Global_Updates
 
GLOBAL UPDATES: Women's Rights

 

 

 

 

 
INDEX
 

 

 

  GIVE WOMEN A CHANCE AND THEY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD

MANY WAYS TO BE A GIRL, BUT ONE WAY TO BE A BOY: THE NEW GENDER RULE

WE HEART: ARIANA GRANDE'S "GOD IS WOMAN"

WOMEN MIGHT SAVE AMERICA YET

ALEXANDRIA OCASIIO CORTEZ

ILLINOIS BECOMES THE 37TH STATE TO PASS THE ERA

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

NO PEACE WITHOUT WOMEN

CONGRESSWOMEN LAUNCH FIRST EVER CAUCUS ON BLACK WOMEN & GIRLS

6 REASONS WE STILL NEED INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

WHY THE NEXT U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL MUST BE A WOMAN AND A FEMINIST

WANT PEACE? BRING WOMEN TO THE TABLE

SAUDI WOMEN BEGIN HISTORIC MUNICIPAL ELECTION

MEET THE COOL GIRLS AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN KABAL: #15GIRLS

MASS KILLINGS IN THE U.S:Masculinity, Masculinity,Masculinity

WHEELS OF CHANGE: Afghan Women Ride Bikes Despite Threats and Opposition

MATRIARCHY ON THE MARCH

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR CREATING HIV TEST

HOW TO SPOT A FEMINIST

FOUR SENTENCED TO DEATH, EIGHT TO PRISON FOR BRUTAL MURDER OF AFGHAN WOMAN

BRUTALLY MURDERED AFGHAN WOMAN BECOMES SYMBOL FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS

UN FINDS 'ALARMINGLY HIGH' LEVELS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

GIRL'S EDUCATION: A NEW PRIORITY FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

MALAWI'S PARLIAMENT VOTED UNANIMOUOSLY TO END CHILD MARRIAGE

SAUDI WOMEN STILL CAN'T DRIVE, BUT THEY ARE MAKING IT TO WORK

MOTHER,EMPRESS, VIRGIN, FAITH: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

FOREVER YOUNG:A Public Dialogue Between bell hooks & Gloria Steinem

FOR WOMEN, AN 'INFINITE VARIETY OF PATHS'

NON-VIOLENT MEN;THE NEW SILENT MAJORITY

EMMA WATSON SPEAKS ON FEMINISM AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS AT THE UN

SEEING WOMEN AS KEY TO ECONOMY, JAPAN'S LEADER NAMES 5 TO CABINET

BEYONCE AT THE VMAS:FEMINIST AND FLAWLESS

WHERE WOMEN FILL MORE THAN 50% OF GOVERNMENT SEATS

IS "LEAN IN" FAUX FEMINISM?

SINCE GENOCIDE, RWANDA'S WOMEN HAVE HELPED LEAD RECOVERY

JIMMY CHARTER ISSUES 'CALL TO ACTON' AGAINST SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN

THANK YOU WHITE HOUSE FOR TAKING ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

JANET YELLEN'S NOMINATION JUST CHANGED THE GAME FOR ECONOMISTS

BOSTON AIMS TO EASE GENDER PAY GAP

INDIA'S WORKPLACE CASES HIGHLIGHT ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN

ON ELECTION DAY, LATIN AMERICA WILLINGLY TRADES MACHISMO FOR FEMALE CLOUT

IN AFGHANISTAN, WOMEN BETRAYED

HOW SENATE WOMEN SHAPED THE BUDGET DEAL

WE ARE WHAT FEMINIST LOOK LIKE

GIRLS TWEETING THEIR WAY TO POWER

A GROUNDBREAKING WOMAN'S FILM FROM SAUDI ARABIA

SEX AND THE CITADEL

KUNIN:SHERYL SANDBERG AND MARISSA MAYER

SEXUAL VIOLENCE VICTIMS SAY MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM IS 'BROKEN'

LEAN IN: WHAT'S HOLDING WOMEN BACK

HOUSE PASSES VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT

INTERNATIONALIZATION OF WOMEN'S ISSUES

REPORT BLASTS INDIA'S TREATMENT OF WOMEN

UK HIGH COURT RULES FOR EQUAL PAY FOR WOMEN

WHY DO THEY HATE US?

LET'S END CHILD MARRIAGE IN A GENERATION

SOME FIND HOPE IN AFGHAN BRIDE'S ABUSE

I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE:The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

MASS MARCH BY CAIRO WOMEN IN PROTEST OVER SOLDIERS’ ABUSE

3 WOMEN'S RIGHTS LEADERS ACCEPT NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

RAPE AS A WEAPON OF WAR

TALKING THEIR WAY OUT OF A POPULATION CRISIS

AFTER THE REVOLUTION, ARAB WOMEN SEEK MORE RIGHTS

THINK! ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STAY SMART IN A DUMB-DOWN WORLD

THE END OF MEN

WOMEN RISE IN RWANDA'S ECONOMIC REVIVAL

FIXING THE ECONOMY? IT'S WOMEN'S WORK

THE DEATH OF MACHO

THE WOMEN'S CRUSADE

 

 

 

 

GIVE WOMEN A CHANCE AND THEY WILL CHANGE THE WORLD

Johanna Sigurdardottir

New York Times

September 16, 2018

Johanna Sigurdardottir is a former prime minister of Iceland. She was the first woman to serve in the role, from 2009 to 2013.

There is every reason to consider seriously how things might change if women and men manned posts of power in equal numbers throughout the world.

After a 35-year career in Icelandic politics, I have concluded that women are generally better than men at ensuring fairness in society. The world would truly be a better place if equal numbers of women and men were at the helm. My chance to test this theory arrived in 2009, when I became prime minister of Iceland as the country faced a period of acute economic turmoil.

The circumstances were unprecedented. People in droves had lost their savings, and most families' debts had increased to unmanageable proportions. Iceland itself was on the brink of bankruptcy. My government was determined to defend the social welfare system despite the broad cuts we had to make. Luckily, we were able to drag the country back from the brink.

It is my conviction that a factor in our success was the role that women played in my government.

After 13 years as a minister, I witnessed firsthand how more diversity around the table was a good thing. There were times I was the only woman in the cabinet, and I faced opposition and pushback from my male colleagues. In 2009 I presided over a cabinet that for the first time in Iceland's history included an equal number of men and women.

Experience had showed me that women are often more favorably disposed toward building a strong welfare system, and in the wake of the financial crisis, such a system was essential to ensuring people's basic needs, reducing unemployment and protecting low-income families.

Women also proved to be wiser than men as the financial crisis unfolded. There were hardly any women among the managers of the Icelandic banks that defaulted in 2008. In fact, it was banks run by women, such as Audur Capital, that provided the best examples of how to weather the financial storm. In contrast, the chief executives of companies that were hardest hit by the crash were predominantly male.

In recent years gender imbalance around the world has been reduced, especially in the West. More women than ever hold positions of power worldwide; glass ceilings have been shattered. But more work is needed. We must continue to eliminate barriers that hinder women in the job market.

The economic impact of equal gender participation in the workplace makes a compelling case for gender equality. In Northern Europe, for instance, increased female employment accounts for up to 0.40 percent of average annual gross domestic product growth per capita, according to a recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

If we wish to reap the benefits of gender equality, however, equal parental responsibility and a strong welfare system are crucial. In Iceland things changed radically for both sexes in 2000 when the government established a man's independent right to paternity leave. That meant that employers could no longer assume that only women would be taking parental leave at some point to start a family.

Equal access and equal pay for men and women are other important requirements. In June 2017, the Icelandic Parliament passed a law obliging public and private companies to prove that they paid their employees the same wage for the same job, regardless of gender.

While I was prime minister, another law requiring that women hold at least 40 percent of seats on company boards and pension funds came into force. My government was also the first in Iceland to ensure that the same quota be met on public committees, boards and councils.

"When does women's work become real work? When no woman turns up to do it," Jennifer Weiner wrote last year in an Op-Ed in The New York Times. She was exactly right. The jobs women do will not be fully appreciated unless we make it glaringly obvious how important they are. But how can we do that?

What Icelandic women chose to do many years ago, in October 1975, was to go on strike. We had had enough of institutionalized gender inequality and we took action, demanding equal pay. The objective was to spotlight women's contributions to society and demonstrate how undervalued our work was. Ninety percent of Icelandic women took part in the strike, refusing to work, cook or look after children. Society was brought almost to a standstill.

It was that first act of protest that got the ball rolling. In 1980, Vigdis Finnbogadottir became the first directly elected female president in the democratic world. Following the strike, the number of women elected to Iceland's Parliament increased significantly, and even more after the founding of Women's List, a feminist political party, in 1983. In 1975, only 5 percent of members of Parliament were women; by 1983 that number rose to 15 percent and, in 2016, to 47.6 percent.

Gender equality is not just about the law and women's formal rights; it is also about ensuring that women have equal access to power and its impact on society. Little more than lip service is often paid to this necessity, and there is often too little political will to enforce any effective change. We need to work harder toward a more substantive and participatory version of gender equality.

As Iceland's experience shows, giving women an equal say in how business and society are run can change the world for the better.

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MANY WAYS TO BE A GIRL, BUT ONE WAY TO BE A BOY: THE NEW GENDER RULES

Claire Cain Miller

New york Times

September 14, 2018

Girls have been told they can be anything they want to be, and it shows. They are seizing opportunities closed to previous generations — in science, math, sports and leadership.

But they’re also getting another message: What they look like matters more than any of that.

Boys seem to have been largely left out of the conversation about gender equality. Even as girls’ options have opened up, boys’ lives are still constricted by traditional gender norms: being strong, athletic and stoic.

These are findings from a new nationally representative poll of 1,000 children and adolescents 10 to 19, along with other research on this age group, which is not surveyed often. They show gender attitudes of a generation on the verge of adulthood.

In the survey, conducted by PerryUndem, a research and polling firm, a majority of girls said sexism was still a problem - yet in many ways, they felt empowered. Girls were slightly more likely than boys to say being a leader was a very important life goal, evidence of a significant shift in gender expectations.

"I'm all in for leadership,” said Isabelle Reksopuro, 13, one of eight eighth graders at Happy Valley Middle School in Happy Valley, Ore., we interviewed this week. She is captain of the debate team and a member of the student council, and wants to become a scientist. “In this school, girls and boys have equal opportunities; it just depends on your talent"

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Girls were as likely as boys to say math or science was their favorite subject, and to have considered running for office. They said they were mostly treated fairly compared with boys.

Yet when it came to their bodies, girls said they did not feel equal. About three-quarters of girls 14 to 19 in the survey said they felt judged as a sexual object or unsafe as a girl. By far, they said society considered physical attractiveness to be the most important female trait- a view that adult women share, surveys have found. Girls were also more likely than boys to say they felt a lot of pressure to put others feelings before their own. To read more click here.

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WE HEART: ARIANA GRANDE'S FEMINIST ANTHEM "GOD IS A WOMAN"

Carmiya Baskin

Ms. Blog

7/19/20018

Ariana Grande's song, "God Is a Woman," is, at its core, a song about sex-but in the music video released Friday, the pop star subverts cultural norms around sexuality and gender in a stunning display of woman-power. In a matter of only a few minutes, Grande celebrates sisterhood and declares women to be all-powerful forces of nature-all while rejecting slut-shaming in an unabashed celebration of female pleasure.

The music video opens with Grande dancing in the middle of a rotating galaxy, implying that she is the center of the universe and the ultimate giver of pleasure. In the next scene, Grande sits atop a large book as tiny men on the ground throw words like "fake," "slut" and "stupid," at her, but the insults merely bounce off of the musician's body as she sensually stares into the camera and declares: "I'm tellin' you the way I like it, how I want it." Grande is later shown dressed in a jewel-encrusted blue robe, standing among a crowd of women dressed in identical white uniforms. "When you try to come for me," she remarks, "I keep on flourishing."

The music video also features a multitude of images alluding to the concept of a female "Mother Earth"-Grande is seen mounted on top of the planet Earth as her fingers dance inside a swirling hurricane, surrounded by natural elements that blossom as she touches them and even taking on the form of a maternal she-wolf as men suckle on her "teats." These images reference, and even pay reverence to, the idea of women as the ultimate providers and creators.

The end scene, a re-creation of Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam" featuring Grande, as God, surrounded by a diverse troupe of women and reaching out to Adam, depicted in the scene as a black woman, is the climax of such a narrative-and a delightful subversion of the centuries-old biblical subjugation of women that has laid the foundation for centuries of political and legal discrimination against them.

But the ultimate feminist flourish in the "God is a Woman" video comes towards the end-when Madonna recites a biblical passage from "Like a Prayer" while Grande, donning a cat-ear helmet and long gloves that say "POWER" on them, mouths along. "I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my sisters," Madonna declares. "And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you."

Grande then engages in her most heavy-handed feminist reference: she launches an oversized gavel upwards, shattering a glass ceiling.

Grande, an outspoken feminist, is not the first person to reference God as a woman-but her own take on the phenomena has resulted in a catchy anthem for modern feminism that denounces patriarchy, celebrates female solidarity and revels in female sexuality.

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WOMEN MIGHT SAVE AMERICA YET

Michelle Goldberg

New York Times

July 2, 2018

Erin Gabriel was already pretty busy before Donald Trump was elected president... Then came Nov. 8, 2016. "It was terrifying," Gabriel said of Trump's victory. She worried about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the return of insurance discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions...

Since that day, as Trump's presidency has confirmed many of her fears, Gabriel has transformed her life. She used to be at home most nights, watching TV. Now she goes to political meetings three or four evenings a week, sometimes with Abby in tow. "I could go every night -- there's always something going on," she told me. Besides volunteering on local Democratic campaigns, she's working to coordinate volunteers across campaigns, to make sure they're deployed to the candidates who most need help...It's too soon to tell whether America will survive Trump in any recognizable form. But if it does, it will be because women like Gabriel have realized that no one is coming to save democracy for us, and they have set out to rescue it themselves.

It's no secret that American women dislike Trump; a recent poll showed that 57 percent of all female voters disapprove of him, 43 percent strongly. But polls can't capture the way gut-churning revulsion toward Trump is changing some women's whole way of being in the world. You see it in the large number of women running for political office and winning. But you also see it in the women, many of them suburban, middle-aged and not particularly radical, who are making political activism the center of their lives...

The Resistance has burrowed deep into electoral politics at every level, from school board on up. These days, both Gabriel and her husband are Democratic committeepersons, the party's elected neighborhood representatives. She's involved in her community in a way she never had been before. Her social life revolves around political organizing, which is what makes that organizing sustainable amid the outrage fatigue of Trump's presidency.

To read more click here.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Emerges as a Political Star

Andy Newman, Vivian Wang and Luis Ferre-Sadurni

New York Times

June 27, 2018


Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, whose resume up to now included waitress, children's-book publisher, community activist, member of the Democratic Socialists of America and former Bernie Sanders campaign organizer, was now something else: an instant political rock star. She stunned the Democratic establishment by beating one of the senior leaders in the House, Joseph Crowley, in a near-landslide in Tuesday's primary.

She is expected to have little difficulty defeating the Republican candidate, Anthony Pappas, in a predominantly Democratic district that takes in working-class, immigrant-heavy swaths of the Bronx and Queens in November.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez appeared to be adjusting to the intensity with the aplomb of a natural retail politician, graciously granting every request for a picture while staying cheerfully on a progressive message that has energized the Democrats' left wing. "Thank you!" she said, over and over, eyes wide, smile wider, her hand flying to her chest. "Thank you so much."

To read more click here.

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ILLINOIS BECOMES THE 37th STATE TO RATIFY THE ERA

Feminist Majority Foundation

Feminist NewsWire

June 4 2018

On Wednesday, with a required three-fifths vote (72-45) in the state House, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The United States is now only one state short of guaranteeing women's equality in the U.S. Constitution.

"I am appalled and embarrassed that the state of Illinois has not done this earlier,"said Democratic Rep. Stephanie Kifowit. "I am proud to be on this side of history and I am proud to support not only all the women that this will help, that this will send a message to, but I am also here to be a role model for my daughter."

In April, the Illinois state Senate voted 43-12 with no debate to ratify the ERA. It was the first piece of legislation ever endorsed by the newly formed bipartisan women's caucus.

"Every roadblock imaginable has been thrown up against the Equal Rights Amendment, yet we have persisted," said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority and Feminist Majority Foundation who has been working for ERA ratification for 47 years. "Since Alice Paul first authored the ERA in 1923, generations of feminist women have struggled to make constitutional equality a reality."

The ERA passed both houses of the U.S. Congress in 1972, and like every proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution, was sent to the states for ratification. The amendment lost momentum after the arbitrary ten year ratification deadline set by Congress came in 1982. The amendment was three states short of the 38 needed for ratification. But the push for the ERA has received renewed attention following the election of Donald Trump, and a year ago, Nevada became the 36th state, and the first state since 1982, to ratify the ERA.

Many Constitutional scholars believe that because the time limit is in the pre-amble of the amendment, and therefore not part of the wording voted on by the states, it is subject to an extension by a vote in Congress. Thousands demonstrated in Washington in 1978-the original ERA deadline-and Congress granted an extension until June 30, 1982. It is the only amendment to ever have a time limit placed on it.

The ERA's passage would be far from symbolic; it will help women in cases of discrimination in education, employment, wages, insurance benefits, scholarship, military service, social security, violence against women, and more. Without the passage of the ERA, women have been forced to gain equality law by law. If the ERA is ratified by 38 states and becomes the law of land, women would be mentioned in the Constitution for the first time, and there would be a guarantee against the Supreme Court, Congress or state legislatures gutting equality on the basis of sex.

Local governments have joined the fight for ratification. In January, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously for a resolution in support of the Virginia legislature ratifying the ERA. And in 2016, the Durham City Council passed a resolution calling on the North Carolina legislature to ratify.

"The ERA has continued to gain greater and greater momentum," continued Smeal. "Ratification efforts are proceeding and intensifying in numerous states, including Virginia, which experienced an overwhelming feminist victory in the 2017 state elections. National, state, and local efforts will persist until equality is ours!"

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THE FUTURE IS FEMALE

Kathy Spillar and Carmen Rios

Ms Blog

3/15/2018

This year, women and young people--both as voters and candidates--could have the power to determine the makeup of Congress, state legislatures and governors' offices.A national poll released in January by the Washington Post/ ABC News predicts that women's strong preference for Democratic over Republican candidates (57-31) in congressional races could play a decisive role in determining the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections. And a 2017 survey by MTV/PRRI finds that over the past year, young women were significantly more likely than young men to be engaged in political activity, a finding The Brookings Institute suggests could shift "the course of our politics in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond."

A national poll released in January by the Washington Post/ ABC News predicts that women's strong preference for Democratic over Republican candidates (57-31) in congressional races could play a decisive role in determining the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections. And a 2017 survey by MTV/PRRI finds that over the past year, young women were significantly more likely than young men to be engaged in political activity, a finding The Brookings Institute suggests could shift "the course of our politics in the 2018 midterm elections and beyond."

We saw these trends play out in the 2017 elections, especially in the Virginia races for the state's House of Delegates. Record numbers of Democratic newcomers, including a record number of women, challenged long entrenched Republican incumbents and won, despite having to campaign in highly gerrymandered districts that favored Republicans. A massive gender gap with 13 percent more women than men (61 percent versus 48 percent) voting for the Democratic candidate Ralph Northam for governor; a colossal African American vote, especially from African American women; and a surge among young voters combined to shift the makeup of the House from a Republican supermajority of 66-34 to a 51-49 bare majority. And that outcome was only final after a tie vote for one House seat was broken by literally drawing a name out of a bowl.

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The forces driving the public's preference for women candidates, and the gender gaps in political engagement, are not likely to abate anytime soon. The massive size of the Women's Marches this January reflected women's sustained outrage and engagement. The #MeToo movement's spotlight on the stories of sexual abuse and workplace sexual harassment across every sector and industry is contributing to women's political mobilization. And the recent domestic violence scandals among White House staff and appointees (and attempts to cover up the incidents) only fuel women's anger and mobilization.

"The anti-patriarchy movement is going to undo 10,000 years of recorded history," former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon recently told Bloomberg News. "The time has come. Women are gonna take charge of society. This...is a definitional moment in the culture. It'll never be the same going forward."

To read more click here.

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NO PEACE WITHOUT WOMEN

Jessica Merino

Ms. Magazine

12/27/17

Recognizing the unique contributions of women to peace, Congress just enacted the Women, Peace and Security Act (WPS)—requiring the U.S. to take on a leading role globally and develop a comprehensive strategy for increasing and strengthening women’s involvement in conflict prevention and peace negotiations.

For the past several years, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) has led the Senate effort to codify women's inclusion as a core, operationalized priority in U.S. foreign policy, peace negotiations and security. “I'm proud that this bipartisan effort will sustain the U.S. commitment to promoting greater female representation in conflict resolution and peace building,” Shaheen says. Cosponsor Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee chair Ed Royce (R-Calif.) joined Shaheen in urging lawmakers to recognize gender as a crosscutting, fundamental component of conflict resolution and prevention.

The legislation comes in an era defined by rising extremism and global crisis. Evidence is mounting that for lasting peace, women must take part. Research compiled by the International Peace Institute shows that a peace agreement is 35 percent more likely to remain in place for at least 15 years if women are included in its creation. When there’s been very little contribution from women, roughly half of all peace agreements collapse within 10 years. Since women are left to navigate war's aftermath, they possess knowledge and experience that is essential to peace discussions. Women bear the brunt of war's collateral damage, and as such, they seek more permanent resolutions. For more information click here.

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CONGRESSWOMEN LAUNCH FIRST EVER CAUCUS ON BLACK WOMEN & GIRLS

Feminist Newswire

March 23, 2016

Congresswomen Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Robin Kelly (D-IL) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) launched the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls yesterday, the first caucus to focus specifically on ways to combat discrimination and reduce disparities faced by Black women.

“From barriers in education, to a gender-based pay gap that widens with race, to disparities in both diagnoses and outcomes for many diseases, our society forces Black women to clear many hurdles faced by no other group, and asks them to do it with little assistance,” said Congresswoman Watson Coleman. “Black women deserve a voice in a policy making process that frequently minimizes, or altogether ignores the systemic challenges they face. This caucus will speak up for them.”

There are currently over 430 registered congressional caucuses and Member organizations, but until yesterday, not one focused on the needs of Black women and girls. The Congresswomen intend for the newly created Caucus on Black Women and Girls to provide a forum for these voices to be heard on national policy issues. To read more click here.

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6 REASONS WE STILL NEED INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Shiromi Pinto

Ms. Blog

March 9, 2016

This article is for men and women who say "Feminism is no longer necessary, they have won all their wars so leave us alone and let us go on with our lives". Unfortunately, there are still battles to be confronted and reasons to observe INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY. Six reasons listed here make good talking points but in reality there are many more when considering all our sisters across the globe suffering under the yoke of patriarchy.

Shiromi Pinto reminds us in this article that "Women and girls may have scaled unimaginable heights in politics, science, arts, sports and business, but they are still struggling. Not just for equal pay, which is a concern on so many people’s minds today, but for their basic human rights. Nowhere is this plainer than in women’s struggle for their sexual and reproductive rights. Here are six reasons why we think International Women’s Day is more important than ever." To read more click here.

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WHY THE NEXT U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL MUST BE A WOMAN AND A FEMINIST

Françoise Girard

Ms. Blog

January 26, 2016

Ban Ki-moon, the current secretary-general of the United Nations, will step down at the end of 2016. Francoise Girard, president of the International Women’s Health Coalition, emphasizes that "...the next secretary-general must be an unequivocal champion for women’s human rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights. She must work to address inequality in all its forms and address the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that many women and girls face. She must commit to ensuring that women’s movements are not just observers in U.N. policymaking, but active and equal participants. She must ensure that women are in senior roles throughout the U.N. system. She must call out the threats to women’s organizations and women human rights defenders around the world." To read more click here.

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WANT PEACE? BRING WOMEN TO THE TABLE

Lyric Thompson

Ms.Blog

December 10, 2015

Women are also an incredible force for peace, and recent scholarship points more strongly than ever to their power as peacebuilders. A recent study of 40 global peace processes shows that women increased the chances of agreements being reached, that their participation in talks contributed to better implementation of recommendations, and that they helped ensure the durability of peace. Perhaps most importantly, women repeatedly—and successfully—pushed for talks to take place where they weren’t, or to resume or conclude when they had stalled.

Still, women are routinely excluded from the peace table. From 1992 to 2011, less than four percent of participants in peace agreements and less than 10 percent of negotiators at peace talks were women, according to U.N. data.

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General awareness of women’s power as peacebuilders has risen considerably, thanks to increased coverage by the media and the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize going to three female peacemakers from Liberia and Yemen. In fact, one of the laureates, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, rose to fame through the power of the media. The 2008 documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell profiles her collaborative effort to bring women together for peace across religious and political divides.

Yet the high honor of a handful of women has not been shared by the millions of women organizing to end violence and conflict in their own countries and communities—a highly risky undertaking for which many women tragically pay the ultimate price. As we push for more places for women at the peace table, we must take care not to forget the plight of the millions more who are doing the same work in the streets.

For the past 16 days, activists everywhere have reminded the global community of the devastating effects that violence has on women, families, communities and entire nations. But women are not solely victims of violence; they are also powerful leaders and catalysts for peace and social change. With Human Rights Day marking the end of the 16 Days Campaign, let us remember the women and girls in the streets and villages, defending human rights and pushing for peace, often at their own peril. Until we universally and consistently assert their rights to raise their voices and to participate in the dialogues and processes that define their lives without fear of violence, harassment or death itself, we cannot say we have arrived at real and lasting peace.To read more click here.

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SAUDI WOMEN BEGIN HISTORIC MUNICIPAL ELECTION

FEMINIST NEWSWIRE

MEDIA RESOURCES:CNN 11/30/15, 8/23/15; AL JAZEERA 8/20/15, 3/2/14

DECEMBER 1, 2015

On Sunday, for the first time in Saudi Arabia’s modern history, more than 900 women have registered to run for the municipal elections. The municipal elections on December 12th will also mark the first time women are allowed to vote.

The Saudi monarchy has been widely criticized by international human rights organizations for a lack of equal rights for women. Saudi Arabia has also been heavily criticized by the absolute absence of freedom of speech and religion. It is the only country in the world where women are still not allowed to drive and must cover themselves in black from head-to-toe. Women must also ask a male member of the family to travel, leave the house, work, or marry.

Despite the many limitations caused by these patriarchal restrictions, the participation of Saudi women in politics is considered a step forward for women and for the defenders of women’s rights. The municipal councils have limited responsibilities but also approve budgets, suggest planning regulations, and oversee urban and development projects.To read more click here.

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MEET THE COOL GIRLS AT A HIGH SCHOOL IN KABAL: #15GIRLS

Rebecca Hersher

National Public Radio, Morning Edition

October 15, 2015

Hadia Durani is one of the cool girls at her school in Kabul. She's chatty and gets good grades, and when she grows up she wants to be president.

In class, Hadia is outgoing, but once she leaves the schoolyard, things are different. She says men and boys yell at her when she's walking to and from school. They tell her she should stay at home, and call her mean names, and when that happens, she just keeps her head down and ignores them.

"It will just start an argument," she shrugs. "And [the girls] get blamed." Hadia Durani is one of the cool girls at her school in Kabul. She's chatty and gets good grades, and when she grows up she wants to be president.

In class, Hadia is outgoing, but once she leaves the schoolyard, things are different. She says men and boys yell at her when she's walking to and from school. They tell her she should stay at home, and call her mean names, and when that happens, she just keeps her head down and ignores them. "It will just start an argument," she shrugs. "And [the girls] get blamed." The students at the Tanweer School, whom I interviewed for our series on girls at 15, know they're especially lucky to be able to attend classes. A lot of girls their age have dropped out because there's too much social pressure from their families who want them to spend their time in the home after they reach puberty. We interviewed these girls — and some of the boys at their school as well — on video. You can see that and more photos from their school here. At 15, they're full of dreams. Somaya Rahmanzai is a math and science nerd. In geometry class, she stands up confidently to volunteer the formula for the area of a circle. "My school has a laboratory!" she says. "We can learn biology and mathematics. We have many rooms and teachers. I love school." To read more click here.

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MASS KILLINGS IN THE U.S:Masculinity, Masculinity,Masculinity

Soraya Chemaly

Ms.Blog

October 8,2015

The term “beta male” succinctly captures certain attitudes about gender, hierarchy and sex. Whether role-playing or not, as one Redditor put it, some people are taking the idea that there are betas and alpha males seriously and concluding that, “Since sexual freedom is rising and women today can choose with whom they want to have sex, a small minority of ‘alpha males’ gets all girls while most betas are left in the dust. See this picture. After the betas have realized this, they’ll rise up and stop the feminist insanity that left them without pussy.”

However, many media outlets and analysts continue to treat information like this as an aside, or, when addressing the issue, actually feed it. Consider, for example, this headline: “Chris Mintz Defies The Age Of The Beta Male.” In the meantime, another young white man with a gun has wreaked havoc on a community and once again the media is fixated on a numbing conversation about guns and mental illness. These are important dimensions of this crisis, but they are insufficient ones. Without addressing the gender and race dimensions of male entitlement in the United States—and the role they play in the treatment of mental illness, gun culture and the targeting of victims—we will never tackle this problem in a meaningful way. To read more click here.

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WHEELS OF CHANGE: Afghan Women Ride Bikes Despite Threats and Opposition

Kitty Lindsay

Ms.Blog

September 28,2015

Even before the Taliban ruled in Afghanistan, women were banned from riding bicycles. Though they’re no longer officially banned, women’s cycling is still frowned upon in the conservative country.

But there are groups of women winding their way through cultural taboo and beating a new path to women’s equality, and they’re being profiled in a new documentary by filmmaker Sarah Menzies: Afghan Cycles.

The Ms. Blog caught up with Menzies to talk about the motivation behind the Afghan women’s cycling movement, the still-rocky road ahead and the resilience of the women who have become the engines for social change in Afghanistan.To read more click here

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MATRIARCHY ON THE MARCH

David Barasch

Wall Street Journal

March 27, 2015

Not many people could pull this off—but Dr. [Melvin] Konner [in his book Women After All] does. “In addition to women’s superiority in judgment,” he writes, “their trustworthiness, reliability, fairness, working and playing well with others, relative freedom from distracting sexual impulses, and lower levels of prejudice, bigotry, and violence make them biologically superior. They live longer, have lower mortality at all ages, are more resistant to most categories of disease, and are much less likely to suffer brain disorders that lead to disruptive and even destructive behavior. And, of course, most fundamentally they are capable of producing new life from their own bodies, a stressful and costly burden in biological terms, to which men literally add only the tiniest biological contribution—and one that in the not-too-distant future could probably be done without.”

Let’s face it: Men are responsible for much more than their share of the world’s wars, drug abuse and sexual misbehavior. To be sure, men have also been responsible for many of the good—even great—aspects of civilization, but this may be because they grant themselves more influence and opportunity in this regard. “Life on this planet isn’t threatened by women’s tears; nor does that brimming salty fluid cause poverty, drain public coffers, ruin reputations, impose forced intimacies, slay children, torture helpless people, or reduce cities to rubble. These disasters are literally man-made.” Indeed, if we were to magically do away with male-initiated violence, we would pretty much do away with violence altogether. (Of 80 mass killings in the U.S. involving guns between 1984 and 2014, men perpetrated 78.)

There are books about feminism and women’s rights and about the evolutionary biology of sex in animals and people, but none until now that combine the two. “Contrary to all received wisdom,” we learn, “women are more logical and less emotional than men. Women do cry more easily, and that, too, is partly biological, although certain male politicians and other prominent men seem able to deploy tears strategically in public.” “Women After All” is reminiscent of Ashley Montagu’s last and best book, “The Natural Superiority of Women” (1953). To read more go to Feminism on Facebook. Scroll down to Sheila Luecht March 29, entry.

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OUR PROBLEM WITH POWERFUL WOMEN

Bryce Covert

New York Times

June 5,2015

The arc of the history of women striving for the top, Mrs. Clinton assured her supporters, doesn’t just bend toward justice; it’s a straight line, carved by women clearing a path for those who come after.

She clearly believes in this story of progress, evidenced not just by her decision to run again but also, perhaps, by the token “progress pint glass” made from “shattered glass ceilings” for sale on her campaign website.

It’s hard to say whether the path truly is a little easier for women in politics every time one of them makes it into office. No woman has yet made it to the White House, and Congress is still less than 20 percent female, nearly a century after the first woman made it into the House of Representatives.

But we do know that politics most likely doesn’t reflect how progress works for women trying to crack the corporate glass ceiling. The path doesn’t get dramatically easier; in fact, it is often harder to make progress every time a woman steps into an executive office.To read complete article click here

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HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT WINS INTERNATIONAL AWARD FOR CREATING HIV TEST


Feminist Newswire

May 29,2015

Nicole Ticea, a teen from Vancouver, Canada, won a top prize at the Intel International and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school science research competition for her invention of a simple and low-cost HIV test.

Ticea, who is just 16, created a simple and inexpensive HIV test that can be sold over-the-counter at very affordable rates. It can also detect the HIV virus in babies under 18 months old and adults who have been infected for only three months. The test does not require electricity, can provide reliable results within an hour, and would take an estimated $5 to produce in the United States.

The Vancouver teen, who developed the test with help from a Simon Fraser University professor and grad student, has high hopes for the impact this test could have. “For me, the ultimate objective has always been to see my test being applied in an everyday setting where it can make a difference,” she said.

Since Ticea’s discovery last year she has created her own company, which received a US grant for $100,00 to continue to develop the technology. At the Intel International awards, Ticea took home $50,000 from the science competition for her invention.

Ticea’s invention could mean big things for women worldwide. Over half of all people living with HIV are women, and worldwide HIV is a leading cause of death among women of reproductive age. Ticea has been recognized by a myriad of other awards, including the Sanofi BioGENEius Challense in Canada, and has been lauded by the World Health Organization

Media Resources: Huffington Post 5/18/15; NotImpossibleNow 12/1/4; Ms. Magazine 8/30/13; UN AIDS Global Report; BBC 3/5/10;

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HOW TO SPOT A FEMINIST

Go to #How to Spot a Feminist.

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FOUR SENTENCED TO DEATH, EIGHT TO PRISON FOR BRUTAL MURDER OF AFGHAN WOMAN

FeministNewswire



May 6,2015

Farkhunda, who was an Islamic law student, accused a local Mullah of acting inappropriately. The Mullah then began to shout that Farkhunda was an infidel who had burned the Koran, she was also accused of being mentally ill – both accusations were later said to be false. A crowd of hundreds of men were incited to attack her, and they beat her to death, set fire to her body, and threw her body in a river. Of the 49 men tried in this case, four were sentenced to death, and eight were sentenced to 16 years in prison. Nineteen police officers are facing charges and will be sentenced separately. The rest were not charged. The Mullah responsible for provoking the mob to attack Farkhunda was among those sentenced to death - the first Mullah in Afghanistan to be executed. Activists who have been calling for justice for Farkhunda are celebrating the sentencing. “It’s making me hopeful and it’s making think that all the work that we did, all the protest that we did is finally reaching something,” said one woman who has been active in seeking justice, and who wished to remain anonymous. Others felt the sentencing was too lenient. Omar Haidari, another activist, said the judge’s ruling was “totally unacceptable,” claiming the 18 men who were acquitted should not have gone free. “They were all part of the game and should be punished severely,” he said. “At least they should be sentenced to life in prison for what they have done.” Farkhunda’s murder sent shockwaves through Afghanistan and the world, as videos of the mob attack went viral. She has been called a martyr among women’s rights and Islamic people alike who believe the woman was unjustly killed for speaking up for her beliefs. A group of all women carried Farkhunda’s coffin at her funeral, which breaks the tradition that has men carrying the coffin while women stay home to mourn.

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BRUTALLY MURDERED AFGHAN WOMAN BECOMES SYMBOL FOR WOMEN'S RIGHTS


Feminist Newswire

April 6, 2015

Last month, 27-year-old Farkhunda was falsely accused of burning the Koran then brutally murdered after standing up for her beliefs in front of a shrine attendant in Kabul, Afghanistan. She’s now being held up as a champion of Islam and women’s rights.

Farkhunda, who was an Islamic law student, decided to speak up against the practice of mullahs selling tahwiz, which are verses from the Koran that are said to bring good luck. Farkhunda said the practice was un-Islamic. The shrine attendant then began to shout that Farkhunda was an infidel who had burned the Koran, she was also accused of being mentally ill – both accusations were later said to be false. A crowd of hundreds of men beat her and set fire to her body.

“This is heartbreaking — she was innocent and she was a woman,” said Fawzia Koofi, a women’s rights activist and politician who is also on the investigation team created by the Afghan president. “This happened to her because of her gender.”

But now, weeks after the incident, Farkhunda is being called a martyr among women’s rights and Islamic people alike who believe the woman was unjustly killed for speaking up for her beliefs. The beatings were caught in cell phone videos and led to an uproar on social media. A group of all women carried Farkhunda’s coffin at her funeral, which breaks the tradition that has men carrying the coffin.Click here to read more.

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UN FINDS 'ALARMINGLY HIGH' LEVELS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Somini Sencuptas

New York Times

March 9, 2015

UNITED NATIONS — The evidence is ubiquitous. The gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi sets off an unusual burst of national outrage in India. In South Sudan, women are assaulted by both sides in the civil war. In Iraq, jihadists enslave women for sex. And American colleges face mounting scrutiny about campus rape.

Despite the many gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels,” according to a United Nations analysis that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to present to the General Assembly on Monday. Click here to read more.

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GIRL'S EDUCATION: A NEW PRIORITY FOR THE WHITE HOUSE

Stephanie Hallett

Ms.Blog

March 4, 2015

Said President Obama in announcing the initiative:
"Wherever they live, whoever they are, every girl on this planet has value. Every girl on this planet deserves to be treated with dignity and equality. And that includes the chance to develop her mind and her talents, and to live a life of her own choosing, to chart her own destiny. That may be obvious to us, but we know it’s not obvious to everyone. Sixty-two million girls around the world who should be in school are not. That’s not by accident. It’s the direct result of barriers, large and small, that stand in the way of girls who want to learn."
Click here to read more.

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MALAWI'S PARLIAMENT VOTED UNANIMOUOSLY TO END CHILD MARRIAGE

FEMINIST NEWSWIRE

February 25,2015

The Malawian Parliament voted unanimously last week to ban child marriage, an important move for a country with one of the highest child marriage rates in the world...Women’s rights activists are optimistic for what this new law may mean both for Malawian girls and for the development of the country. “This law is very important because of the number of girls who drop out of school because they are going to get married, and because of the high number of girls who are dying when they are giving birth,” said Jesse Kabwila, who was advocating to get the bill through Parliament.

“What marriage does to the kids is it really destroys their future, it destroys their hopes, it just turns them into something they are not supposed to be,” Kakenya Ntaiya, who avoided a child marriage after being engaged at age five by opting instead to undergo the brutal process of female genital mutilation, told Ms. magazine in their Winter 2015 issue. Ntaiya now runs the Kakenya Center for Excellence in Enoosaen, which currently is home to over 150 girls. “I wanted to see a different future for them,” she continued, “[and] school was the place I could achieve that.” To read more click here

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SAUDI WOMEN STILL CAN'T DRIVE, BUT THEY ARE MAKING IT TO WORK

Deborah Amos

NPR, Morning Edition

February 25, 2015

The open workspace looks a lot like a college dorm: desk clutter, potted plants, family pictures and a snack table with chips and chocolate. Assery says she recruits women exclusively because they are more motivated than Saudi men.

In this deeply conservative country, a woman needs permission from a male guardian to travel, for education, even for some medical procedures. But when it comes to business, men and women are equal under the law, Assery says. Go here to read more

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MOTHER,EMPRESS, VIRGIN, FAITH: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

Susan Stamberg

NPR

December 24, 2014

This Christmas, images of the Virgin Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Mary's role as Woman, Mother and Idea is portrayed by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt as well as other major and lesser-known artists from the 1400s through the 1900s.To read entire review click here or go to National Museum of Women in the Arts

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FOREVER YOUNG:A Public Dialogue Between bell hooks & Gloria Steinem

October 6, 2014

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, editor, and feminist activist. She travels in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She now lives in New York City, and is currently at work on Road to the Heart: America As if Everyone Mattered, a book about her more than thirty years on the road as a feminist organizer.

bell hooks (née Gloria Watkins) is among the leading public intellectuals of her generation. Her writings cover a broad range of topics including gender, race, teaching, and contemporary culture. This fall marks the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Teaching to Transgress: Education as a Practice of Freedom, Dr. hooks’ seminal book on educational practices. (Introduction by Dr. Ann Snitow, Eugene Lang College)

To view youtube video of dialogue between bell hook and Gloria Steinem click here

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FOR WOMEN, AN 'INFINITE VARIETY OF PATHS'


National Public Radio: Morning Edition

September 30, 2014

Writer Rebecca Traister says until very recently, getting married marked the beginning of a woman's adult life. But in the past few decades, there has been a dramatic jump in the average age women get married — from around 22 to around 27 — a change that's been profound. "We have now shifted our vision of what an adult woman's life path usually entails, and it now entails some period of economic, social, sexual independence," says Traister, a senior editor at The New Republic and author of an upcoming book about unmarried women. And she says that while the shift in marriage patterns is mostly a good thing for women, it can also be seen as a destabilizing force in society. To read more click here.

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NON-VIOLENT MEN: THE NEW SILENT MAJORITY

Rob Okun

Ms Blog

September 22,2014

Since the vast majority of men don’t act violently toward those they love, why have we men become a new, deafeningly silent majority? Many of us are not even bystanders; we’re AWOL. Many of us don’t know men who speak out against the minority of men who abuse. That’s got to change.

The good news is that for nearly two generations a growing number of men of all races and ethnicities in the U.S. and around the world have followed the lead of women, working to prevent domestic and sexual violence and to redefine and transform traditional ideas about manhood, fatherhood and brotherhood. We’ve been called all kinds of names, but many of us describe ourselves as members of the profeminist or anti-sexist men’s movement.

Profeminist men hold the simple “radical” belief that gender and sexual equality are fundamental democratic goals and that women and men should each have the same rights and opportunities. Although marginalized and largely absent from the national conversation about gender in the mainstream media, modern-day profeminist men have been engaged in a sweeping critique of manhood and masculinity since the 1970s. To read more click here

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EMMA WATSON SPEAKS ON FEMINISM AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS AT THE UN

Tom Ashbrook

National Public Radio: On Point

September 25, 2014

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SEEING WOMEN AS KEY TO ECONOMY, JAPAN'S LEADER
NAMES 5 TO CABINET

Martin Fackler

New York Times

September 3, 2014

TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan unveiled a reshuffled cabinet on Wednesday that included five women, an apparent nod toward his promises to raise the status of women in the workplace. The appointments tie the record for the number of women in top political positions in Japan.

Since taking office in December 2012 Abe has spoken of the need to revive Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, by more fully unleashing the potential of its huge pool of highly educated women, who have long been relegated to relatively low-ranking positions in the work force.

To read moreclick here

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BEYONCE AT THE VMAS:FEMINIST AND FLAWLESS

Anita Little

Ms Blog

August 25, 2014

If you missed the MTV Video Music Awards last night, there was only one image you really needed to see: Beyoncé literally putting the spotlight on feminism. And seeing the word FEMINIST emblazoned on a huge screen behind the singer was a galvanizing sight to behold.

The millions of people who tuned into the VMAs last night found out what we at Ms. already knew: Beyoncé has been building up her feminist credentials for years now. From penning a piece on equal pay in the Shriver Report to sampling Nigerian feminist author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her latest album to evoking Rosie the Riveter on her Instagram, she’s been unabashedly feminist. In being so unapologetic and quietly outspoken, she’s made feminism accessible to young women around the world who otherwise never would have identified with the movement. Beyonce has shown, as bell hooks expressed in her epochal 2000 text, that “feminism is for everybody.Gasinzigwa.To read more click here

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WHERE WOMEN FILL MORE THAN 50% OF GOVERNMENT SEATS

by Diana Buckhantz

Ms Blog

August 21, 2014

We always talk about the fact that in order to really change attitudes and behavior towards women and to correct gender inequity in Congo, there need to be women leaders. It seems like a pretty obvious statement, but as we know, this is far from an obvious truth in many countries around the world (including ours).

Today, I learned that for all of the challenges facing democracy and governance in Rwanda, it is at the same time a hopeful example of women’s access to leadership. Currently, Rwandan women hold over 50 percent of the positions in government. There are few jobs or professions in which a woman cannot be found.

Much of the shift allowing women access to positions of power came as a result of the devastating genocide. The Rwandan genocide, during which an estimated 800,000 to 1 million civilians were killed in 100 days, took a severe toll on the male population. Women simply had to step up to help run the country—serving in proportions well beyond the 30 percent quota for women reserved in the Rwandan constitution.

As a result, there is much greater equity between the sexes in Rwanda than what we have observed elsewhere. Unlike in Congo, where women’s rights are enshrined in the constitution but left almost totally ignored, in Rwanda equal rights seem not only enforced, but encouraged.

In the past, for example, women could not inherit money from their fathers. Today, it is mandated that the boys and girls in a family share equally in any family inheritance. Women can own property. Girls and boys are equally educated.

There are, of course, serious concerns about Rwanda’s governance structure, both in regards to the levels of real democratic access for its own citizenry and with respect to Rwanda’s culpability in the atrocities being committed across its borders in Congo. There is, still, an instructive lesson here for how to shift cultural perceptions of women.

No country will ever reach its full potential without the participation of both halves of its population, and women will never be granted their due until there are women in positions that can impact real change in society. It is hard to keep women down when women are represented equally—or in the majority—of public office. And Congo needn’t worry. There’s a whole generation of incredible women just aching to step into those roles.

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IS "LEAN IN" FAUX FEMINISM?

John Hockenberry

Take Away NPR

May 12, 2014

Listen to John Hockenberry's interview of black feminist bell hooks discussing Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" call. She believes that it is mainly directed at successful white feminist women. She also discusses patriarchy and it's continued impact on the feminist movement and economy.

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SINCE GENOCIDE, RWANDA'S WOMEN HAVE HELPED LEAD RECOVERY

Rachel Martin, host

NPR, Weekend Edition, Sunday

April 6, 2014

The Rwandan genocide left a deep and profound wound. It not only decimated the Rwandan people, it destroyed the nation's political and social structures.

In 1994, after the killing stopped, women made up 70 percent of the population.They were needed to lead Rwanda's recovery. Rwandan women moved away from traditional roles and joined politics in unprecedented numbers.

Twenty years later, the Rwandan Parliament has more women than anywhere else in the world.

Political participation has meant that women in Rwanda have better educational and economic opportunities, says , a member of the cabinet in Rwanda and minister of Gender and Family Promotion. Gasinzigwa spoke with NPR's Rachel Martin about the terrible time of genocide and how women have found their way since. To read Martin's interview with Gasinzigwa click here

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JIMMY CHARTER ISSUES 'CALL TO ACTON' AGAINST SUBJUGATION OF WOMEN

Rachel Martin, interviewer

March 22, 2014

In Jimmy Carter's new book,'A Call To Action', Carter addresses the subjugation of women in cultures around the world. Click below to hear a recording of Rachel Martin interviewing Jimmy Carter on NPR's Week End Edition.

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THANK YOU WHITE HOUSE FOR TAKING ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Stephenie Hallett

Ms Blog

February 3, 2014

President Obama’s administration has been plagued from the outset by Republicans’ persistent effort to chip away at women’s human rights. Two recent examples: In 2012, Republicans stalled the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act for the first time since it was signed in 1994. In 2013, 70 measures to restrict access to abortion were enacted across the country, second only to 2011 for most restrictions enacted in one year. To say it’s been an uphill battle to combat Republicans’ anti-woman lobbying is an understatement.

But Obama’s administration has been persistent, too, particularly in the battle to end sexual violence. Earlier this week, the White House Council on Women and Girls, along with the Vice President’s office, released a report detailing the far-reaching impact of rape in the U.S. The report is powerful in its simplicity: It contains a catalog of the number of rapes committed against particular groups, examines the mental-health consequences of the crime and details the ways in which law enforcement is failing victims.Click here to read more

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JANET YELLEN'S NOMINATION JUST CHANGED THE GAME FOR ECONOMISTS

Jullian Berman

Huffington Post

November7,2013

TIMES MAGAZINE called Janet Yellen the "The Sixteen Trillion Dollar Woman", in other words the most influential woman in the world. Who is she and how did she rise to the top of the pyramid and become a role model for women? Jullian Berman answers some of those questions in her Huffington Post article.

"The backstory to Yellen's nomination [to the Federal Reserve]highlights some of the reasons it's been so hard for women to break into this old boys' club. Despite her experience at the Fed, critics derided Yellen for being “too dovish” or for “lacking gravitas,” instead favoring Obama’s trusted economic adviser Larry Summers. Some saw these criticisms as code for the fact that Yellen didn’t look like the men who typically serve as high-level economic policymakers.

But now that Yellen is poised to become the country's most important economist, the idea of a “typical” economist may start to change, making it easier for other women to get to the top. "She's a great role model, and she is someone who has gotten there because of her hard work and her talent and her brilliance," Hartmann said. "Every high-level woman in every field changes perceptions. In this case the value is not just to women, the value is to Americans, because she's the best person for the job." To read more click here.

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BOSTON AIMS TO EASE GENDER PAY GAP

Katie Johnson

Boston Globe

October 13, 2013

Boston has the best-educated women of any major US city, and now Mayor Thomas M. Menino is trying to make it a better place for them to earn a living. The goal: to make Boston the first city to eliminate the wage gap between men and women.

Menino plans to announce this ambitious initiative on Thursday, when he rolls out a compact signed by 38 employers that have committed to ending pay disparities. Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar men make. In Boston, it’s 83 cents to the dollar — a difference of almost $10,000 a year, or about $400,000 over a career, according to a report by the city’s newly formed Women’s Workforce Council.

Menino has made working women a cornerstone of his agenda in his last year in office, creating initiatives for small business owners, girls and technology, and wage negotiation. By the end of the year, he hopes to have at least 50 companies dedicated to learning the causes of the wage gap, putting measures in place to equalize pay, and participating in style="line-height:200%"a biennial review of their progress. Click Here To read more

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INDIA'S WORKPLACE CASES HIGHLIGHT ABUSE AGAINST WOMEN

Julia McCarthy

National Public Radio

December 16, 2013

As India marks the anniversary of the infamous gang rape in New Delhi, it is ending the year as it began: in upheaval over its treatment of women. In a recent series of cases, men in positions of privilege are alleged to have sexually harassed or assaulted female employees. The episodes spotlight the absence of women's rights in the Indian workplace. Click Here To read more

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ON ELECTION DAY, LATIN AMERICA WILLINGLY TRADES MACHISMO FOR FEMALE CLOUT

Simon Romero

New York Times

December 14, 2013

SANTIAGO, Chile--When Chileans vote Sunday for their next leader, they will choose between a former president seeking to broadly expand access to higher education, and a staunch conservative opposing tax increases aimed at reducing Chile's high levels of inequality.

The fact that both candidates--Ichelle Bachelet, a former president who narrowly missed a first-round victory in November, and Evelyn Matthei, her right-wing opponent--are women reveals an area where Latin America is surging: the empowerment of female leaders in politics(italics added)

Eight of the estimated 29 women in the world who have been elected as presidents of their countries since the 1970s have done so in Latin America and the Caribbean, long considered a bastion of machismo, with half of them ascending since 2006. Up and down the Americas, with the notable exception of the United States, women are soaring into the highest political realms. Click here to read more

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IN AFGHANISTAN, WOMEN BETRAYED

By Heather Barr

New York Time

December 10, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan--When, in late November, I read a draft law prepared by Afghan government officials that reintroduced execution by stoning as the punishment for the "crime"of adultery, I was horrified but not that surprised. The draft, leaked to me by someone desperate to prevent reinstatement of this Taliban-era punishment, is just the latest in a pattern of increasingly determined attacks on women's rights in Afghanistan.Click here to read more

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HOW SENATE WOMEN SHAPED THE BUDGET DEAL

Catalina Camia

USA Today

October 18, 2013

WASHINGTON - The male Senate leaders may have tied the bow on a deal aimed at ending the government shutdown, but credit for shaping the package is being given to a group of women, led by Sen. Susan Collins of Maine. Collins, a moderate Republican in her third term, was the leader of a bipartisan group of 14 senators - six of them women - who developed a compromise to end the 16-day partial federal shutdown and temporarily raise the debt ceiling so the nation isn't on the brink of default. While the group's proposal was not left intact, Collins and other senators who participated say elements have been incorporated and helped provide the framework for the final deal hammered out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Click here to read more

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WE ARE WHAT FEMINIST LOOK LIKE

If you are reluctant to think of yourself as a feminist or admit it to friends try going to We are What Feminist Look Like

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Girls Tweeting (Not Twerking) Their Way to Power

COURTNEY E. MARTIN

New York Times

September 4, 2013

It is becoming more and more clear that unless women unite their impact on a patriarchal culture will be very disappointing. For example the feminist/non-feminist divide is hurting the progress made in the 60's. That is why it's gratifying to see teens using social media to move the powers that be to bend to their causes. That means their campaigns for social justice especially those which involve women and girls. In a recent article published in the New York times we are give a look into activism on a teenage level. Clearly our hope for the future.

"[Carmen] Rios is a member of SPARK, a nonprofit organization that trains girls from 13 to 22 years old, to be activists. In the wake of the much-discussed Steubenville, Ohio, rape case last March, in which the sexual assault on an incapacitated high school girl was documented on social media and became headline news, the network of young women who blog and create campaigns through SPARK were outraged and wanted to do something about it." To read more click here.

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A GROUNDBREAKING WOMEN'S FILM FROM SAUDI ARABIA

Natasha Turner

MS Magazine (Blog)

July 15 2013

Haifaa Al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first woman filmmaker. Her mesmerising new film Wadjda is the first film to be shot entirely within Saudi Arabia. A beautiful and heartwarming story, Wadjda has graced film festivals across the world, from the Venice Film Festival 2012 to the Los Angeles Film Festival 2013.

The film tells the story of a young girl growing up in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. Despite her conservative surroundings—women can’t play sports, travel without permission or drive a car—Wadjda is outspoken and determined to raise money for a bicycle so she can race the young boys around the town–a very improper desire for a girl in Saudi Arabia. The film reflects the struggle of women in Saudi Arabia for equality and for their voices to be heard.

Ms. was lucky enough to get a chance to interview Al Mansour about her film and about the reality of being a woman in Saudi Arabia. To read Natasha Turner's interview of Haifa Al-Mansour click Ms. Blog. and Washington Post.

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SEX IN THE CITADEL

Shereen El Feki

National Radio: The Body Sphere

March 10, 2013

Shereen El Feki has written a book that amongst other things reveals the hidden world of women in the Arab world. In SEX IN THE CITADEL Feki uses the citadel as a metaphor for the impregnable structure that separates Arab women and men who have complied with the Islamic ideals of heterosexual marriage and those who haven't or can't or reject them. In discussing marriage in the Arab world Feki is able to open a window into what Arab men and women really feel inside and outside their private lives.Feki is exceptionally well positioned to engage in such conversations because she is the daughter of a Welsh mother and a Islamic Egyptian father. She is also trained as a doctor and journalist with an assignment to study the spread of HIV in the Arab world. With such credentials Feki was seen as both Western and Islamist as both a woman and a professional doctor. This mix allow her to be accepted and mingle freely with both men and women who felt comfortable with her Islamic and professional identity. What she learned is recorded in her book SEX AND THE CITADEL. To read a transcript or listen to an audio of Amanda Smith interviewing Shereen El Feki for Nation Radio click here.

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KUNIN:SHERYL SANDBERG AND MARISSA MAYER

Madeleine Kunin

Vermont Public Radio, Commentary Series

March 14, 2013

In a recent hard-hitting commentary on Vermont Public Radio Madeleine Kunin, former governor of Vermont and women's rights advocate, spoke forcefully about the need for women to take command of their life in the workplace. She believes Sherl Sandberg's is right when Sandberg urged women "to be more demanding, confident and ambitious." "She's half right", agrees Kunin. "Women must develop a firm handshake, a confident voice, and the courage to ask for a promotion without hesitating."

"But women,"Kunin adds, "have to do more than advocate for themselves. They have to use their voices in the workplace to push for sensible family friendly policies that will make it more feasible for all working women and men to manage their work lives and their family lives without sacrificing one to the other." To read more or listen to the commentary click here.

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SEXUAL VIOLENCE VICTIMS SAY MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM IS 'BROKEN'

Quil Lawrence and Marisa Penaloza

National Public Radio, Morning Edition

March 21, 2013

Myla Haider says she initially decided not to report that she'd been raped because she'd "never met one victim who was able to report the crime and still retain their military career."Click here to read entire story or listen to interview

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WHAT'S HOLDING WOMEN BACK

Sheryl Sandberg interviewed by Renee Montagne.

National Public Radio

March 11, 2013

The book LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD — is something of a feminist call to arms. In it, Sandberg, a 43-year-old former Google executive with two Harvard degrees, is calling on other women, as she puts it, to "lean in" and embrace success. And it has struck a chord in the weeks leading up to the book's publication on Monday.

Listen to full interview.

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BREAKING NEWS: House Passes Inclusive VAWA


Feminist Majority Foundation

Febuary 28, 2013

Today, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan, inclusive Violence Against Women Act as passed by the Senate.

The House of Representatives voted 286-138 to pass the Senate version of VAWA that included protections for students, the LGBT community, immigrants and Native Americans. This came after a bipartisan decision to reject a gutted substitute bill proposed by the House leadership that rolled back the provisions expanding protection.

Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority, said "The House passed by a wide margin (286-138) the strong, bipartisan Senate version of VAWA which was supported by the Feminist Majority and scores of women's rights, civil rights, labor, and domestic violence and sexual assault groups and organizations. ... Women's groups and their allies acted as one and created a massive grassroots lobbying campaign to pass a strong VAWA despite the Republican House leadership opposition. We cannot forget that 138 Republicans and no Democrats voted against final passage of the real VAWA. Nor can we forget those that voted to roll back full protections of VAWA for college students, immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans as well as to weaken of the Office of Violence."

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OUTRAGE OVER GANGRAPE SPREADS IN SOUTH AFRICA

Feminist Majority Foundation_Feminist News-CNN

2/11/13

Earlier this month, a seventeen year-old woman was brutally gang-raped in Bredasdorp, South Africa. The victim, Anene Booysen, had been raped by multiple men and then mutilated and abandoned. Despite medical efforts, she died of her extensive injuries this past weekend. Booysen's aunt said that she lived long enough to identify a family friend as one of the attackers. The attack has gained local and national attention, with many taking to the streets in protest of South Africa's high rate of violence against women.

South African president Jacob Zuma made a statement on the crime: "The whole nation is outraged at this extreme violation and destruction of a young human life...[t]his act is shocking, cruel and most inhumane. It has no place in our country. We must never allow ourselves to get used to these acts of base criminality to our women and children." The Associated Press notes that Zuma himself was embroiled (but acquitted) in the rape of a friend's daughter in 2005.

Concerned citizens marched through Bredasdorp this weekend chanting "no more violence!" Lindiwe Mazibuko, a member of Parliament, said she will throw into motion public hearings and debates on the issue of deeply ingrained patriarchy and its relation to sexual violence.

Talk Radio 702, a popular radio station in South Africa, now plays a chime sound every four minutes to represent how often a woman or child is raped in the nation. South Africa is home to one of the highest rates of rape in the world. From 2010-2011, over 56,000 rapes were reported in South Africa, averaging about 154 a day. Around 71% of women report being sexually assaulted according to CNN.

South Africa is not the only country that has seen extreme cases of violence against women gain international attention recently. In December, the violent gang-rape of a medical student in India that resulted in her death led to international outcry. As a result, the Indian government recently approved stricter punishments for sexual assault. The trial of her attackers is currently underway.

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REPORT BLASTS INDIA'S TREATMENT OF WOMEN

Steve Inskeep and Julie McCarthy

National Public Radio

January 24, 2013

A panel reviewing sexual offenses in India has submitted its report to the government almost a month after the rape and murder of a female student in New Delhi. The report says India systemically discriminates against women, and does little to respond to violence against them.To read entire transcript Click Here.

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THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF WOMEN'S ISSUES

LUISITA LOPEZ TORREGROSA

New York Times

1/8/2013

"Women issues are world issues," Michelle Bachelet, the executive director of U.N. Women and former president of Chile, said recently. (..) Familiar issues like equal pay, workplace policies, family-work balance and political power haven't gone away in the United States or anywhere else. Basic needs and basic rights remain elusive for many women in the developing world. And those issues, too, will not go away anytime soon. But more women in more regions of the world are stepping up and living better lives, just about everyone in the field agrees. And as the old women's issues become global, the expectations rise, and the challenges get larger.For complete article Click Here.

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New Women Elected to the House and Senate, 2013

Picture credits: Emily's List.See Emily's Lists for more information.

Women elected to House of Representatives

Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts

Claire McCaskill, Missouri

Mazie Hirono, Hawaii

Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin

 

 

 

UK High Court Rules for Equal Pay for Women


London-AP

Oct. 24, 2012

Photo: Getty Campaigners, some dressed as suffragettes, attend a rally organised by UK Feminista to call for equal rights for men and women on October 24, 2012 in London, England. Hundreds of women from around the UK congregated in Westminster to attend a rally and lobby their local MPs to demonstrate against any legislation that damages women's rights.

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WHY DO THEY HATE US?

Mona Eltahawy

Foreign Policy

May/June 2012

In "Distant View of a Minaret," the late and much-neglected Egyptian writer Alifa Rifaat begins her short story with a woman so unmoved by sex with her husband that as he focuses solely on his pleasure, she notices a spider web she must sweep off the ceiling and has time to ruminate on her husband's repeated refusal to prolong intercourse until she too climaxes, "as though purposely to deprive her." Just as her husband denies her an orgasm, the call to prayer interrupts his, and the man leaves. After washing up, she loses herself in prayer -- so much more satisfying that she can't wait until the next prayer -- and looks out onto the street from her balcony. She interrupts her reverie to make coffee dutifully for her husband to drink after his nap. Taking it to their bedroom to pour it in front of him as he prefers, she notices he is dead. She instructs their son to go and get a doctor. "She returned to the living room and poured out the coffee for herself. She was surprised at how calm she was," Rifaat writes.

In a crisp three-and-a-half pages, Rifaat lays out a trifecta of sex, death, and religion, a bulldozer that crushes denial and defensiveness to get at the pulsating heart of misogyny in the Middle East. There is no sugarcoating it. They don't hate us because of our freedoms, as the tired, post-9/11 American cliche had it. We have no freedoms because they hate us, as this Arab woman so powerfully says.

Yes: They hate us. It must be said.

For the complete Foreign Policy article click here.

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LET'S END CHILD MARRIAGE IN A GENERATION

Jennifer Buffett

Huffington Post

September 22, 2011

Speaking with a group of Ethiopian girls, I got a lifetime's education in a single afternoon. I sat and listened as girl after girl described to me how they had become the wives of much older men. One woman told me she fled after being told she was going to be married at the age of four! She ran away crying in terror and heartbreak, only to return to her village after realizing she had no options whatsoever.

All of these girls had been forced to leave school in favor of working in their in-laws' homes and bearing children while still children themselves. And none of these girls had wanted this fate. They all had hoped to go to school and grow up with their friends and families.

To read more Click Here. Also see Girls Not Brides.

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SOME FIND HOPE IN AFGHAN BRIDE'S ABUSE

AP—January 04, 2012—KABUL, Afghanistan—Just 15 years old, Sahar according to officials in northeastern Baghlan province, Gul’s in–laws kept her in a basement for six months, ripped her fingernails out, tortured her with hot irons and broke her fingers — all in an attempt to force her into prostitution. Police freed her after her uncle called authorities.

The horrific images, captured by television news cameras last week, transfixed Afghanistan and set off a storm of condemnation. President Hamid Karzai set up a commission to investigate, and his health minister visited her bedside. Police arrested her in–laws, who denied abusing her. A warrant was issued for her husband, who serves in the Afghan army.

The case highlights both the problems and the progress of women 10 years after the Taliban’s fall. Gul’s egregious wounds and underage wedlock are a reminder that girls and women still suffer shocking abuse. But the public outrage and the government’s response to it also show that the country is slowly changing.

"Let's break the dead silence on women's plight," read the title of an editorial Wednesday in the Afghanistan Times. Despite guaranteed rights and progressive new laws, Afghanistan still ranks as the world's sixth-worst country for women's equality in the U.N. Development Program's annual Gender Inequality Index. Nevertheless, Afghan advocates say attitudes have subtly shifted over the years, in part thanks to the dozens of women’s groups that have sprung up.

Fawzia Kofi, a lawmaker and head of the women's affairs commission in the Afghan parliament, says the outcry over a case like Gul's probably would not have happened just a few years ago because of deep cultural taboos against airing private family conflicts and acknowledging sexual abuse--such as forcing a woman into prostitution.

"I think there is now a sense of awareness about women's rights. People seem to be changing and seem to be talking about it," Kofi said. Ending abuse of women is a huge challenge in a patriarchal society where traditional practices include child marriage, giving girls away to settle debts or pay for their relatives’ crimes and so-called honor killings in which girls seen as disgracing their families are murdered by their relatives.

And some women activists worry that their hard-won political rights may erode as foreign troops withdraw and Karzai’s government seeks to negotiate with the Taliban to end their insurgency. Women's rights, they fear, may be the first to go in any deal with the hardline Islamic militants.

"I'm afraid we won't have all this anymore if the Taliban are allowed back into society," said Sima Natiq, a longtime activist. Freedoms for women are one of the most visible — and symbolic —changes in Afghanistan since 2001 U.S.–led campaign that toppled the Taliban regime. Aside from their support for al–Qaida leaders, the Taliban are probably most notorious for their harsh treatment of women under their severe interpretation of Islamic law.

For five years, the regime banned women from working and going to school, or even leaving home without a male relative. In public, all women were forced wear a head–to–toe burqa veil, which covers even the face with a mesh panel. Violators were publicly flogged or executed. Freeing women from such draconian laws lent a moral air to the Afghan war.

As U.S. troops begin to draw down, activists say Afghanistan is unmistakably a better place to be born female than a decade ago. In parliament, 27 percent of lawmakers are female, mostly because the constitution reserves 68 seats for women. More than 3 million girls are in schools, making up 40 percent of the elementary school population, according to the education ministry. A survey last year indicated that women dying in childbirth had dropped by nearly two-thirds to below 500 per 100,000 live births since 2005, although that is still one of the world’s highest rates.

Still, for every improvement, there are other signs of women’s continued misery. The U.N. says more than half of Afghanistan's female prison population is made up of women sentenced by local courts for fleeing their marriages—a charge is often phrased as "intent to commit adultery," even though that's not a crime under Afghan law. And the U.N. women's agency UNIFEM estimates that half of all girls are forced to marry under age 15, even though the legal marriage age is 16.

"There's very good standards on paper. There's very active women's networks, "said Georgette Gagnon, the U.N.'s human rights director in Afghanistan. A lot has been done, but there is still a long way to go."

A U.N. report in November also found that a 2009 law passed to protect Afghan women from violence was rarely enforced. For the 12–month period ending in March 2011, prosecutors filed indictments in 155 cases, only 7 percent of all 2,299 crimes reported. And activists say those complaints are a small fraction of the true level of abuse.

Part of the problem is the ingrained attitudes of police and courts that cause them to turn a blind eye or even send women back to their abusers, said Latifa Sultani, coordinator for women's protection with the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Some local officials still believe women shouldn’t have rights,Sultani said. Last month, Karzai pardoned a 19–year–old woman who was imprisoned after she was raped and impregnated by a cousin. A local court sentenced her to 12 years in prison for having sex out of wedlock, a crime in Afghanistan. The judge told her she could get out of prison if she agreed to marry her alleged rapist, but she refused and gave birth to her daughter in prison.

Passing laws that protect women is one thing, enforcing them is another. Women’s groups are pressing Karzai to do more, but most acknowledge that with the central government so weak, the real battle will be fought in individual police stations, courtrooms and prosecutors' offices. Not least will be persuading Afghans to change their views.

That’s why the gruesome story of Sahar Gul’s imprisonment and torture is seen by some activists as an opportunity for the government to recommit publicly to women's rights. They say are encouraged that Karzai felt compelled by the outcry to become involved.

This is a sign of progress in a way, Kofi said. This is just a small example. We have hundreds of thousands of women like Sahar Gul who are victims of violence, but their voices are not heard. For now, Gul remains in a Kabul hospital, where she transferred from a local hospital in Baghlan province. An Afghan official said this week that she will be sent to India for further medical treatment. It’s unclear where she will go when she returns to Afghanistan.

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I'M AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

Eva Ensler

NPR ONPOINT
December 29, 2011

Eva Ensler author of the VIRGINA MONOLOGUES is interviewed by Tom Ashbrook on her new book I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE. You can listen to the interview by clicking here.

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MASS MARCH BY CAIRO WOMEN IN PROTEST OVER SOLDIERS’ ABUSE

David Kirkpatrick

New York Times
December 20, 2011

Drag me, strip me, my brothers’ blood will cover me! they chanted. Where is the field marshal? they demanded, referring to Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the head of the military council holding onto power here. The girls of Egypt are here.

The event may have been the biggest women’s demonstration in Egypt’s history, and the most significant since a 1919 march led by pioneering Egyptian feminist Huda Shaarawi to protest British rule. The scale was stunning, and utterly unexpected in this strictly patriarchal society. Previous attempts to organize women’s events in Tahrir Square this year have either fizzled or, in at least one case, ended in the physical harassment of the handful of women who did turn out. Click here to read more.

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3 WOMAN’S RIGHTS LEADERS ACCEPT NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

Scott Sayare

New York Times December 10, 20011

Tawakkol Karman of Yemen delivering her address at the Noble Peace Award’s ceremony

PARIS—In a ceremony in Oslo that repeatedly invoked gender equality and the democratic strivings of the Arab Spring, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented to three female activists and political leaders on Saturday for their struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights as peacemakers.

To spirited applause and at least one ululating cry, diplomas and gold medals were presented to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, 73; her compatriot Leymah Gbowee, 39, a social worker and a peace activist; and Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni journalist and a political activist who, at 32, is the youngest Peace Prize laureate and the first Arab woman to receive the award. The promising Arab Spring will become a new winter if women are again left out, said Thorbjorn Jagland. To read more click here.

Also read first announcements of awards in October 2011.

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THE WOMEN'S CRUSADE

Nicholas Kristof

New York Times
August 17, 2009

There's a growing recognition among everyone from the World Bank to the U.S. military's Joint Chiefs of Staff to aid organizations like CARE that focusing on women d girls is the most effective way to fight global poverty and extremism. That's why foreign aid is increasingly directed to women. The world is awakening to a powerful truth: Women and girls aren�t the problem; they're the solution.To read more click here

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THE DEATH OF MACHO

Reiham Salam

Foreign Policy June 22,2009

For years, the world has been witnessing a quiet but monumental shift of power from men to women. Today, the Great Recession has turned what was an evolutionary shift into a revolutionary one. The consequence will be not only a mortal blow to the macho men's club called finance capitalism that got the world into the current economic catastrophe; it will be a collective crisis for millions and millions of working men around the globe.To read more click here

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FIXING THE ECONOMY IS WOMEN'S WORK

By Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Atlantic Monthly July 12, 2009

While the pinstripe crowd fixates on troubled assets, a stalled stimulus and mortgage remedies, it turns out that a more sure-fire financial fix is within our grasp -- and has been for years. New research says a healthy dose of estrogen may be the key not only to our fiscal recovery, but also to economic strength worldwide. The sexy new discussion in policy circles around the world, thanks to the recession, is whether a significant shift of power from men to women is underway -- or whether it should be. Accounting giant Ernst & Young pulled out charts and graphs at a recent power lunch in Washington with female lawmakers to argue a provocative bottom line: Companies with more women in senior management roles make more money. The latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine sweepingly predicts the "death of macho." Economists at Davos this year speculated that the presence of more women on Wall Street might have averted the downturn. Adding to this debate is the fact that the laid-off victims of this recession are overwhelmingly men.To learn more click here

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WOMEN RISE IN RWANDA'S ECONOMIC REVIVAL

By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Staff Writer

Washington Post
May 16,2008

The march of female entrepreneurialism, playing out here and across Rwanda in industries from agribusiness to tourism, has proved to be a windfall for efforts to rebuild the nation and fight poverty. Women more than men invest profits in the family, renovate homes, improve nutrition, increase savings rates and spend on children's education, officials here said.

It speaks to a seismic shift in gender economics in Rwanda's post-genocide society, one that is altering the way younger generations of males view their mothers and sisters while offering a powerful lesson for other developing nations struggling to rebuild from the ashes of conflict.

"Rwanda's economy has risen up from the genocide and prospered greatly on the backs of our women," said Agnes Matilda Kalibata, minister of state in charge of agriculture. "Bringing women out of the home and fields has been essential to our rebuilding. In that process, Rwanda has changed forever. . . . We are becoming a nation that understands that there are huge financial benefits to equality." To learn more click here

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RAPE AS A WEAPON IN WAR

Susannah Sirkin

Physicians for Human Rights

According to international law, using rape as a weapon of war is a war crime. Despite this legal protection, in dozens of recent conflicts, armies have used rape as a tactic of war, ethnic cleansing, and genocide with impunity.

Through our medical and forensic documentation of rape in conflict areas, we work with local partners and the growing international campaign to end rape in war by

* Assuring greater accountability for mass rape by training doctors, nurses, lawyers, police, and judges to thoroughly and accurately document evidence of rape for use in courts.

* Raising awareness regarding local cultures of impunity that allow women to be raped.

* Enabling survivors to obtain justice, including reparations for their suffering.

Learn more about Rape in War.Click here

See global map of countries where rape is used as a weapon of war.

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TALKING THEIR WAY OUT OF A POPULATION CRISIS

Helen Epstein

NY Times October 22, 2011

When it comes to initiating social change for women it may be that the most potent tool women have is a free voice. When women are empowered to speak without the fear of reprisal, they can achieve startling social changes that have proven intractable by any other means. A study in Ghana offers an insight on how researchers discovered a community who had achieved family planning without any intervention by outsiders.

"With mortality rates from disease falling, the population of some countries could increase eightfold in the next century...Africa�s future matters to all of us... So it is important to think carefully about the response to Africa�s exploding population.

Early next year, researchers will publish findings that provide good, if surprising, news: relaxed, trusting and frank conversations between men and women may be the most effective contraceptive of all.Click here to read how women, no matter how poor, can change their world when given the chance to speak.

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AFTER THE REVOLUTION, ARAB WOMEN SEEK MORE RIGHTS

by Sheera Frenkel

National Public Radio, Morning Edition
August 6, 2011

Images of women marching alongside men in countries like Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain and Jordan led to predictions that women's rights would also make huge strides forward.

She[Kamel, journalist] had been optimistic initially, when she celebrated President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in February. She had spent days sitting in Cairo's Tahrir Square alongside thousands of others. She said she found the sight of men and women protesting together an inspiration.

"I think the youth that were in Tahrir ... people my age or people that were demonstrators or whatever, were OK with the concept of men and women having equal rights," said Kamel.

"In the months that followed, the feminist honeymoon was lost," she said. Click here. to read more.

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THINK! ENCOURAGING GIRLS TO STAY SMART IN A DUMB-DOWN WORLD

Therese Borchard

HUffington Post June 16,2011;

In her gutsy book, Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World, attorney and national television legal analyst Lisa Bloom paints a dire picture.

The problem is not just about that 25 percent of young women who would rather be hot than smart; rather, it's about a culture that actually makes that a rational choice: rewarding girls for looks over brains. And it's about ALL of us, intelligent American females, ranging from girlhood to old age, who are dazzling ignorant about some critically important things.

An aggravating thing happened in the last generation. As girls started seriously kicking ass at every level of education (girls now out-perform boys in elementary, middle, and high schools; we graduate from college, professional, and graduate schools in greater number than males -- go team!), our brains became devalued.

I had to take a break after reading those paragraphs and ask myself four questions:

Did Lisa Bloom drink an extra shot of espresso before she penned those paragraphs? Does she have a hidden agenda that is fueling her passion? Is she exaggerating a personal opinion just to be heard? OR are we, in fact, raising stupid girls?

A few hours later, I sat down with my daughter as she watched the Disney Channel and, in between segments of Witches of Waverly Place, where Selena Gomez plays Alex, the naughty girl who has never opened a book in her adolescence (unlike her intellectual brother Justin, who loves the life of the mind), I saw the music video of the pop star Selena as she danced around a set in a skimpy dress, singing about lightning and thunder -- which apparently meant more than lightening and thunder by the way she was groping the microphone, practically licking it.

Alright, maybe Bloom does have a point, I said to myself, after less than 10 minutes in front of the tube. Young female celebrities aren't exactly rewarded and celebrated for their cognitive abilities and IQs. Imitating bold hip thrusts seem to matter more than SAT scores. And the more I see my seven-year-old stand in front of the mirror and mimic their moves, the more tempted I am to send her to a convent. One with lots of bookshelves holding scholarly works of all kind!

When I asked a friend of mine if she were saving for her daughter's college education, she sarcastically remarked, "No. I'm spending all the money on her wardrobe now, hoping that she'll be discovered." I laughed and cringed at the same time, because even as she intended sarcasm, there is too much truth to that philosophy in our culture. Look at the payoff, says. Bloom. "Many of us spend more time looking in the mirror than looking out at our planet, and the thing is that doing so is rational because there can be a bigger payoff for being sexy than brainy."

Now you're really lucky if you're cute and smart!

But seriously, I didn't realize how repressed I was intellectually and academically during my junior high and high school years until I attended an all-women's college. Even as I promised myself I'd never become one of those girls who paid more attention to tossing her hair back and forth than taking down algebra notes, I certainly held back in those co-ed classrooms. I didn't ask questions. I didn't engage with texts. I let the peer pressure of looking good win over stretching my mind, and so by trying to be ladylike, I compromised my education.

After the first semester at Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana, I could clearly distinguish between a classroom that sets women up for success, and those that indirectly tell girls to shut up. It can be so subtle that you don't pick up on it until you are out of that environment, and in one that nurtures and encourages a woman to use her mind to make the world a better place. Writes Bloom:

We've got to use our brains for more than filler in the space beneath our smooth, Botoxed foreheads. The generation before us fought like hell and won for us equality in education and employment. Let's use that for a higher purpose than sending pictures of kittens on Facebook ... Bottom line: your critical thinking skills are desperately needed right now for your own good as well as for the sake of your community, your country, and your planet. That nagging little voice? It's your brain, and it's telling you that it wants back in the game.

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THE END OF MEN

Hanna Rosin

Atlantic Monthly June 16, 2010;

Earlier this year, women became the majority of the workforce for the first time in U.S. history. Most managers are now women too. And for every two men who get a college degree this year, three women will do the same. For years, women’s progress has been cast as a struggle for equality. But what if equality isn’t the end point? What if modern, postindustrial society is simply better suited to women? A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way� and its vast cultural consequences. To read more click here.

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