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Celebrating Marie Wilson's Birthday: A Woman Labors for Representation

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Marie Wilson by The White House Project

Marie Wilson, President and founder of The White House Project, has been laboring for the global advancement of women and girls for over three decades. Her organization is celebrating her 70th birthday, which appropriately falls on Labor Day, with a surprise, interactive, online celebration.

Wilson envisions "a society where women lead side-by-side with men in order to transform our democracy and its institutions," with the result being "a future awash with new ideas and transformed by the energy of all people in every sector - one where there are greater options, a diversity of voices and (where) the work of running our country is easier and better for all citizens."

Women change Everything by The White House Project

Wilson's vision begs for fulfillment: the "Women in National Parliaments: World Classification" which assesses women's participation in politics, ranks the US at a shocking 73rd among 186 nations. We lag behind China, Afghanistan, Mexico, Viet Nam, and even Iraq.

Terry O'Neill, "president of the National Organization for Women, described the percentage of women in Congress as "abysmal' and said the United States should be ashamed that it's one of only seven U.N. members - in company with Iran and Sudan - that hasn't ratified a 30-year-old women's rights treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women." (David Crary, Aug. 25, 2010, Washington Post.)

In 1998, while Wilson was President of the Ms. Foundation for Women, she founded The White House Project in recognition of the need to build a truly representative democracy: one where women lead alongside men in all spheres. She left the Ms. Foundation in 2004 to devote her full energy to The White House Project, a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. Since then, over 10,000 women nationwide have been trained through its award-winning, Vote, Run, Lead program.

Go Vote, Go Run, Go Lead, Go Girl! by

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On Sept. 2, 2010 The White House Project announced an upcoming women's leadership training project coordinated with Participant Media as a prologue to the upcoming film, Fair Game. Starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, the movie is a true, "riveting action-thriller" being released in select cities on November 5th.

Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, in Fair Game by The White House Project

Fair Game chronicles the destruction of Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson's careers and the devastation to their family and marriage when her identity as a covert CIA operative was leaked to the press by the Bush administration. This national security breach was allegedly perpetrated as punishment following the publication of Wilson's 2003 New York Times editorial challenging White House statements about Iraq's so-called weapons of mass destruction.

Fair Game poster by Fair Game movie

Directed by Doug Liman, the movie is based on Plame's book, "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House."

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The coordinating training project, the "Women's Political Leadership and Nuclear Security Training," will take place in Washington, D.C., October 18-19, 2010, and includes a screening of the movie for participants.

Wilson will speak at the event on Oct. 18.

Over the last thirty years, Wilson's accomplishments range from being the first woman elected to the Des Moines City Council as a member-at-large in 1983, to co-authoring the critically acclaimed Mother Daughter Revolution (1993, Bantam Books), and serving as an official government delegate to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995.

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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Check out The White House Project's Benchmarking W... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 6, 2010 at 1:29:38 AM
...year, this article got me fired up to GO AGAIN!... by Anita Stewart on Monday, Sep 6, 2010 at 10:22:07 AM
And I'm so glad to hear that their program fired y... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 6, 2010 at 10:24:01 AM
Long time no see. Great article, great-sounding mo... by GLloyd Rowsey on Monday, Sep 6, 2010 at 7:21:48 PM
Thank you, glad you liked it! ;-)... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, Sep 6, 2010 at 7:28:47 PM
I find it most disheartening that the US ranks 73r... by Gail Davis on Tuesday, Sep 7, 2010 at 10:39:37 AM
Yes I was disappointed by our ranking too...and em... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, Sep 7, 2010 at 10:47:56 AM