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Eeva Rehnström, in her graduation cap. Four years later, she became my mother. (1931-2012)

Photo courtesy of Dr.Jaana Rehnström, the Founder of The Kota Alliance
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A special bond exists, in all cultures, between mothers and their children. Fathers are important as well, of course, but due to the very early bonding arising from feeding and nurturing, a child's emotional life is strongly affected by the mother.

Nine years after my own mother passed away at 81-years-old, I think about the role mothers play in developing our sense of right and wrong. Sometimes all it takes is a response to an innocent question.

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Kota Day 2018 Lucia Alcantara teaching

Photo credit: The Kota Alliance
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Women's rights intersect with several other rights, such as racial, economic, and reproductive rights. In my 30-year career as an OB/GYN doctor in New York and a lifelong human rights activist, I developed an understanding of how all these issues affect women's lives.

There are already many great organizations working on these issues, and they are all deserving of support. But they could be more impactful if they collaborated instead of often working in silos and competing for resources. That collaboration can also take many forms.

It can be virtual, which we are all getting better at, but often happens best when we meet in person, and we hope to get back to some of those soon.

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brown game pieces on white surface
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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This year has brought so much suffering for many people - both in terms of health and personal finances. However, the portion of the population living off retirement income and/or is invested in the stock market is seeing their financial situation improved. It seems very strange and unfair.

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white concrete building under blue sky during daytime
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This story is a fictional account of a grandmother finding out that her grandson was a part of the Capitol Hill riots.

Dear grandson,

I was so upset today. I noticed on the news that you were among the rioters at the U.S. Capitol, so I felt I had to write to you. I am trying to understand how it came to be. I am sorry we have not been in touch throughout your life because we live so far from each other.

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Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash
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Gender equality has been talked about in Europe and the United States since the late 1800s. The Equal Rights Amendment was passed by Congress in 1972, falling short of state ratifications by the original deadline. The CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) was adopted in 1979. The 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and SDG #5 commits governments to take measures to comply by 2030.

The UN has recognized the intersectionality of the SDG's, and stated none of the other 17 goals can be fully achieved without achieving gender equality. Conversely, gender equality also depends on the realization of the other goals, in particular racial and economic equity and reproductive health.

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