Sep 9, 2012 KV Kiva HQ
By Kate Talbot
Week in Review: Political spouses use spotlight to feature their causes
"I want to nominate a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama."
- Bill Clinton, DNC 2012 Convention Speech

It's no surprise that the stars of the presidential nominating conventions these past two weeks have been the candidates' wives.

From who wore what, to the chosen nail polish color, the public wanted to know more about the wives than the candidates. In fact, Michelle Obama's speech garnered 28,003 tweets a minute -- more than double that of Romney's 14,289 tweets per minute.

Fashion aside, both Michelle Obama and Ann Romney spoke passionately about their social causes. Romney opened up about her struggle with MS and Michelle Obama has long been a champion of healthy eating and living for American children.

But philanthropy and community engagement are not exclusive to American political spouses. Around the world, others are using their prestige and power to promote social impact.


Queen Noor of Jordan is the widow of King Hussein of Jordan. Although her husband has passed, she is still very active and a champion for global rights especially surrounding Arab and Muslim culture and politics. 

She chairs the King Hussein Foundation which implements programs that promote education and leadership, economic empowerment, and cross cultural dialogue. Her activism has led her to receive numerous humanitarian awards including the United Nations Environment Program Global 500 Award and Healing the Planet Award



Tim Matheison, partner of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, is an ambassador for Kidney Health Australia and is involved with the Indigenous Diabetes Association in Alice Springs and the mental health non-profit beyondblue.

These political spouses illustrate that behind every great leader is a partner who is caring, compassionate, and charitable. Whoever wins the election this November, Americans can be sure that giving back will be part of their global agenda.

Questions? Comments? Email us at blog@kiva.org.

Media provided by Prostate.org, DailyKos, and NewsTimeAfrica.

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A Bay Area native, Kate received her B.A. in Communications from University of California, San Diego and most recently her MBA from University of San Francisco. She focused her MBA curriculum on Social Entrepreneurship and interned at Social Capital Markets and consulted for Hub Bay Area and Centro Community Partners. Prior to obtaining her MBA, she worked in media and public relations in San Francisco and Manhattan. Her passion for international development stems from spending a significant amount of time volunteering at the Meher Public Trust in the rural village of Ahmednagar, India. In her free time, Kate loves to take dance classes, hike in Marin, and spend time laughing with family and friends.

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