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As women's role in society and the workplace continues to transform, this past year has seen a particular media fascination with senior females. More and more these days, figures like Oprah Winfrey (65) and Nancy Pelosi (78) make up the ranks of our role models. And this change has placed a spotlight on an enduring problem in our business culture: age discrimination.

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When she began putting together Surf Girls Jamaica, Imani Wilmot wanted to do more than just start a surf club. By creating a women-only club, her aim was to empower local women through their common love of the sport. Now she is the subject of a new documentary, also titled “Surf Girls Jamaica,” which examines the important role that Imani’s camp has played in these women’s lives.

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As the senior chief in Central Malawi, Theresa Kachindamoto holds a position of unique power. Her district is home to nearly 900,000 people, and since assuming her role, she has become a true champion for women and girls. In the last three years alone, she has annulled over 850 child marriages, sending the young women back to finish their schooling. And that's just the beginning; you can read Kachindamoto's remarkable story here.

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Here at Billions Rising, we've always been focused on self-reliance, so there are some organizations that will always hold a special place in our hearts. One of these is Bead For Life in Kampala, Uganda.

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Mill Valley entrepreneur Lily Yoseph grew up middle-class in Ethiopia, a blessing in a country plagued with poverty. With the support of her family, she got an education and was able to pursue her dreams. But not all young women in Yoseph's home country are so fortunate, as she discovered on a trip back to her hometown a decade ago.

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temp-post-imageAs a media executive for ESPN and later Vevo, Amber Laws had achieved success in a competitive and challenging field. But despite her flourishing career, she felt something was missing. She took a leap by applying for Wanderist Life, a program that allows young adults to live in four different countries for a year. She was accepted, and resigned from her job. The experience was a transformational one; upon her return, Laws was able to leverage her experiences from the sports and entertainment business into a high-end marketing boutique consultancy.

To find out how she did it, read the whole amazing Forbes feature here.

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Women On The Block will be held at Williamsburg Hotel in Brooklyn this Mother's Day, May 13th

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Photo: Aubrey Devin

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By Joe Bonadio

Across Europe, mushrooms have long been associated with luck and good fortune. And for Anita Devi of Anantpur, India, the connection couldn’t be any clearer: over the past seven years, Devi has turned the humble fungus into a dream business. And not just for herself, but for scores of other women.

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