WFPG Voices
Women in the World is a weekly collection of international news updates involving women and girls. WFPG members and partners are invited to send in their published news articles to [email protected].
November 4 - November 11, 2022

Second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) this week in South Africa

This week, the second Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) took place in South Africa. Since the first summit in 2018, South African authorities have taken some positive steps, however, GBVF is still rampant in South Africa. Reasons for that include  inadequate funding, lack of cooperation among government departments, poverty, and patriarchal norms.

China Updates Gender Law to Tell Women to ‘Obey Family Values’ in Growing Push to Adopt Domestic Roles

China has passed an amendment to the Women’s Rights and Interests Protection Law on Sunday, introducing a list of moral standards for women to observe. The law tells women to uphold “family values” and pressures them to adopt domestic roles. This move follows the exclusion of women from China’s top-decision making Politburo for the first time in a quarter century last month, and marks a major step back for gender equality in the nation.

Taylor Swift IS the Music Industry

Last month, Taylor Swift dropped her 10th and latest album “Midnights.” The album drop turned Swift into the first artist to snag every one of the top 10 slots on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a previously unheard-of, tremendous achievement for any artist. “Midnights” sold 1.4 million physical copies in its debut week sales, its vinyl sales representing the single-largest sales week for an album since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991.

Denmark Elects Record 44% Women to Parliament, Nearing Parity

Danes elected a record number of women into the national parliament in this week’s general election with 44.1% of the 179 newly elected lawmakers being women. The prime minister will be female as well, Mette Frederiksen unexpectedly secured a majority, becoming the second female prime minister in Denmark. This was one of the closest elections in Danish history.

Women’s Sports Get Their Own TV Network

The first-ever network to focus on female athletes, the Women’s Sports Network, launched this Wednesday. The past year has seen a steady rise in viewership numbers for women’s sports, yet a recent study showed women’s sports receive only 5% of media coverage. This makes the Women’s Sports Network a significant step towards narrowing the gap in media coverage for female athletes.

Senator Feinstein Set to Become Longest-Serving Female Senator in History

This week, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is set to mark her 30th anniversary in the Senate, which will make her the longest-serving female senator in history. She is 89 years old.

Sweden’s New Government Abandons Feminist Foreign Policy

In 2014, the Swedish government adopted the world’s first explicitly feminist foreign policy, a precent-setting move to address barriers to gender equality and include a gender perspective in all policy development and decision-making. Under the newly elected government, Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström announced this month that Sweden will abandon its groundbreaking feminist foreign policy because “it obscures the fact the Swedish foreign policy must be based on Swedish values and Swedish interests."

US Will Have a Record Number of Female Governors in 2023

With a number of 12 female governors out of 50 in total, the US will have a record number of female governors in 2023. 25 women were nominated for governor across both parties, a historical record. Previously, the record was set in 2004 with nine female governors serving. 

Massachusetts’ Healey is First Lesbian Elected Governor in US

Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making history as the nation’s first openly lesbian governor. She defeated a former state representative who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. In her victory speech, she addressed young girls and young LGPTQ persons with the words, “I hope tonight shows you that you can be whatever, whoever you want to be and nothing and no one can ever get in your way except your own imagination and that’s not going to happen.”

Brittney Griner Moved to Russian Penal Colony

American basketball player Brittney Griner, jailed in Russia in what the U.S. calls a wrongful detention, is being moved to a penal colony. Neither her attorneys nor the U.S. embassy have been informed on her current or final destination. Griner, 32, was sentenced to nine years in prison in August, after Russian authorities said they found vape canisters with cannabis oil in her luggage in February.

Death of Ela Bhatt, a Revolutionary Force for Women

Ela Bhatt, or Elaben, was the founder of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), which established a bank for women to borrow money from to promote their economic independence and empowerment. SEWA organized women in the informal economy: an extremely important cause that has become increasingly relevant. Elaben will be remembered for her role as a silent leader and work she has done for women globally.

Quiet Resistance: Underground Schools for Afghan Girls

Since the Taliban has regained control over Afghanistan, girls’ rights to education have been stifled. As a form of quiet resistance, underground schools have formed to educate girls and provide them with a way out of their horrible treatment by their government. It gives them hope to one day become involved in careers such as pilots and biologists, wherein they do not have to rely on men for assistance.

Attacks on Trans Candidate Eddie Izzard Come from All Sides in the U.K.

Eddie Izzard, a trans comedian and now parliamentary candidate, has faced harsh criticism for her identity, even from the Labour party, which is the “more progressive” wing in British politics. This represents broader discrimination of transgender people worldwide.

A Girl Loses Her Mother in the Jungle, and a Migrant Dream Dies

Much like many migrants, Dayry Alexandra Cuauro and her daughter, Sarah, were forced to move from their home country of Venezuela for hopes of a better future. To do so, they had to cross the Darién Gap, well-known for being one of the most dangerous roads and taking many migrants’ lives.

Read our Celebrating Women Journalists piece, a featured article by a woman author on women’s issues.This week’s article is by Washington Post staff writer Claire Parker: The Taliban Wants to Segregate Women. So It’s Training Female Doctors.

In an effort to carry out their goals for the separation of women in hospitals, the Taliban is promoting the education and training of female doctors and nurses. This effort is part of a new Taliban policy that states women should only receive healthcare treatment from other women. The training of new healthcare professionals in Afghanistan is more crucial than ever as Western sanctions continue to put tension on the country’s healthcare system.

October 15 - October 28, 2022

New York Fire Department to Be Led by Woman for First Time

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is expected to appoint Laura Kavanagh, the current acting commissioner of the NYC fire department, to the post of commissioner. With the department staffing a record number of female firefighters, this is a monumental step for women. Eric Adams has called her a “born leader who will guide this department with distinction.

Second Harvey Weinstein Rape Trial Begins in Los Angeles

The former film producer, who has been at the center of the #MeToo movement, faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years in prison if convicted of the additional charges. He was originally found guilty in 2020 in New York and sentenced to 23 years in prison. Current charges against him include multiple accounts of sexual assault, rape, and sexual battery. Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges. Eight women will testify against Weinstein, including the Governor of California's wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.

New Zealand Women Lawmakers Outnumber Men for the First Time

After Soraya Peke-Mason from the liberal Labor Party was sworn into Parliament on Tuesday, a majority of lawmakers in New Zealand are now women. The Parliament is constructed of 60 women and 59 men. This places New Zealand among a half-dozen nations in the world that this year can claim at least 50% female representation in their parliaments. The milestone falls in line with New Zealand’s history of strong female representation; in 1893, it became the first nation to allow women to vote.

Black and Poor Women May Decide Who Will Be the Next President of Brazil

Following growing political conciousness of women since 2015’s rise of feminism, they will likely be the deciding factor in the upcoming Brazilian election. Particularly poor women are resistant to Bolsanaro’s ideology, resulting in campaigns specifically targeting women.

Russia Without Men

After the partial mobilization that Putin ordered last month, many men have either gone off to war or have fled the country, leaving behind a gender-skewed society. For the women left behind, this means constant worrying about the men in their lives, husbands, and partners living abroad with no plans of return, or doubts about finding a husband to start a family with. According to Forbes Russia, more than 700,000 people have fled the country since the announcement.

The Killing of Mahsa Amini Speaks to Women’s Struggles in MENA

40 days have passed since the killing of Mahsa Amini by Iran’s morality police for disobeying the country’s strict hijab laws. As a result, women across the region have begun speaking out in support of the female-led protests, connecting the work of these brave women to the rights they have been fighting for for years. Read our Celebrating Women Journalists piece, a featured article by a woman author on women’s issues by foreign affairs journalist Sabena Siddiqui.

Read our Celebrating Women Journalists piece, a featured article by a woman author on women’s issues. This week’s article is by foreign affairs journalist Sabena Siddiqui: As Iran Protests Enter Sixth Week, Women Take to Afghanistan's Streets

Afghan women, mostly part of the Hazara ethnic minority, have been taking to the streets in protest as inspired by the protests in Iran. Catalyzed by a suicide attack in Kabul in which 53 Hazara girls were killed, women who see others like them in Iran are standing up for their rights.

October 10-14, 2022

Brazil’s Elections and Violence Against Women

According to a new report, President Jair Bolsonaro has cut Brazil’s budget for fighting violence against women by 90 percent. Brazil’s Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights has defended the cut in funds on the grounds that other policy areas already address related issues.

Italian President Georgia Meloni criticized for being “anti-woman”

Newly elected right-wing Italian president has made comments against a “pink quota” which ensures women’s participation in politics. The opposition has criticized her for being anti-woman despite claims of being a strong female leader.

Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai provides support to Pakistan following floods

Pakistan recently faced devastating floods, and has been left in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Malala Yousafzai not only visited her home country, but the Malala Fund issued an emergency grant to the worst-impacted areas.

Chilean swimmer takes on the challenge to swim the Seven Seas

Dubbed “the ice mermaid,” Bárbara Hernández is on a mission to be the first person to swim parts of all seven of the world’s oceans. Facing challenges of hypothermia, jellyfish, and more, Hernández has already won the World Open Water Swimming Association Woman of the Year award.

Indian female coffee workers accuse their boss of abuse

Female Dalit workers accuse their boss, Jagadeesha Gowda, and his son of locking them up in their homes, assaulting them, and causing a misscarriage. At the bottom of the Hindu caste system, Dalits face widespread discrimination despite legal protection.

Killing of another teenage protester gives Iran uprising a new symbol

Sarina Esmaeilzadeh and Nika Shakarami, both only 16 years old, were recently killed at the hands of Iran’s “morality police,” the same group that killed 22-year old Mahsa Amini and began the waves of protests in Iran. These tragic deaths of young female activists have added fuel to the protesters’ fire.

Read our Celebrating Women Journalists piece, a featured article by a woman author on women’s issues. This week’s article is by Treelance journalist Sheila Mulrooney Eldred: A bleak 10th Annual International Day of the Girl Child

October 11th’s International Day of the Girl Child is meant to “highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face.” However, due to COVID and other challenges, this year shows more regress than progress.


October 2-7, 2022

Afghan women lead "Stop Hazara genocide" protests

Young women are leading the cries for justice following a deadly suicide bomb attack on female students in Afghanistan’s capital, despite the risks of speaking out in a country controlled by the Taliban. Many consider the attack an act of genocide against Hazaras, one of the largest but most oppressed ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

Lebanese economic disempowerment increases rates of gender-based violence

Since 2019, Lebanon’s population has faced striking poverty, unemployment, and inflation. Intimate partner violence against women has been steadily increasing over the past five years due to men’s increasing frustration with the economy, as is a worldwide trend with countries under stress.

First French woman wins Nobel Prize in Literature

French writer Annie Ernaux was honored for her 50 years of work as a writer who explores gender, oppression, and class. French President Emmanuel Macron called her voice "that of the freedom of women and of the forgotten."

First Native American woman in space

NASA launched a SpaceX mission to the International Space Station headed by Nicole Mann, the first Native American woman to go to space. She's a Marine Corps pilot and NASA astronaut, as well as a member of the Wailacki tribe of the Round Valley Indian Tribes. She hopes her trip will inspire young women from different backgrounds to always chase their dreams.

Read our Celebrating Women Journalists piece, a featured article by a woman author on women’s issues. This week’s article is by Tehran-based journalist, Mahzad Elyassi: Iranian Women are Colliding with the Iranian State

Following the tragic death of 22-year old Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran’s “morality police,” protests on the streets of Iran have dramatically expanded into a massive clash between state and society. Iranian women are at the forefront of these protests, going out with their hair uncovered and challenging years of discrimination.