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AWIS in Action! December 2012 - M3
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AWIS In Action!

 Advocacy & Public Policy Newsletter   ~   December 2012
In This Issue
M3 The Maddening Monthly Mention
* TIME's Not On Our Side *
The old adage says that behind every successful man is a woman (or surprised wife or mother-in-law). As President Barack Obama has won TIME’s "Person of the Year”, again, it’s worth mentioning that no woman has won individually since Corazon Aquino, the first woman president of the Philippines, in 1986. Looking at previous "Person of the Year” winners, which started in 1927, there are a whole lot of presidents, and not a single first lady. I find that both surprising--our nation has had some pretty heavyweight first ladies in terms of influence--and also kind of frustrating.
A few women made the shortlist, and there are credible arguments for each of them. Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who stood up to the Taliban for her right to an education, is an awe-inspiring figure and currently somewhat of a poster child for the international women’s rights movement. Marissa Meyer, the computer scientist turned CEO, broke a serious glass ceiling this year, taking over Yahoo! while pregnant and generating some serious discussion about work life balance and the changing trends in American society. Speaking of former first ladies, Hillary Clinton’s star is a bit dimmer at the moment due to the Benghazi business, but she has been doing an admirable job balancing our Middle East interests during their upheaval for several years now as well as advancing women’s right’s internationally.
Nobody has seriously mentioned Michelle Obama. I suggest her, for apolitical reasons, because not only has she played a big role in the President’s success, but she is an incredible role model in her own right. She’s been an important part of the administration since he took office, but her campaign to fight childhood obesity, Let’s Move, is clever and, for the first year in decades, the tide is apparently starting to turn. Currently escalating health costs and a lack of personal culpability for the decisions made by individuals regarding their welfare are part of what are driving us to a financial breaking point. Teaching kids the value of eating well and getting exercise, with the aim of helping to establish a lifelong commitment to sensible decision making, couldn’t be more important.
So, TIME, next time you’re making these decisions, how about a little thought towards mixing it up? Nearly 90% of the people who voted on TIME’s website think Malala should have been "Person of the Year”. Just because women aren’t always the ones shouting the loudest doesn’t mean they aren’t creating or impacting the most significant of change.
In This Issue


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