Go ahead and cheer for the members of the French team, who just won the World Cup, or bemoan the fact that another squad you were rooting for lost. But after that, you may find yourself wondering about the woman you saw while watching the final – the one who was cheering so enthusiastically from the stands and hugging the second-place Croatian team after the loss. She’s Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, the 50-year-old female president of Croatia.
At a time when women fighting for better representation on the world’s political stage, Grabar-Kitarovic is an example of success, having served for three-plus years as her country’s highest-ranking elected official.
Prior to earning that office, she served as deputy of NATO’s General Secretary for public policies, Croatian ambassador to the United States, and Croatia’s foreign minister. Impressive! Grabar-Kitarovic has been credited with putting Croatia on a path to overcome a devastating recession and helping to improve relations between Iran and Europe. In addition, she’s raising two teenagers with her husband, Jakov Kitarovic. She’s well-liked for her upbeat, accessible demeanor – and the fact that she runs her own social media in a positive and uplifting way is a good example for politicians around the globe.
The New York Times (aka The Gray Lady) has a new way of handling their obituaries, which we think deserves a round of applause. Acknowledging that too often it has only run tributes to the lives of white men, the newspaper is trying to course-correct with a feature called “Overlooked No More.”
Here, the Times turns back the clock and salutes notable female lives, including Qiu Jin, a revolutionary Chinese feminist, and Ida Wells, a pioneering black journalist who crusaded against lynching.
Since NextTribe is focusing on food this month, we also want to mention another woman whose life is chronicled in this column: Ruth Wakefield, who lived from 1903 to 1977. Her contribution to our culture is a delicious one. In the 1930s, she and her husband owned and ran the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, where she developed a certain cookie you may have heard of—the Toll House Chocolate Chip, later popularized by Nestle. There are conflicting stories about whether the chocolate bits were added to the dough in the hopes that they’d stay intact or whether Wakefield had assumed they’d melt and create a uniform chocolate color and flavor.
Whatever the case, millions of people are in her debt.
In addition to appreciating Wakefield’s ingenuity, let’s thank The New York Times for coming up with this excellent way to look back and salute previously unsung female heroes.
Last month, National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale made a quick and anxious trip to Kenya to say goodbye to a beloved rhino. And maybe a whole species. Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino on the planet, died at the age of 45 after efforts to breed him with female rhinos had failed. (There is talk of harvesting their eggs and trying other reproductive procedures.)
Now Vitale is trying to raise money for Ol Pejeta so it can continue its mission of protecting and fighting for some of the world’s most vulnerable creatures. Each print is $225, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Kenyan conservancy. “Anything we can all do to collectively protect what is left of this magnificent planet is so appreciated,” says Vitale.
To learn more and order a print, click here.