Q:Tell us about yourself
TB: I am a 56 year old wife, mother, event planner and pageant director. I was born and raised in Southern California and attended college there, majoring in Behavioral Science. I am a former Mrs. California United States (1993) and am the Current Mrs. California USA and will compete for the Mrs. USA title in June 2015.
Q: What is your involvement with TERF and why?
TB: I want to help empower women as I think women should be treated equally wherever they are. Empowering women in developing countries, like Bangladesh is essential to reduce global poverty since women represent most of the world’s poor population. Most women across the globe rely on the informal work sector for an income, as it’s believed that the primary responsibility for girls is to take care of their family and there’s no longer a need for education.
Women empowerment can only be done through education. Education helps to women to gain the right knowledge and skills and to apply them in their employment, and therefore, reduce gender gaps in earnings.
Unlike the USA, cultural norms and social attitudes pose major constraints towards women. As Miss US organiser, I strongly feel that women should disrupt the status quo and social norms to demand being treated equally to men.
TERF is a charitable organisation that will reach out to girls and young women in Bangladesh and provide support in the forms of finance and technical assistance to help them advance in their society.
Q: What have you learned that others might not know about these issues? (Tell us three biggest challenges facing Bangladesh now?
- Only 1 in 3 women in Bangladesh can read and write
- It is common for Bangladesh girls to get married between the ages of sixteen and nineteen
- More than one million primary school-age girls unenrolled themselves from primary education due to poverty, social pressure, and other issues.
That is why I strongly believe that as long as women’s access to education remains limited, prospects for them to break the poverty cycles are dimmed.Education is pivotal in the fight against poverty and let girls be able to find work and take full control of their lives.
Q: How do you feel about making a difference to these children and women?
TB: I am grateful to be surrounded by beautiful and intelligent women all the time here in California. I want to share this privilege with women from all around the world. All women should have the right to feel valued and respected. I feel fortunate to be able to make a difference to their lives.
It is an experience that has enriched my soul and leavesme wondering why many of us are so unhappy when we have so much.
Q: How can people get involved if they want to help?
Donate to TERF (web address) and start making a difference today.
We are also organising the following fund raising activities for you to participate