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Shivani Gopal

Shivani Gopal

November 26, 2021
| Womens Advocacy

Founder’s Weekly | 23rd October 2020

Here's what you need to know this week on women in the world...

Fellow remarkable women,

We find ourselves at the end of what has been a rollercoaster week. On one hand, we saw Jacinda Ardern win the leadership of New Zealand in a thrilling election, and on the other hand, we saw our own nation fail to protect the youngest members of our society. 

This week I’ll be covering everything from Jacinda’s record achievements over the past three years, to the bail laws surrounding child molesters with multiple accusations, as well as taking a look at the history of Jeanie Buss – the first female owner to win an NBA championship.

Let’s get into it.

Jacinda Ardern’s landslide victory

I’m sure that all of you are just as pleased as I am to hear that Jacinda Ardern secured a landslide victory in the recent election, winning a second term of government. And honestly, it comes as no surprise. Since being elected in 2017, Ms Ardern has shown herself to be a true leader – one who acts with wisdom, competence, grace, and compassion.

During her time as PM of New Zealand, she has:

  • - Become the first sitting NZ PM, and the second female state leader in the world to give birth while in office 
    - Been the first world leader to bring a baby to the UN general assembly
    - Banned single-use plastic bags
    - Introduced domestic violence leave
    - Increased the country’s refugee quota
    - Become the first NZ PM to march in an LGBTQ+ Pride event
    - Banned military-style semi-automatics less than a month after the Christchurch shootings
    - Made a public commitment to end period poverty by giving all school-aged people access to free sanitary products
    - Basically eradicated COVID-19 in New Zealand
    - Created the most diverse parliament ever with several people of colour, LGBTQ+ members and a high number of female MPs.

And these are just some of the incredible feats that Ms Ardern and the NZ Labour Party have achieved. 

By winning 49% of the vote, the party could actually govern alone. However, Ms Ardern recently met with the Green party, hoping to build a consensus and potentially collaborating with the Greens during this term of Government.

Regardless of the result, I can’t wait to see what great strides New Zealand will make over the next three years with such an amazing and inspirational leader at the helm.

Protecting our most vulnerable members of society

 I was incredibly saddened to see the headlines of the West Australian the other day. A young First Nations girl, only 11 years old, took her own life. Although she was flown to the Perth Children’s hospital, she was showing no vitals, and her life support was switched off days later.

Why would a child do something so devastating? 

Because the man who sexually abused her for 4 years – a 66-year-old man who had been arrested and was charged with over a dozen accounts of indecent dealings and sexual penetration of a child under the age of 13 – was granted police bail the same day he was arrested.

According to a WA Police spokesperson, protective bail conditions were imposed, ordering that the man cannot contact the victim. However, that obviously wasn’t enough for a young girl who was so beaten down and terrified that she took her own life. Even WA Police Assistant Commissioner of Regional WA, Jo McCabe, has admitted that the police should not have released this man on bail.

As said by Gerry Georgatos, director of the National Suicide Prevention and Trauma Recovery Project (NSPTRP), the laws need to be changed, so that alleged repeat child sex offenders are not granted bail.

“No one should be bailed as a multiple offender, a repeat offender, because they are a higher risk. That seared fear into the heart of the family and into the heart of the child, according to the family, and may have led to this child’s self-harm.”

When the youngest and most vulnerable members of society cannot protect themselves, it is our job (as adults) to do it for them. We need to take a hard stance when it comes to issues of abuse – because anything less is a travesty of justice.

Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss

“The message is clear here: Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss.” Those famous words were spoken by Adam Streisand, Jeanie Buss’ attorney back in 2017. And today, as Jeanie becomes the first female owner to win an NBA championship, they shine true.

Back in 2013, Jerry Buss (Jeanie’s father and legendary Lakers owner) passed away. At this time, Jeanie’s brother took over ownership of the team. Meanwhile, Jeanie had worked with her father in the operation of the LA Strings since the age of 14, becoming the General Manager of the Lakers while studying at USC.

While the Lakers faded into disarray under the management of her brother Jim, Jeanie was named Executive of the Year during her four-year reign as the owner of the L.A. Blades and served as the president of the Great Western Forum.

Finally, in 2017, Jeanie wrested control of the Lakers from her brothers after a legal battle that saw her serving as the controlling owner for the rest of her life. Since then, the Lakers have gone from strength to strength. And finally, this year, the Lakers have been crowned champions, making Buss the first female controlling owner to lead an NBA team to a title.

As the only woman to own an NBA team outright, Jeanie is a stellar example of a woman thriving in a male-dominated world. Although many had doubts about her ability to lead the team (no surprises there with the male dominated sector!), this 2020 championship has shone the light on the true sporting champion that she is. Hats off to you Jeanie!

Until next week,

Shivani

Your remarkable life starts here.

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