#Sofagate: Even at the highest levels of power, women face sexism

by Rashmee

Posted on April 13, 2021 / The National


There is a startling pattern to the stories told by women in public life. They generally include at least one wry account about being mistaken for the secretary. It happened to, among others, a British minister, and the UK and Ireland’s first female bishop. When European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen eventually writes her … Continue reading “#Sofagate: Even at the highest levels of power, women face sexism”

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AI, the tank and the ‘blitzkrieg’ concept: The US needs to think in a whole new way

by Rashmee

Posted on April 10, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… Can America think asymmetrically in the struggle with China? It’s a pressing and difficult question, but Michele Flournoy recently offered a remarkable answer: Yes, there’s hope, if the US starts to see Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the 21st century’s tank. She didn’t use those words exactly but the story she told Demetri … Continue reading “AI, the tank and the ‘blitzkrieg’ concept: The US needs to think in a whole new way”

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Ankara chairs and the business of ‘protocol machismo’

by Rashmee

Posted on April 8, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS Heard the one about European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel’s visit with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara? The men got the best seats. Mr Erdogan and Mr Michel took chairs side by side with the Turkish and EU flags behind them. As for … Continue reading “Ankara chairs and the business of ‘protocol machismo’”

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The journalist who wasn’t and other stories

by Rashmee

Posted on April 4, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND China’s alleged attempt to fake approval by western journalists is like something out of a rather unbelievable short story. According to reports, Beijing conjured up someone called Laurene Beaumond (see screenshot of her piece on the CGTN site) and described her as a French journalist who had studied at the … Continue reading “The journalist who wasn’t and other stories”

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Women’s rights mean coming to the table ‘as you are, knitting needles in hand’

by Rashmee

Posted on March 17, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA Two of the more interesting ideas on gender equity have emerged from Europe, more specifically, from the European Commission’s executive vice-president Margrethe Vestager. Politico recently reported that Ms Vestager has been calling for a gender perspective on tech regulation. That’s because if the current, “very non-diverse community” builds Artificial Intelligence … Continue reading “Women’s rights mean coming to the table ‘as you are, knitting needles in hand’”

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Like any business, the Royal Family must supply the goods that keep it profitable

by Rashmee

Posted on March 11, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS  The truest analysis of the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah has to be in business terms. Meghan called the British Royal Family “the Firm”. And it is. It is an institution that sells the idea of itself to remain rich and relevant. Mark Landler put it exceedingly well in The New … Continue reading “Like any business, the Royal Family must supply the goods that keep it profitable”

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Women aren’t always superstar leaders…as Ursula von der Leyen illustrates

by Rashmee

Posted on March 3, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA The other day someone gave thanks that Ursula von der Leyen is not a superstar leader in a crisis. The writer said that the European Commission president’s misjudgements are a clarifying point in the debate over women making better leaders than men. Ms von der Leyen, it should be remembered, … Continue reading “Women aren’t always superstar leaders…as Ursula von der Leyen illustrates”

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‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’ takes us on an enchanted journey

by Rashmee

Posted on February 14, 2021


/ TRAVELS IN MY MIND  I was three-fourths of the way through fellow UEA alumna Monique Roffey’s Costa award-winning ‘The Mermaid of Black Conch‘ when I heard Bridget Kendall ask on the radio: “When did mermaid stories first appear?” The question gave me pause. I knew when mermaids first appeared in my imagination. Like many … Continue reading “‘The Mermaid of Black Conch’ takes us on an enchanted journey”

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Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2021


  The most trite observation of all, as Germany’s most powerful political party picks its new chairman: the three contenders aren’t like Angela Merkel. For starters, they’re all men. Three, middle-aged men – Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen – have been duking it out in the long campaign to replace Ms Merkel. The … Continue reading “Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’”

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‘One who “docs” is a doctor, a teacher’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 16, 2020


One of my brothers-in-law, an American theologian with a doctorate, sent me the following email after I addressed the trenchant criticism of Jill Biden’s decision to style herself as “Dr”: “I have been telling physicians for years that I am a real doctor because I teach”. He was referring to the lifetime he served as … Continue reading “‘One who “docs” is a doctor, a teacher’”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK