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WMC News: the Women’s Media Awards, Leading Women, Refugees in Athens, Mothers of the Movement & mor

August 12, 2016

Jane Fonda to host Women's Media Awards Sept. 29 in NY; Special Appearance by Gayle King

Host Jane Fonda; Special Appearance by Gayle King

New York, NY, August 11, 2016 — The Women's Media Center is proud to announce that our 2016 Women’s Media Awards will this year be hosted for the first time by Jane Fonda, the two-time Academy Award-winning star of Netflix's “Grace and Frankie.” Gayle King, co-anchor of “CBS This Morning” and three-time Emmy winner, will give the opening remarks at the event.  

The announcement was made by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem, co-founders of the Women’s Media Center. The celebration will be held on September 29, 2016, at Capitale in New York City.

The Women’s Media Awards recognize and honor game-changers for women in media. By deciding who gets to talk, what creates the debate, who writes, and what is important enough to be visible, the media shapes our understanding of who we are and what we can be. The Women’s Media Awards shine a light on this important issue. More>>


Glass Cliffs and Gray Rhinos: Why a Crisis is Too Late to Pick a Woman to Lead

By Michele Wucker | August 9, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking over at a precarious time. Photo by Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images.Amid the chaos following the Brexit vote, Theresa May is Britain's new Prime Minister after her main opponent—also a woman—pulled out of the contest to lead the Conservative Party. In the corporate world, meanwhile, Marissa Mayer, hired in 2012 to turn Yahoo around, announced that the company would be sold to Verizon after her efforts to turn it around failed.

It’s no more a coincidence that a country and company in turmoil both looked to women to lead than it is that a last-ditch “Hail Mary Pass” effort involves a prayer to a woman.

Each of these situations involves the kind of highly probable, oncoming threat that I call a gray rhino: dangerous, large, and obvious—but like its relative, the highly improbable black swan, too often overlooked until it’s too late. When a company or country is facing down a gray rhino, the odds increase that a woman will be chosen to try to fix things. Why? The answer lies in another question entirely: Why are leaders so likely to wait to deal with obvious problems until the situation becomes desperate? More>>

Image description: British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking over at a precarious time. Photo by Niklas Halle'n/AFP/Getty Images.

'Solidarity is Stronger Than Fear': In Central Athens Exists a Buzzing Babel for Women Refugees

People come to learn Greek and do everything from art therapy to media workshops, By Lauren Wolfe/Director | August 11, 2016

Athens, Greece—Tucked away in the graffitied center of Athens is a soothing example of 1920s architecture. High ceilings and arched doorways lead to a stone-walled patio. The feeling inside is fresh on a sweaty day in Greece, with a breeze winding through tall, paneled windows. But it is the life inside, the laughter and chatter, that makes this a truly calming place.

In a city where refugees from different countries are known to ignore or even fight each other, women from Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, Morocco, and elsewhere cluster in groups and eat fried zucchini patties and salad prepared by a South African woman. They speak in various languages, filling up before an afternoon group therapy session and a workshop with a dance historian from New York. Called Melissa, this place is a refuge for many of the city’s temporary residents—migrants and refugees who are hoping to make their way onward in Europe (but can’t since the borders were closed on March 20). More than 260 members from at least 40 countries spend time at the center, which opened in July 2015. They take respite from feeling unsafe, from their tents in the city’s old Olympic park or elsewhere throughout Athens to learn Greek, draw, make photographs, and even do daily yoga with an instructor named Adeola Aderemi, whose classes were inspired by a UN yoga program for child soldiers in Rwanda.

I spoke with one of Melissa’s cofounders, anthropologist Nadina Christopoulou, about what makes this space different from other refugee centers (it is), why it’s called “Melissa” (“honeybee” in Greek), and how she handles dealing with so many terrible stories, day in and day out (her answer will give you hope). More>>

Image description: People come to learn Greek and do everything from art therapy to media workshops, “finding ways to navigate the city and plan life in a new place.” (Priyali Sur)


For Refugees in Greece, A Harsh Shift from Transit Country to Home

The Al-Ghateb family shows a photo of their youngest son, who is living in Germany while they remain in Greece. (Lauren Wolfe).By Lauren Wolfe/Director | August 8, 2016

Here was yet another family flung across the sea from Syria sitting in an air-conditioned, yet still stuffy, container that is their temporary home on the island of Samos in Greece. With so many of them having made it to the country together, the Al-Ghateb family stood out from the hundreds of single men and mothers with children at the camp. But despite their relative cohesion, like so many refugee families, they are incomplete. Two sons are living in Germany and two more remain in Syria, which the family fled months ago only to be waylaid at the Turkish border four times before making a successful sea crossing to Samos at the end of April.

Now, in the void refugees slip into upon arrival in a “safe” country—a place where they have been fingerprinted and wait the interminable time for asylum to be (hopefully) granted—they while away the time with little to do. It is the lot of refugees: boredom. More>>

Image description: The Al-Ghateb family shows a photo of their youngest son, who is living in Germany while they remain in Greece. (Lauren Wolfe).

The Powerful Message of Mothers of the Movement

Mothers of the Movement.By Vicki S | August 10, 2016

On Tuesday, July 26th, several mothers of police brutality victims spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. United by the organization Mothers of the Movement, the women joined together to speak about their purpose as a coalition and show support for Hillary Clinton.

Geneva Reed-Veal, mother of Sandra Bland, spoke first as audience members chanted “Black Lives Matter.” She commenced by talking about what it was like when her daughter was found hanging in her jail cell after an unlawful arrest one year ago. She went on to say the names of six other women who died in custody in the month of July of 2015, including Kindra Chapman, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, Joyce Curnell, and Alexis McGovern.

Lucia McBath, mother of Jordan Davis, continued. More>>

Image description: Mothers of the Movement.


Qandeel Baloch's Death Proves Misogyny is Still Lethal

Qandeel Baloch (Credit: Facebook)By David G | August 8, 2016

“I believe I am a modern day feminist,” Pakistani internet celebrity Qandeel Baloch wrote the day before her death, according to the Huffington Post. “I believe in equality. I need not to choose what type of women should be. I don’t think there is any need to label ourselves just for sake of society. I am just a women with free thoughts free mindset and I LOVE THE WAY I AM.”

On July 15th, Baloch was murdered by her brother, who confessed to killing her because she didn’t “stay home and follow traditions.” To be sure, Baloch was by no means a stereotypical paragon of “traditional” femininity. That she knew this, and was even proud of this, was evident from messages such as her aforementioned statement about feminism and the way she promoted herself on social media. In fact, this quality is arguably why she became a star: She didn’t intend to be a saint, but simply herself. Baloch defied long-held religious and cultural norms that suppressed the concept of a self-possessed woman, confident in her sexuality. More>>

Image description: Qandeel Baloch (Credit: Facebook)

WMC Live is on hiatus for August, but we return with all-new episodes on September 10. It’s a good time to catch up on past shows on iTunes or


This week WMC SheSource features experts on the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Delta computer crash, Donald Trump’s economic policy speech in Detroit, the bombing in the Pakistani city of Quetta, and Walmart buying

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