Advancement of Women – July 7, 2017

The future of female tech leadership is thriving—in the United Arab Emirates

Quartz – July 3, 2017: Women in tech have it tough, working in often-offensive bro cultures that dominate much of the industry… Yes, it’s true that the Middle East has its fair share of challenges: According to the World Bank, 13 of the 15 countries with the lowest rate of female participation in the workforce are in the Arab world. However, what makes the UAE so unique to both the region and the world is women’s participation in tech leadership. In 10 Arab countries surveyed by UNESCO, women graduating in STEM subjects represented 34% to 57% of graduates—much higher than the Western world. On top of that, 35% of internet entrepreneurs in the Arab world are women, compared to 10% worldwide.


Anti-terrorism sailor earns Navy Times Service Member of the Year honorable mention

Navy Times – July 4, 2017: Clay is an Honorable Mention for the 2017 Navy Times Sailor of the Year competition.

Since 2015, Maggie Clay has been stationed at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, where she has served as an anti-terrorism planner attached to the 628th Security Force Squadron… In this role, Clay oversees the anti-terrorism program for 60 Defense Department and federal agencies, servicing a total population of over 86,000 people. The responsibility of protection resting on her shoulders amounts to $5.2 billion of physical infrastructure across 23,000 acres.

It’s a job that has grown more central to the Navy’s mission in recent years since the spate of terrorist attacks on military bases, including the shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2015 that killed four Marines and a sailor.

A recipient of six Navy Achievement Medals, Clay was selected in 2016 as both the Naval Support Activity Charleston Sailor of the Year and the Women in Defense Palmetto Chapter Military Woman of the Year for contributions to national security and for a dedication to the advancement of women in the military.

In 2013, she earned the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center Sailor of the Year. Petty Officer Clay is also one of only a handful of sailors to receive the Air Force Achievement Medal, which she earned for her actions in supporting emergency operations during Hurricane Matthew.

Meet Zeerak, a new muppet on Afghanistan’s ‘Sesame Street’ who promotes gender equality

Los Angeles Times – July 5, 2017: Afghan television executives are taking innovative strides to prompt a change of heart about gender equality, particularly among the nation’s youngsters. Say hello to Zeerak, a goofy-grinned, bespectacled marionette donning a traditional shalwar kameez and a waistcoat embroidered with Afghanistan’s national colors.

Zeerak is the most recent addition to the cast of “Baghch-e-Simsim” — Afghanistan’s hugely successful, localized version of “Sesame Street” — and only the second Afghan muppet to join the ranks of internationally beloved favorites such as Big Bird and Elmo.

The masterminds behind “Sesame Street” crafted Zeerak’s character for a joint purpose: to teach viewers the value of an education, as well as the value of an educated woman. The show’s official Twitter account introduced the “Sesame Street” newbie with a tweet that read: “Zeerak is a friendly 4-year-old who admires his big sister, Zari!” (Zari made her “Sesame Street” debut last year as the show’s first-ever Afghan character.) The TV show’s producers hope that Zeerak’s reverence for Zari — a sharp, sweet young girl who is largely characterized by her enthusiasm for learning and career-focused ambition — will instill in young boys the idea that women’s place in society extends beyond the home.

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