International Women’s Day – Celebrating Powerful Black Women in Europe

We are celebrating International Women’s Day by taking a look at the Black Women in Europe™: Power List – A List of Our Own© honorees from 2010 – 2012.

2012 Black Women in Europe™: Power List 2012 – A List of Our Own©

About International Women’s Day:

International Women’s Day has been observed since in the early 1900’s, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

Great unrest and critical debate was occurring amongst women. Women’s oppression and inequality was spurring women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. Then in 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

In accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, the first National Woman’s Day (NWD) was observed across the United States on 28 February. Women continued to celebrate NWD on the last Sunday of February until 1913.

n 1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen. A woman named a Clara Zetkin (Leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany) tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s suggestion with unanimous approval and thus International Women’s Day was the result.

Following the decision agreed at Copenhagen in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) was honoured the first time in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland on 19 March. More than one million women and men attended IWD rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, be trained, to hold public office and end discrimination. However less than a week later on 25 March, the tragic ‘Triangle Fire’ in New York City took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them Italian and Jewish immigrants. This disastrous event drew significant attention to working conditions and labour legislation in the United States that became a focus of subsequent International Women’s Day events. 1911 also saw women’s ‘Bread and Roses‘ campaign.

On the eve of World War I campaigning for peace, Russian women observed their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday in February 1913. In 1913 following discussions, International Women’s Day was transferred to 8 March and this day has remained the global date for International Wommen’s Day ever since. In 1914 further women across Europe held rallies to campaign against the war and to express women’s solidarity.

On the last Sunday of February, Russian women began a strike for “bread and peace” in response to the death over 2 million Russian soldiers in war. Opposed by political leaders the women continued to strike until four days later the Czar was forced to abdicate and the provisional Government granted women the right to vote. The date the women’s strike commenced was Sunday 23 February on the Julian calendar then in use in Russia. This day on the Gregorian calendar in use elsewhere was 8 March.

1918 – 1999
Since its birth in the socialist movement, International Women’s Day has grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike. For decades, IWD has grown from strength to strength annually. For many years the United Nations has held an annual IWD conference to coordinate international efforts for women’s rights and participation in social, political and economic processes. 1975 was designated as ‘International Women’s Year‘ by the United Nations. Women’s organisations and governments around the world have also observed IWD annually on 8 March by holding large-scale events that honour women’s advancement and while diligently reminding of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women’s equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

2000 and beyond
IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia. The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

The new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation. Many from a younger generation feel that ‘all the battles have been won for women’ while many feminists from the 1970’s know only too well the longevity and ingrained complexity of patriarchy. With more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. The unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to that of their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them is worse than that of men.

However, great improvements have been made. We do have female astronauts and prime ministers, school girls are welcomed into university, women can work and have a family, women have real choices. And so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements. A global web of rich and diverse local activity connects women from all around the world ranging from political rallies, business conferences, government activities and networking events through to local women’s craft markets, theatric performances, fashion parades and more.

Many global corporations have also started to more actively support IWD by running their own internal events and through supporting external ones. For example, on 8 March search engine and media giant Google some years even changes its logo on its global search pages. Year on year IWD is certainly increasing in status. The United States even designates the whole month of March as ‘Women’s History Month’.

So make a difference, think globally and act locally !! Make everyday International Women’s Day. Do your bit to ensure that the future for girls is bright, equal, safe and rewarding.

Power Lister Samata Angel writes Fashion Designer’s Resource Book

The author, award-winning designer Samata Angel, explains how to take steps towards a fulfilling career – achieving creative, business and emotional balance – in this competitive and complex industry. The range of pertinent topics covered include working in the industry as a fashion designer, business planning, selling your brand, networking and using social media, emotional well being and environmentally and socially responsible fashion. The book also contains insights from a range of key industry influencers: Harold Tillman CBE, Chairman of the British Fashion Council; Sarah Curran, Founder of; Nigel Barker from TV show America’s Next Top Model; Helen Jennings, Editor of ARISE magazine and Suzy Amis Cameron, Founder of Red Carpet Green Dress.

Emerging designers should read this book to get ahead; it also offers advice for anyone interested in exploring the industry, from first year fashion students looking to secure work experience, to the talented seamstress working to establish a reputation.

Purchase your copy of the Fashion Designer’s Resource Book today.

Taking care of business in Germany pt. 11 – Dr Luderitz Natural Products for Curly Hair

Dr Luderitz

Dr. Lüderitz Natural Cosmetics was founded by Dr. rer. nat. Liset Lüderitz. She was born in Cuba, where she completed a degree in chemical engineering. While working in the Research Center for Nutrition and Food Sciences in Havana she was also trained as an aroma specialist and developed aromas for the national food industry.

dr luderitz
Dr. Luderitz

In the year 2000 she moved to Berlin (Germany) and besides falling in love with the city she soon noticed the lack of natural products for curly hair. As a scientist it quickly occurred to her that she could develop the products herself. While already using her own formulations she continued her scientific career, finishing a M.Sc. in Polymer Science and obtaining a PhD in Physical Chemistry at the TU Berlin.

The first product line – Havana Curls – addresses the essential needs of curly hair by combining scientific field knowledge with tradition.

The Havana Curls Leave-in Conditioner is a natural emulsion – a mixture of natural oils, plant extracts, vitamin, protein and water. With the selected natural ingredients and the balanced pH a well conditioned, shined and healthy curly hair is guaranteed. The two ingredients Shea Butter and Mango Butter with their high percentage (about 10%) of unsaponifiable components lead to a more moisturized and revitalized hair without a greasy feeling. Furthermore the synergetic effects of the ingredients result in an amazing softness of the hair.

For which hair types
The Havana Curls Leave-in Conditioner works for:
coily/kinky hair (type 4),
curly hair (type 3) and
wavy hair (type 2).

How to use
For hair type 4 the product can be applied to dry hair or to wet hair to make twists or cornrows.
For hair types 2 and 3 apply a small amount of the product to wet hair.

Aqua, Coconut Oil, Glycerin, Shea Butter, Emulsan, Mango Butter, Aloe Vera, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Citric Acid, Allantoin, Bay Oil, Cetyl alcohol, D-Panthenol, Jojoba Oil, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Rokonsal, Silk Protein, Vitamin E

Visit Dr. Luderitz’s website and sign up for the newsletter to receive a discount when the product launches.

American Expat Tax Returns

Taxes for Expats

As a U.S. citizen or green card holder residing abroad, you have to file a U.S. tax return on your worldwide income. The U.S. has tax treaties with many countries, which allows the federal government to exchange data on its citizens for tax purposes. Most importantly, if you do not file a tax return for a given tax year, the statute of limitations on that year never runs out.

The good news is that most expats don’t end up paying any taxes to the IRS. First of all – the taxes you already pay in the foreign country count against your US tax obligations. Secondly, also probably qualify for the foreign income exclusion, which lets you subtract $95,100 (in 2012, rising to $97,600 in 2013) from your earned income for tax purposes. There are also a number of other deductions available to expats. As a result most of our clients never actually pay anything to the IRS – they simply file the tax return and collect foreign tax credits. These tax credits can be used at a later date to offset future tax obligations, but they can only be accrued by preparing a tax return.

There is one more important reason why you should file your tax return each year while living abroad. The statute of limitations for IRS audits expires three years after you file. This means the IRS can not go back (absent fraud) and try to audit or change the return later. Therefore, you should file your return even if you have no income or do not owe taxes in order to place a 3-year limit on audits and eliminate potential future problems when you decide to return to the U.S.

At Taxes for Expats we have built an innovative tax preparation system that enables us to provide a variety of tax-related services to our clients no matter where they live. You can have your tax return prepared by a professional dedicated to the expat community. It will be done on a timely basis – our normal turnaround is 15 business days – at a reasonable cost and with minimal effort on your part.

Clairely Upcycled Jewellery by Claire Requa wins the noteable Silver A’ Design Award at Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Competition

Claire Upcycled Jewelry

A’ Award and Competitions are proud to inform that the project Clairely Upcycled Jewellery by Claire Requa has been acknowledged with the noteable Silver A’ Design Award at Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Competition elected as the winner by the esteemed arbiters of the A’ Design Awards & Competitions among thousands of participants.

Insights on Clairely Upcycled Jewellery

Claire Upcycled Jewelry

Claire Requa, the creative mind behind the winning design Clairely Upcycled Jewellery demonstrates “Beautiful, clear, upcycled jewellery, designed out of a need to use the waste material from the production of Claire de Lune Chandelier. This line has developed into a considerable number of collections – all telling stories, all representing very personal glimpses into the philosophies of the designer. Transparency is a vital part of the designers own philosopy, and this is reflected her by the choice of acrylic used. Apart from the mirror acrylic used, which itself reflects light, the material is always transparent, color or clear. CD packaging reinforces the concepts of repurposing. ” To learn more visit:

Claire Upcycled Jewelry

Claire says:

My jewellery is inspired by my retrospective look at my childhood and the pleasant memories there. I am strongly inspired by the influences that were present in the 60’s and 70’s. Acrylic is a wonderful material to work with, very rewarding. Although this is just a plastic, the value comes in the designs and the work connected to having a finished product. The last collection LUCKY DOZEN, had it’s start with 2012 being the year of the Dragon, so in addition to dragon pendants, this collection grew with symbolism of horses and horse shoes, and had to include pieces celebrating Jamaica’s 50th year of Independence.

Claire Requa

Visit Claire’s website for more fabulosity.

The Silver A’ Design Award

The Silver A’ Design Award is a prestigious award given to top 5% percentile designs that has exhibited an exemplary level of perfection in design. The designs are judged by a panel of three different jury which is composed of Academic, Professional and Focus Group Members. The designs are evaluated with score normalization to remove any biases and are voted on aspects such as functionality, ergonomics, engineering, presentation, innovation, usability, fun details, technology, and any other specific points that could be considered, each of these points are further weighted for different jury groups.


About A’ Design Award and Competitions

A’Design Award and Competitions, aims to highlight the excellent qualifications of best designs, design concepts and design oriented products. A’ Design Award and Competitions are organized and awarded annually and internationally in multiple categories to reach a wide, design-oriented audience. Learn more:

Relevant Website

More info could be found at

Camilla Henemark and Army of Lovers strike out at Melodifestivalen

This week we watched ‘Hotel Rawanda’ instead of Melodifestival this week. But we were able to catch the voting to see who made it to the final and second chance rounds. We forgot Army of Lovers was competing. My Swede said they were good, before.

Hmmmm. Well Army of Lovers is a Swedish dance music group which formed in 1987, and has had a number of hits in Europe throughout the 1990s with songs such as “Crucified”, which was number one on the Eurochart for eight consecutive weeks. Not this time Army.