Category Archives: The World

Letter from Jakarta

April 22nd, 2017 by


Indonesia has held a special place in my heart for many years. It’s the country of my mentor, the late Ibu Gedong Bagus Oka, who taught me so much about women’s involvement in peace processes and about the theory and practice of conflict resolution. As a member of Indonesia’s parliament and the founder of a Gandhi ashram in Candidasa and a civic world leader engaged in interfaith dialogue at the UN, she showed that you can inhabit many worlds to lead social change.… Continue Reading

Letter From Dhaka

February 25th, 2017 by

I’d wanted to go to Bangladesh ever since I heard the story of the sari shop with a secret door to a bookshop for women who wanted to read feminist books. The women would emerge from the change rooms to greet their husbands with books discreetly hidden under their saris. In joining The Asia Foundation, I finally got my chance to go to Bangladesh, and in the right role too as head of women’s empowerment.

I arrived in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to news that draft legislation to lower the age of marriage was under discussion.… Continue Reading

It’s Time to Create a Portfolio of Activism

January 28th, 2017 by

The Women’s March was magical and memorable, and sustaining that level of energy in the time ahead will be critical. We’re in it for the long haul.

It’s time for each of us to consider creating a portfolio of activism. A bit like some people have a balanced financial portfolio, although in this case it would take the form of commitment, care, campaigning and creating.

We each have our loves, our strengths and our causes, and together we form fierce movements for social change.Continue Reading

Letter From Sausalito

December 29th, 2016 by


Perhaps it was inevitable that my bohemian self would wend its way to Sausalito and to one of its boat communities. Even more fortunate was finding my heart-boat, which is called Sunrise and has been owned for 26 years by a woman  who comes from a boat building family and grew up in Tahiti.

Many friends have asked me what it’s like living on a boat and in Sausalito, so here’s my snapshot in response.

My boat is small and snug with porthole windows, so I can see seals popping up when I’m lying in bed.… Continue Reading

Letter from Dili

December 14th, 2016 by

 

lead-pic-jitw-timorleste-pottery-pride-821x548After a long plane flight, and after too many years of almost getting here, I finally land in Dili, capital of Timor Leste. Stepping off the plane, I feel such emotion as I remember my friend, Harry Burton, who wrote of his arriving here to open the first Reuters office just before a newly independent Timor Leste was declared, and who was later killed in an ambush by insurgents in Afghanistan.

jitw-timorleste-aguida-fatima-amaral-520x780I remember, too, welcoming the first Olympic team of a newly independent Timor Leste when I was managing one of the media centers for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.Continue Reading