Today is Veteran’s Day and we’re saluting the “boss ladies” who’ve dedicated their careers to defending their homelands.
According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs:
Women veterans are the fastest growing group within the veterans’ population
There are almost two million women veterans
Nearly 20 percent of today’s active armed forces are women
One in four women have experienced MST (Military Sexual Trauma)
2009-2010 saw a 141 percent increase in the number of homeless female veterans
The VA has created a Woman Veterans Call Center: (855) 829-6636 (1-855-VAWOMAN) Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p,m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Any calls made to the Center are free and confidential and women veterans can access a wide range of programs that address concerns about health care or help them secure housing, educational loans and grants, or get help with other issues they encounter related to their military service.
Chime For Change is the brainchild of Gucci’s fearless frontwoman Frida Giannini in partnership with Salma Hayek-Pinault and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (the latter two whose surnames reflect their stance on equal rights for the ladies). It is a global campaign aimed at raising funds and awareness in support of projects for girls and women around the world.
“I am proud to be joining the growing international movement on behalf of girls and women around the world,” says Hayek-Pinault. “I believe that by working together we can change the course of history to ensure that girls and women are empowered to realize their potential and thrive.”
Earlier today it was announced during a press conference in London Beyoncé will headline a concert there on Saturday June 1 in support of the campaign, with guest performers including Rita Ora, Florence and the Machine, Ellie Goulding and Australia’s own Iggy Azalea. Dubbed “The Sound Of Change Live,” the concert will also show inspirational short films and stories highlighting women’s global issues.
“Our goal is to call for change for girls and women in the loudest voice possible,” said Mrs Knowles-Carter. “I am excited for us to come together on June 1 to bring the issues of education, health and justice for girls and women to the world stage.”
Tickets go on sale at 9am tomorrow, Northern Hemisphere time (Wednesday March 27). There will also be the option to choose which charity ticket sales will be donated to as Gucci is graciously covering the show’s expenses.
I’ve always been fascinated with Jordan’s royal family and in particular, Queen Rania.
Because we live in a world where people from the Middle East are looked upon with suspicion by even the most moderate Westerners, my heart is always filled with pride when representatives as graceful and relatable as Queen Rania stand at the forefront.
The 42-year-old was born Rania Al-Yassin to Palestinian parents in Kuwait (she’s a fellow Virgo). Ranked the most beautiful consort (queen by marriage) in the world by Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 2011, Rania’s looks are not her only outstanding feature. The tertiary-educated wife of King Abdullah II is passionate and outspoken on a variety of causes both inside and outside Jordan. Her outreach to the world via social networking (her Twitter, Facebook and YouTube pages have millions of subscribers) where she encourages people to discuss cross-cultural dialogue, education and more recently, the use of social media to create social change, have made her (in the words of Oprah), “a modern monarch on a mission.” Using her YouTube channel in particular to openly discuss pertinent issues, Rania often holds sessions with the public to respond to questions about various Middle Eastern and Muslim stereotypes. She’s posted numerous videos on subjects that include honor killings, terrorism and the rights of Arab women.
Using an example from her own childhood and surely many other young people from diverse backgrounds, the Queen released her first book in 2010, The Sandwich Swap, a story of two best friends (“Lily” and “Salma”) who argue over the ‘yucky’ taste of their respective peanut butter and jelly and hummus sandwiches and then overcome and embrace their differences. The Sandwich Swap went to the top of the New York Times Bestseller list that year. “Girls really have the power to transform societies,” Rania shares during a promotional appearance on The View during that time.
A mother of four with countless foreign decorations and prestige positions for organizations such as UNICEF, Rania is a role model for all young women across the globe and in particular, the millions of Middle Eastern girls she represents so fiercely. Shukran, Queen!