Who is our Wonder Woman? In 1941, writer William Marston created Wonder Woman as an advocate against violence. She appeared on the cover of the first issue of Ms. Magazine and is recognized worldwide as a feminist icon.
The United Nations recently named Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls. Writer Gail Simone explained, "If you need to stop an asteroid, you call Superman. If you need to solve a mystery, you call Batman. But if you need to end a war, you call Wonder Woman."
A petition by some U.N. staff members, however, complained that "a large-breasted white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots" is not suitable for an ambassador.
Feminist groups advocated for a year for the U.N. to select its first-ever female secretary-general after Ban Ki-moon announced his plan to step down. Many would rather see the U.N. finally select a real-life woman to lead the global entity. Seven women were in the running for the job, but in October, the Security Council announced they'd chosen a man, Portuguese diplomat Antonio Guterres.
Source: Bitch Media
Compiled by Mikki Morrissette
The power of protest in Iceland On October 24, 1975, the women of Iceland refused to work, cook and look after children for a day. Five years later, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, a divorced single mother, won Iceland's presidency - the first female president in Europe and the first woman in the world to be democratically elected as a head of state. She beat three male candidates that year, and was so popular she remained in the position for 16 years.
"What happened that day was the first step for women's emancipation in Iceland. It completely paralyzed the country and opened the eyes of many men," says Vigdis (in Iceland people are referred to by first name). "Things went back to normal the next day, but with the knowledge that women are as well as men the pillars of society. It completely changed the way of thinking."
Since then, the 63-member parliament has grown from three women to 28. Almost half of board members of listed companies are women, while 65 percent of Iceland's university students are female. Yet the country still has a long way to go for full equality: only 22 percent of managers are women, 30 percent of experts on TV are women, and women still earn around 14 percent less than men.
To speed up progress on the pay gap, each year since 2005, on October 24, Icelandic women have left work when their work is free compared to men. In 2005, that was 2:08. In 2016, that was 2:38.
Source: Women in the World, The Guardian, BBC News Magazine
On the other hand Worldwide efforts to close gender gaps in pay and increase numbers of women in the workforce slowed so dramatically in the past year that men and women may not reach economic equality for another 170 years, the World Economic Forum (WEF) said in October. The United States ranked 73rd in political empowerment, which measured the ratio of men to women in the highest levels of political decision-making, the WEF said. The U.S. ranked 45th in the global list overall.
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation
Biking for freedom in Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, issued a fatwa banning women from riding bikes. "Riding bicycles often attracts the attention of men and exposes the society to corruption, and thus contravenes women's chastity, and it must be abandoned," he claims. A week before the ruling, he expressed his belief that a female's "only role and mission" in life is to be a good mother and housewife. In response, women across the country are filming themselves riding bikes and posting the results on social media, using the hashtag #IranianWomenLoveCycling.
This isn't the only recent government action designed to keep women in their place with restrictions on freedoms. Since 2013, laws drafted include limiting access to birth control, discrimination against unmarried women applying for jobs, and making divorce more difficult even in the cases of domestic abuse.
Source: Ms. magazine
Women Wage Peace In Israel/Palestine A core group of 20 Israeli women set off on a protest march to Jerusalem from northern Israel to demand that the Israeli government restart a peace process with the Palestinians. By the time they reached the city of Jericho in the West Bank, the core group was joined by more than 3,000 others, including about 1,000 Palestinian women. The group, which calls itself Women Wage Peace, is made up of women from across the political spectrum and the religious divide. At a rally at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's formal residence, many held banners reading, "Right, Center and Left are all calling for an agreement, Women Wage Peace."
"We are not an organization; we are a movement. We have defined goals, and when we reach those goals we will disband," said Marie-Lyne Smadja, a co-founder of the group. "From history we have seen that when women are involved in resolving conflicts, there was much more success."
Source: Washington Post