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Eight Key Takeaways: Women In The World Conference 2019

Eight Key Takeaways: Women In The World Conference 2019

Once again we attended the Women in the World conference. Here are some items we found most interesting or impressive:

Sarah McBride, a transgender woman, offered a wry and insightful comment on her status before and after she transitioned: “I had no idea I would come out of the closet only to be stuck in the kitchen.” Transgender people do have a unique, and amazingly useful, perspective on gender issues.

Breaking news from Susan Rice, former US National Security Advisor: she will not run against Susan Collins to represent Maine in the Senate—this time. Family obligations take precedence. But next time? We can hope. Meanwhile, she offered dismay about America’s diminishing role in the world.

Period. End of Sentence. Seriously—what a clever name for an Oscar winning film designed to end the stigma of menstruation and support the manufacture and distribution of menstrual pads. A long overdue strategy to address a key barrier to education for girls.

Edna Adan. After she “retired” from a long and multifaceted career as a nurse, WHO employee, Somaliland’s First Lady, and first female director of the Ministry of Health, she founded Somaliland’s first maternity hospital. An elegant woman with a purpose, and boundless energy to make it happen.

Men are our equals and often our supporters. A campaign for the advancement of gender equality puts the focus on them. The #HeForShe Movement empowers our men.

SheFighter. The coolest woman in Jordan. Lina Khalifeh is teaching self defense to the women of the Middle East.

Nina Elbagir, Alexandra Ulmer. Lynsey Addario. Three unbelievably brave journalists who return again and again to the front, risking everything to find the truth and bring it to us. They humbled and amazed us.

We saw photos of Serena Williams, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey that were characterized by facial recognition algorithms as male. Algorithms reflect the prejudices of their creators. If those creators are only young white men, it’s not good news for the rest of us. But some of the people working on the issue are really good news. Toni Townes-Whitley, Joy Buolamwini, Laura Gomez. They rock, and they know what needs to be done to make AI work for all of us.

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