The Week in Women

A month's worth of women's rights news.

Amboseli, Kenya, May 2021

Hello, readers, and welcome to The Week in Women (which this time is actually The Month in Women, because I’ve fallen behind), a roundup of women’s rights news from around the world, followed by links to a few good features, long-form pieces, podcasts, and radio stories in the universe of gender equality, international human rights, politics, and whatever else is interesting on the internet.

If you’re enjoying this newsletter, please feel free to share it, and to upgrade to a paid subscription.


What to Know

If all goes as planned, Chile is going to become the first country in the world with a constitution drafted by an equal number of women and men.

How the right-wing group Citizen Go threatens women’s rights in East Africa.

Turkey withdrew from a women’s rights convention, and protesters took to the streets. Two Turkish researchers have found that this is more than symbolic: The withdrawal, coupled with the government’s hostile anti-feminist rhetoric, exacts real costs from women and really does undermine gender equality.

According to Human Rights Watch, Ecuador’s abortion restrictions are unfairly and discriminatorily enforced against minority women.

Contraceptive shortages are leaving already-vulnerable women without the basic right to control their own fertility.

Two Saudi women’s rights activists have been released from prison after three years. Their crime? Opposing male guardianship laws and other misogynist abuses. The violently misogynist kingdom also just ended its male guardianship requirement… for women attending Hajj. And many of the local tour companies that pilgrims are required to use are still refusing women who travel without a man supervising them.

Afghan women fear the return of the Taliban. Malala tells the world’s leaders that women cannot be neglected in the peace talks (spoiler: women are being neglected in the peace talks). And the US is considering visas for vulnerable Afghan women — honestly that’s the very basement bare-minimum we can do.

Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon writes in an op/ed that if the world wants to be a fairer and safer place post-Covid, then women’s rights have to be at the center of recovery efforts.

Women the world over face rank discrimination in land ownership and rights. As climate change activists do their good work, they should maintain focus on how land rights are not equitably distributed — and how women often bear the brunt of global disasters, including climate-related ones.

In a history-making moment for Europe, the European Parliament adopted a report declaring that all women should have access to “high quality, comprehensive and accessible sexual and reproductive health and rights” — which includes safe abortion and a full range of contraceptive services.

The #MeToo movement is still going strong, and it’s a fully global endeavor.

Why so many Kurdish women are signing up to fight in Syria.

UN Women is seeking its next leader. Do you know her?

South Sudan is ten years old. Women’s rights remain an unrealized promise.

It’s beyond time to protect trans women’s rights, 27 countries tell the UN.

You know who else worked both for and against the Equal Rights Amendment in the US? Men.

Dowries may have been banned in India decades ago, but the tradition persists, and leads to pervasive abuses.

Trans women can be housed in female jails in England and Wales, the High Court has ruled.

Jehan Sadat, who pushed her husband — Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat — to stand up for women’s rights, is dead at 87.

Spain passes an “Only Yes Means Yes” bill will expansive protections for women, including defining sexual assault according to whether or not a woman consented to the encounter, and not by whether or not she tried to fight it off.

Pakistani women are protesting after their prime minister suggested that women get themselves raped by wearing revealing clothing.

A new Texas abortion law is terrifying. I wrote about it last week for paid subscribers — it turns Texas into a state of authoritarian, misogynist snitches.


What to Read

Jamia Wilson’s new book, a feminist guide for a new generation.

Hello From the Bardo [Tricycle]

The German Experiment That Placed Foster Children With Pedophiles [The New Yorker]


Take a Break

…and come on a writing retreat with me! (Yoga is on offer, too). Retreats are mostly listed here, and I’ve just added another one in California from Oct. 28 - Nov. 1, 2021. Daily yoga, daily writing workshops, wine tasting, hiking, nature, and lots of good stuff.

Three spots also just opened up in a previously sold-out retreat in Tuscany(!) from Sept. 19 - 25, 2021.

And there are still a few spots left for the retreat in Costa Rica from Feb. 28 - Marc 5, 2022.

Just hit reply to this email if you want more information.

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And that’s it! Thank you very much for your support. Feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might be interested. And if you want to support feminist-minded journalism, analysis, and opinion-writing, consider upgrading to a paid subscription.

xx Jill