Several interesting stories have caught my eye recently, and they all center around a common theme: women. There has been a great emphasis on women’s issues as of late, including a rousing speech at the 2015 Oscars about equal pay for women in Hollywood, many trending topics and hashtags developed to inspire and empower girls and women, and even comic book heroine Wonder Woman named as a new honorary ambassador for the United Nations (UN).
Of course, with nearly half of the world’s population being female, and a Mother and Mormor who are so inspirational to me, it’s always the perfect time to talk about all of the wonderful achievements women have made and continue to make in the world.
For instance, May-Britt Moser is a 2014 Nobel Prize winner in Physiology or Medicine. A professor of neuroscience and the director of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim´s Center for Neural Computation, she is one of only 48 women awarded this honorable prize since 1901. Her work studying the brain helped discover special nerve cells that create mental maps of places we’ve been, which enabled scientists to gain new insight into cognitive processes and spatial deficits associated with human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Not far from May-Britt Moser lives an American women serving up some delectable Nordic fare from her home in Norway. Nevada Berg is the author behind North Wild Kitchen, 2016 Food Blog of the Year, as awarded by food magazine Saveur. Featuring traditional recipes and tantalizing pictures, Berg draws you into her northern wild world, in her own words, by “learning from traditional methods, understanding the where and how and why and creating from that. It’s about people. It’s about food. It’s about Norway.” The blog is a culinary masterpiece, a beautiful homage to the Norwegian way of life, and a tribute to a more organic and simpler way of living.
I recently read in US World and Report that Denmark is the world’s best country for women. This is based on factors such as its generous welfare state, virtually free education and health care, and that the country supports a gender equality (i.e., offering an earnings-related day care system and parental leave) policy that is among the most flexible in the European Union. Of course, ask around and you may find that other Scandinavian countries consider themselves just as egalitarian as well. Perhaps this is due to the Swedish principle known as lagom (pronounced Laaw-gohm), which roughly translates to “just the right amount” and encompasses the idea of moderation and balance in life.
The accomplishments of women, and the men who support and encourage them, are also evident in the history of The Danish Home. Founder Emma Thorsen and eleven of her colleagues broke barriers to build an honorable place for older adults to call home, and that same spirit lives on today.
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