The Week in Women

Afghan women bracing for the worst. A new report says millions of women and girls don't own their own bodies. And righting old wrongs.

Scenes from another life: Laikipia, Kenya 2018

Hello, readers, and welcome to The Week in Women, a roundup of women’s rights news from around the world, followed by links to a few good features, longform pieces, podcasts, and radio stories in the universe of gender equality, international human rights, politics, and whatever else is interesting on the internet.

Enjoy, subscribe (or upgrade your subscription!), and share.


What to Know

No Justice No Peace: While it’s certainly long past time America got out of Afghanistan, Afghan women are understandably anxious about what comes next, and they’re pushing for greater representation in the peace negotiations. But whether the U.S. stays or goes, the women of Afghanistan are afraid that the worst is still to come.

When Chauvinists Attack: A half-dozen conservative “traditionalists” in Kyrgyzstan assaulted a group of women at a rally against gender-based violence, while the police looked on and did nothing.

You Don’t Own Me: A new report from UNFPA says that close to half of women and girls in developing nations don’t have the power to make their own choices about what happens to their bodies, including decisions about health care, family planning, and sexual consent. Twenty countries, for example, have “marry your rapist” laws that are exactly what they sound like; 43 have no laws against marital rape. Women’s basic right to movement outside of their own homes is restricted in 30 countries.

Hands Off: Conservative politicians in parts of Italy are opening the door to letting anti-abortion groups into hospitals and family planning counseling centers; Italian feminists are planning a massive protest in response.

Nevertheless She Persisted: Myanmar remains in the midst of a catastrophic coup. Even in this moment of great uncertainty and tremendous violence, advocates for women’s and LGBT rights are trying to push forward.

ERA Now: How is it 2021 and the U.S. still hasn’t passed a basic constitutional amendment to write gender equality into the law?

Silenced: The Chinese social networking site Douban shut down eight feminist channels this week, claiming that the content was extremist and radical. Chinese feminists are pushing back.

9 to 5: Workplace sexism is roiling Australian politics.

Protected: Pregnant British women can get the Covid vaccine.

Backlash: Chinese women are putting off marriage and childbirth. In response, the Chinese government is emphasizing traditionalism and family.

Women’s Work: Singapore’s population is aging. It’s single women who are taking on the care work of elders, and giving up on jobs and higher wages to make sure their parents are tended to in old age.

Present History: Alexis McGill Johnson, the new president of Planned Parenthood, on reckoning with Margaret Sanger’s legacy.

She Shed: At “women’s sheds,” older women in Australia are gathering to develop new skills, work on creative projects, and stay connected to bulwark against the loneliness of old age.


What to Read

Leaving Afghanistan, and the Lessons of America’s Longest War [The New Yorker]


A short one this week, and that’s it! Thank you for reading, and feel free to share and subscribe.

xx Jill