Tuesday, January 21, 2014


There’s a new, better way of doing business that’s building in Congress these days – creating trust, bipartisan cooperation, etc. “What,” you might ask, “OUR Congress?”

Yes, I know it’s hard to believe but there was a very encouraging article by Ed O’Keefe in the January 16th edition of the Washington Post (1). In his article, Mr. O’Keefe states that “while the country has been distracted by extended disagreements in Washington, led mostly by men, a cast of powerful female lawmakers has been amassing some notable victories.” He goes on to credit EVE Senators who now hold key leadership positions with being the creative and cooperative force behind the few legislative accomplishments in the 113th Congress.

1. The $1.1 trillion spending plan approved this week was the handiwork of Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and her House counterpart, Harold Rogers (R-KY).
2. In December, when lawmakers approved a budget deal with big majorities in both chambers, credit went to Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI).
3. Next month, when attention will turn to passing a farm bill, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), who has spent three years working on the measure with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank D. Lucas (R-OK), will be at the center of the action.

In addition to crucial legislation, EVE in Congress are shaping and influencing debates that speak to some of our most fundamental freedoms.

* Last year, seven EVE on the Senate Armed Services Committee took the lead on writing a historic plan to revamp how the military handles cases of sexual assault and rape which was included in the annual Pentagon policy bill.

* In coming weeks, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) will begin a debate about reforming the National Security Agency.

After the dismally unproductive session Congress had last year, there’s a feeling among many people that some things in Congress are starting to function better because of the power that EVE now hold. Mr. O’Keefe quotes two EVE Senators’ thinking on why this is happening.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said, “It’s not surprising that every time I’ve passed a piece of legislation, I’ve had a strong Republican woman helping me across the aisle. Women are often very good at finding common ground and building bipartisan support.”

And Sen. Mikulski gave a more down to earth description when she said, “While we work on the macro issues, we also work on macaroni-and-cheese issues.”

There is great hope for our nation when EVE in the U.S. Congress can promote a culture of “people before power” and “caring more about getting results than taking credit” – two foundations of the (r)evolution to create a safer, happier, more productive world.

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/women-are-wielding-notable-influence-in-congress/2014/01/16/d1c00d76-7e04-11e3-95c6-0a7aa80874bc_print.html

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


THESE are extremely strong, courageous EVE! I say that because this picture was taken at a celebration of International Women’s Day in Afghanistan in March, 2012.

This is the second year that EVE in Afghanistan have been allowed to hold events to observe this day of honoring and celebrating EVE worldwide. And this time they had some things to celebrate.

On the right is Fatima. She is one of only five EVE members of the District Community Council (DCC) in Nahr-e-Saraj district. Theirs is one of the few districts with any EVE representation on the DCC, but all five EVE members are vocal and visible participants in meetings and subcommittees.

There were two events initiated and organized in the district by Afghan EVE that day, and each of the events was attended by hundreds of EVE and many, many children. They came together to give speeches, sing songs, recite poetry, and revel in this taste of respect and freedom. They also watched plays showing how EVE can use their influence to bring about even greater improvements in their society.

Both events were given a political “stamp of approval” when the District Governor attended and spoke. He acknowledged the injustices that Afghan EVE have suffered over the past 30 years and praised the participants for their courage. He also spoke to the need for active leadership by EVE and the education and training of EVE doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers, etc. to contribute to their culture’s future.

There is still a great deal of work needed in Afghanistan and many other countries to give EVE a fair chance at a safe, happy life. But the fact that these celebrations took place at all is definitely a sign of progress – and hope.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I just wrote a guest article for Bombshell, the EVE’s section of Blast Magazine – “Equal, Beautiful, Smart, Female Journalism” - http://blastbombshell.com. Blast is an online-only magazine for Gen-Y, those born between the late 70s and the mid-90s, and it definitely has attitude with a capital “A.”

This was a wonderful opportunity to introduce these Gen-Y EVE to the assertiveness and activism of Conversations with EVE. Their generation has grown up taking for granted that EVE are leading scientists, presidents of colleges, members of the U.S. Senate, etc., etc. They have been enjoying the expanded the freedoms and opportunities for EVE that were won during the women’s rights movements of the 60s.

The young EVE in this photo are the first all-female crew of a C-130 aircraft. I chose this photo because it’s their generation that has fought for opportunities in all parts of society – including the military. So maybe it will be the EVE of their generation who have seen war up close and too personal (from combat injuries to sexual assault by their fellow service personnel) who will demand a peaceful world in which to raise their grandchildren.

It will be their generation that defends and protects EVE’s rights as we go forward into the 21st century. So it’s critically important that EVE of this generation have a sense of how fragile our freedoms and opportunities are, especially in the face of the “war on women” being waged by so many American legislatures and courts.

Let’s continue to inform and empower young EVE to be proud of their heritage and fierce in defense of their rights. And let’s hope that by the time they are in their 60s they will have expanded EVE’s rights and protections even further to include the elimination of the rape and abuse culture, fair and equal pay for all, contraception that’s easy to get and easy to use, and more.