World-famous women must inspire teens

Is the US ready for Hilary as president

Is the US ready for Hilary as president

News about three outstanding women of the world today deserve attention as female role models – Hilary Clinton, Dr Catherine Hamlin and world renowned primate expert and conservationist, Dame Jane Goodall.  One thing which inspires me is that they are all ageing women, and are still planning and working for the good of others.

The odds are that Hilary Clinton, wife of former UN president, Bill Clinton,  is preparing to run for president of the United States according to news outlets around the world.  What an amazing woman, who has overcome the indiscretions of her wayward husband, Bill, to remain married and to say publicly that she is “over Monica Lewinski”.   She has refused to be defined by her husband and has set her course to follow him into the White House.  Of course, any bitterness over her husband’s proposed impeachment vear the Lesinwki affair would have hampered her own plans for her own future.  She has been a successful Senator and, although she lost her first attempt at being elected president of the United States, she was a powerful, effective US Secretary of State. This was a role she conducted impeccably.  Now, it seems, she is positioning herself to have another crack at the top job in the world.

I wish her well and hope she succeeds.  She has an incredible record and one hopes the voters of the United States can see her strength and back her for the most powerful prestigious role today.

Why have I chosen Hilary, who hasn’t yet announced her final decision?  Because in The Advertiser this week, there was a small news item entitled “Women miss Life Targets”.  It reads that researchers report almost two thirds of women studied had a detailed life plan they wanted to follow in their teens – with targets such as achieving a driver’s licence before the age of 20, and getting engaged at the age of 26.

Their vision for themselves involved meeting “the one” by the age of 24, having children by 27 and reaching the tope of their career ladder by 34.

Only a quarter described their life as “spot on” according to their own goals.

Unfortunately, one in two claimed to have missed major milestones and almost 25 per cent said events had taken them off course, far from their original plan.

Dame Jane Goodall, was in Adelaide last week on her 80th birthday tour of Australia. She visited Cornerstone College in Mt Barker after urging students to join her global Roots and Shoots youth movement.

The program, founded in Tanzania in 1991 has succeeded in involving thousands of youth groups in 136 countries to become involved in community and environment projects.

Dr Goodall shows no sign of slowinig down despite turning 80 in April and over the weekend she received an honoroary doctorate from UniSA recogniing her contribution to science, primatology and conservation.

Lastly, and importantly, Dr Catherine Hamlin, has achieved one of the highest world honours, being name as a nominee in this year’s Nobel Prize.

Nobel Prize nominee Dr Catherine Hamlin

Nobel Prize nominee Dr Catherine Hamlin

More than 50 years ago, in 1958 Dr Catherine Hamlin and her husband Richard, answered an advertisement in The Lancet medical journal for an obstetrician and gynaecologist to establish a midwifery school at the Princess Tsehay Hospital in Addis Ababa.

They arrived in 1959 on a three-year contract with the Ethiopian government but only about 10 midwives had been trained before the government closed the school. The Hamlins had never seen an obstetric fistula before — they were an “academic rarity”[2] having been virtually eradicated in the United States. (The first fistula hospital closed its doors in New York City in 1925.)[2]

Seeing many cases arrive at the school, the couple decided to create a dedicated hospital. Fifteen years later, they founded Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital.[3]

Her skills as a surgeon has restored the sexual lives – and social respectibility in tribal society – of many pubescent African girls, most under age, who have suffered vaginal fistulas after giving birth to children before their bodies are able to birth without causing extensive damage.

Hamlin lives in her cottage on the grounds of the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital as she has done for over thirty-five years. She remains very active in the work of the hospital and operates every Thursday morning. Richard Hamlin is actively involved in the activities of the hospital and sits on its Board of Trustees.[4]