognize the all-but-universal dynamic between freedom-chasing teenagers and harried parents. Generations consistently clash over the obvious and mostly mundane: broken curfews, obnoxious boyfriends, snarky attitudes and that hidden stash of weed beneath the bed.

Still, you know what they say: God made teenagers so mothers would want to cut the apron strings – joke. Here’s how to answer your darling high school senior when she threatens to walk. (Try to restrain yourself from telling her to run.)

  1. You realize you’ll be doing your own laundry now, right? No more Mom to help sort, wash, dry and fold. So there, welcome to running out of clean underwear. Get used to it.

– Make her understand walking away means taking absolute responsibility for her wellbeing and giving up all that she is dependent on you for. Mummy cannot be all that bad, and chances are, she doesn’t have Ariel’s unlimited resources.

  1. Bills are not boys with the full name ‘William’. Guess what sweetie; those totally chic open-toed boots you love? The ones we remortgaged the house for? How ’bout those oversized nerd glasses that come in cherry red? Yeah. Guess what; they cost money. A credit card statement arrives each month. And someone’s got to pay it. That someone is now you.

– Now this may sound a bit exaggerated, Lauren is simply saying, refer her to the bills. Money does not fall from trees, it is earned.

  1. Just because you can write a check does not mean you can write a check. Yes, you do have hundreds of blank checks! No, this is not the same thing as having money in the bank!

– So, she thinks she has an unlimited supply of blank checks, she needs to know the money is drawn from someone income, and those blank checks ae sure cease when she becomes emancipated.

  1. Who will you scream at when I’m not around? Do I really need to elaborate on this one?

– Mum’s may sometimes seem like a neurotic bunch who just love to get on their nerves, but truth be told? They will miss you if they left.

  1. No, you can’t take the car. See No. 4. Ditto.

– They do borrow your car, jewelry and Gucci purse, let them know they can’t do that when they are gone. You are an adult, get yours.

  1. Sorry, I’ve got nothing in my wallet. Your allowance days are over, kid. You’re an emancipated adult now, remember? This means you must do every necessary task for yourself—for free.

– Again, let her know they days of extras from mum’s pocket are over.

  1. Does this mean I can finally turn your room into an office? I hate to say it, but I’ve been eyeing your corner bedroom for years now. The western exposure in the afternoons is to die for!

– Throw that in her face, you have other use for that corner room.

  1. The contents of the refrigerator cannot go with you. Oh! Wait. I take that back. You can have the Frescas.
  2. If you honestly believe managing Forever 21 at the mall is a better career move than going to college, by all means, suit yourself. I know. You’re almost 18. Almost old enough to vote, and certainly old enough to have a say in your own future. Yes, those amazing discounts you’ll soon get on lacy cami rompers and southwestern-style jumpsuits will help your bottom line, for sure. And it’s true, parking is free at the Galleria. I think you might soon grow bored earning minimum wage and eating Cinnabon every day for lunch, but what do I know? I’m only 30 years older than you, and your mother.

– This is very important, direction is the word; remind her who she wants to be, right now, she probably thinks being free of you would make her happy, paint a mental picture and ensure she understands it.

  1. Oh! Wait! You weren’t serious, were you? Sweetheart, don’t go. I only have a year or so of you before you really walk away and toward adulthood. And even when you roll your eyes at me and sigh heavily in my direction, please know this: You’re my favorite teenager in the world. And that’s really saying something because you’re 17 right now.

– Finally, do not forget to remind her, that you love her, and even when you do not agree, she is special and will always be. Let her understand that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

Lauren passes the message in a rather snacky way, but I bet the message is clear. “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” – Helen Keller

What better way to show someone that something is achievable than to point them in the direction of someone who actually did? Not just anyone but someone with a similar background as their own.

Despite the efforts of the women’s movement across the globe women are still largely marginalized in terms of their participation in political, economic and social processes that affect them the most. The 21st-century woman has found her voice yet the percentage of women having a powerful role in different sectors is not reflective of her efforts. She is still not paid enough and there are still sectors she is nervous to approach and this is partly because she has believed that certain goals are not possible to achieve.  At the same time venturing into a certain profession with no real guidance, no known success stories, no knowledge of what is required to succeed and no real motivation is a challenge for many young women. This is where role models such as Michelle Obama come in yet one of the biggest obstacles young women face is their absence.

What is a role model? A sociologist Robert K. Merton was the one who coined the term to describe the ways that people model sets of behaviours they admire in others. A role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success can be emulated by others, especially younger people.

So why should women have female role models?  Research has led to the conclusion that women benefit more from same-gender role models as compared to men. These are the people whom young women use to define their own identities, gauge their own potential and whose behaviour they will emulate. Let’s explore this idea in greater detail.

Confidence. It often feels intimidating to venture into new territory that no one (you know) has ventured before. It is easier to believe in the possibility of positive change if it happens to someone who had circumstances that are similar to your own. Female role models are important because they instill confidence in young women. Evidence has shown that exposure to female role models may be an effective way to induce more women to major in male-dominated fields. Accomplishments of women such as Barbara Askins – (an American chemist, known for her invention of a method to enhance underexposed photographic negatives, an invention used by NASA and the medical industry) in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) have instilled confidence in young women that they can successfully venture into the same field. A woman needs to see confidence, leadership, and accomplishment in other women in order to envision herself ad finally attain those qualities from these powerful, positive role models (Meier 2018). Jenny Willott; a British Member of Parliament was quoted by the Chartered Management Institute (2014) saying: “Role models encourage women to believe in their own abilities – from girls at school making decisions about their future, to young women starting their careers wondering how far they can get.” Hence female role models are important because they instill confidence in young women in that they quench the need these women have to see people like themselves succeeding in similar fields.

Inspiration through the provision of practical knowledge. “It is achievable. It is not too late for me.” This and similar positive outlooks are born from the inspiration that comes with female role models for young women. Hope is what keeps us alive. It is what drives us and determines our goals, plans subsequently our actions. Female role models such as Oprah Winfrey who rose above major hardships to become very influential are giving young women hope for a better future in different sectors. In the Lockwood and Kunda’s research (2006) demonstrated that an important part of the value of role models is that they are symbols of possibility and offering inspiration. Without female figures such as Serena Williams in the field of sports to look up to, girls miss out on the encouragement, inspiration, and exhilaration that can come from looking up to, and cheering for, a sports idol. (Huggins and Randell 2007) Examples of success stories provide young women with more easily imaginable visions of the success experienced by the role models hence in their minds it becomes attainable and replicable.

Learning from experiences. Female role models also provide the methodology towards success. Their experiences can answer the “How did you get there?” question. Young women can draw a lot of lessons through hearing how their role models came to face challenges and found the right solutions. These are the women who have successfully navigated the career these young women eventually hope to achieve. Looking at role models such as Thai Lee – the Korean American billionaire businesswoman, and president of SHI International, one can learn a lot from her life story and deduce lessons as to how she found herself at the top.

Enforce a positive view of women. Female role models are important in the changing of societal perceptions of women. With the birth of influential female role models, there has been a favourable shift in the societal perception of the role of women, which has led to increased participation in the formal labour employment and other economic activities. Female role models have often been the catalysts that challenge gender stereotypes. For example, through their achievements, elite female athletes dispel the misconception that sport is not biologically or socially appropriate for females. When more and more women are seen in the top of organizations and running high growth technology businesses, the more this will be regarded as the standard and a perfectly normal, and logical, path to choose.

Work beyond inspiring. Michelle Obama kick-started health, education, and other programs as soon as she got into the white house. This is but one of the examples of how female role models have been directly having a positive influence on the fight against poverty, exploitation, and oppression through their advocacy efforts. Nowadays most female role models advocate for opportunities for girls and other women.

Promotion of Ethical Leadership. Recently there has been a focus on the creation of ethical young leaders as part of developmental efforts with special attention being given to efforts in encouraging ethnic leadership in young women. Female role models are commonly expected to behave in an ethically extraordinary manner. It is often assumed that SRMs must be moral exemplars worthy of emulation.

Increased participation of women. Ultimately female role models lead to increased participation of young women. It is argued that ‘The use of high-profile female sports ambassadors and role models can [also] be effective in promoting female participation. More visible women as decision-makers as well as displayed female leadership skills may motivate women and girls, thus increasing female participation at all levels in sport (UN 2007).

Not all role models have a positive influence. Unfortunately, however, the term role model does not always entail positive influence. Young women encounter both positive and negative role models. Success does not necessarily translate into being a role model. Young women are then faced with a task to evaluate virtues, values, and expectations when looking at potential role models. 

The importance of female role models indeed cannot be undervalued. Female role models are important in the context of achieving gender equality and generally in the context of positive social change in society. In the end, there is nothing more powerful than the impact of a woman’s effort to uplift another.

By Karen Whitney Maturure
Harare, Zimbabwe