Malaka Gharib

Malaka Gharib is deputy editor and digital strategist of Goats and Soda, NPR's global health and development blog. She reports on topics such as the humanitarian aid sector, gender equality, and innovation in the developing world.

Before coming to NPR in 2015, Gharib was the digital content manager at Malala Fund, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's global education charity, and social media and blog editor for ONE, a global anti-poverty advocacy group founded by Bono. Gharib graduated from Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism and marketing.

Ask a typical teenage girl about the latest slang and girl crushes and you might get answers like "spilling the tea" and Taylor Swift. But at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., the answers were "intersectional feminism" — the idea that there's no one-size-fits-all definition of feminism — and U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres.

The U.S. State Department's Anti-Trafficking Heroes came from very different corners of the world: Cyprus, Pakistan, Russia and Senegal.

Yet all carried the same thing in their pocket or purse: photos of the victims they had rescued from human trafficking, stored in their mobile phones.

The U.S. State Department issued its annual Trafficking in Persons report on Thursday, and the big news is the status of Thailand.

People talk about a flash of inspiration. But Xavier Helgesen's eureka moment came in the dark.

A few years ago, the American entrepreneur was traveling through Malawi to meet with clients for his book-selling company, Better World Books. He stopped in Monkey Bay, a town of about 30,000 people, to spend the night. What made this place unforgettable, he says, was that it was "100 percent off-grid."

"Ca."

When Ranwa Yehia heard her nearly 3-year-old son, Nadeem, making this sound, she got cold shivers all over her body. After three months of saying "cat," Nadeem couldn't say the whole word anymore.

Shortly after, Yehia was told she could no longer bring her son to his nursery school unless the family could get another teacher to shadow him in class.

What was going on with Nadeem?

When I was around 11 or 12, my dad was the general manager of the Hilton Fayrouz in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a resort town at the tip of the Sinai peninsula. I spent my summers like Eloise, the little girl who lived at the "tippy top" floor of the Plaza Hotel. Like her, I wandered the hotel grounds and made friends with the staff and tourists from Sweden to South Africa. Unlike her, I got to swim and snorkel in the sparkling aquamarine waters of the Red Sea.

There was the seven-member all-male panel discussion on energy and climate at the European Commission in February.

There was the seven-member all-male panel on counterterrorism at the U.N. in March.

And then there was the panel on infrastructure at the World Bank in April: 15 men and one lone woman, in a red blazer, serving as the moderator.

Why are women so woefully underrepresented?

So now we know who Beyonce's favorite poet is: 27-year-old Somali-Brit Warsan Shire.

If there's anything I've learned over the past few days, it's that street harassment takes many forms and happens everywhere. And it makes women feel super icky — not flattered.

After I shared my own experience being catcalled by men when I spent summers in Egypt as a teenager — and even being ambushed by a group of street boys just for wearing shorts — I wanted to know: How do men and boys treat women in public in other parts of the world?

If there's anything I've learned over the past few days, it's that street harassment takes many forms and happens everywhere. And it makes women feel super icky — not flattered.

After I shared my own experience being catcalled by men when I spent summers in Egypt as a teenager — and even being ambushed by a group of street boys just for wearing shorts — I wanted to know: How do men and boys treat women in public in other parts of the world?

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