It is our mission—and pleasure—to celebrate women who are flourishing in the second half of life.

We’ve profiled many “Women of Reinvention”—those who had the moxie to shift their lives’ direction after they reached 40 (actress to lawyer, doctor to Episcopal priest, professor to country-music singer, and more).

We’ve peeked behind the scenes at the daily activities of women whose careers intrigue us (sculptor, composer, opera director, chanteuse, large-animal veterinarian).

 And we’ve come across many women who have had the vision, zeal, and grit to make a difference in the world. Most of them are powerful, but work without acclaim to accomplish good things. We’re glad to bring their stories to light.

For a start-of-the-year dose of inspiration, we offer WVFC’s 2013 profiles of women who impress us—“Women Who’ve Made a Difference.”

 

Mary Moss Greenebaum, Cultural Pioneer

Seventeen years ago, Mary Moss Greenebaum imagined—and then conjured into being—a writers’ forum that has deeply impacted the cultural life of Kentucky, a state which, to her regret, “the world sees as hopeless.”

Pictured: At the Kentucky Author Forum in 2000, Elie Wiesel and forum producer Mary Moss Greenebaum.

 

 

“Military Sexual Assault Survivors, We Have Your Back”

Senator Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Loretta Sanchez, and Senator Claire McCaskill acted quickly this year when a general based in Aviano, Italy, reversed a lieutenant general’s conviction for aggravated sexual assault, saying that he found the defendant “more credible” than the victim.

 

 

 

 

Liza Kramer: A Mother Who’s Made a Difference

If cystic fibrosis is wiped out in our lifetime, Liza Kramer will have had something to do with it. Kramer has been working toward a cure since her daughter Emily was diagnosed with the disease at 6 weeks old. By this past April, she and her family (“Emily’s Entourage”) had raised nearly half a million dollars.

 

 

 


The Women Who Took Down Facebook’s Rape Culture

How some outraged women persuaded Facebook to promise to update its policies, guidelines, and practices regarding hate speech.

 

 

Women’s Equality Day: You Go, Girl!

A treasure-trove of videos of important, pioneering contemporary women. Far too many of them are unsung.

 

 

Carol Lamberg, Affordable–Housing Activist

“It’s like putting a puzzle together—it’s exciting when you get it done. The buildings are up, they’re clean, there’s no graffiti, they’re safe . . . they’re there for you to see, unlike work in other fields, where you wonder if you’ve really achieved anything.”

 

 

 


The Vulnerable Female Body: Putting Back the Damaged Parts

Urogynecologist Lauri Romanzi is a surgeon who has spent her career putting back together, as best she can, the damaged parts of the female pelvis that nature or culture has devastated. Now she’s doing the repairs not only in the United States, but also in Africa and Asia.

 


Edna Adan, the Muslim “Mother Teresa”

Edna Adan, 76, the founder and director of the Edna Adan Maternity Hospital in Somaliland, has had quite an amazing life-journey—both before and after she created this unique institution, which has treated thousands of patients and which trains new clinicians in one of the most medically deprived countries on the planet.

Janet Yellen: The Woman for the Job

In praise of the superb qualifications of the new Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Make a Deal: Female Senators Get Things Done

For six decades after the first woman was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1931, there were never more than one or two women at a time in the upper chamber. In 1991, the number doubled—to four.  Today, though, women fill a record 20 of the 100 seats in the Senate—and 18 of those 20 women sit on the most powerful committees in the chamber. How are they making a difference?

 

 

Born Feminist: Katherine Spillar, Part I

“For 26 years I have been able to focus every day and every ounce of energy and brain cells on how we’re going to get to equality—not just for women and girls in this country, but to guarantee the human rights of women and girls all over the world.”

 


 

 

Katherine Spillar, Part II: The Good News

“We are positioned to go this final distance and cross the finish line into full equality. That is within sight. I would say that a generation ago, two generations ago, I’m not even sure we could have imagined it, but I think it is within sight.”

 

 

 

 

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