Feminist Weekly Update: August 30, 2016

Feminist Update
Your weekly update on all things feminism. Keep up to date on the election, the news, and what is going on in the world of women.

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In the News:
U.S. women dominate in 2016 summer Olympics: Women athletes accounted for over half of the medals earned by the U.S.Image result for us women olympics during the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. That the American women out-earned the men for a second straight Games is particularly impressive since only 44 percent of the medals given out in Rio were in women’s events. In fact, if Team USA were divided into separate men’s and women’s teams, the ladies’ 61 medals would be third overall at the Games, behind only the combined men’s and women’s efforts of Great Britain and China. “Title IX paved the way and created so many opportunities for women in sport,” nine-time Olympic medalist Allyson Felix told the United States Olympic Committee. “I feel so proud and so inspired by the strong women on our team.” For more: ABC
Dilma Rousseff defends herself before Brazil’s Senate: Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff made one final case for herself this week before Brazil’s Senate as her impeachment trial nears its end. “I have honored my commitments to democracy and the rule of law,” she told the senators, according to a BBC interpreter. “I am going to look in your eyes and I will say with the serenity of someone who has nothing to hide that I haven’t committed any crimes.” Rousseff is accused of manipulating budget items to misrepresent the state of Brazil’s economy, though many other government officials have been implicated in more severe corruption charges. The trial is nevertheless expected to result in Rousseff’s permanent ousting. For more: NPR
Women’s Equality Day celebrates passage of 19th Amendment: Last week’s Women’s Equality Day marked the 96th anniversary of Congress passing the 19th Amendment. Though women technically gained the right to vote in 1920, many women of color remained disenfranchised for decades. Women of color from a variety of backgrounds have published new thoughts this week on the exclusions this celebration can represent. For more: Bustle
“Burkini” ban in France sparks outrage: France’s highest administrative court struck a blow against controversial “burkini bans” last week, upending one town’s decision to prohibit the full-body swimsuit on its beaches. The bans on the beachwear have sparked controversy in France and around the world. As the Two-Way has reported, proponents have argued that the bans enhance security and defend French ideas of secularism in light of attacks in Nice and near Rouen. Opponents call them discriminatory. “France’s way of battling this extremism is with an extremist act,” said Nayema Jilani, a British woman interviewed in a video on the topic done by the Huffington Post. For more: NPR
Major companies make new commitment to equal pay: The White House recently announced that 29 new private sector companies ― including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Target, Visa and General Motors ― have signed a pledge committing to closing the gender pay gap for their employees. Women in the U.S. on average still experience a significant pay gap compared to white men, with an even larger difference between white men and women of color. The White House Equal Pay Pledge, which more than 50 companies have signed, engages private sector employers in the effort to reduce that national gender wage gap. For more: Huffington Post
Election Updates: 
Hillary Clinton tightens grip on Pennsylvania base: Hillary Clinton holds an 8 percentage point lead over Donald Trump in Pennsylvania, according to the results of the latest Monmouth University poll of likely voters out Tuesday, which also shows Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty eking out a narrow advantage over Republican incumbent Pat Toomey. For more: Politico

Feminists of the Week: Five hundred Buddhist “Kung Fu Nuns” are cycling across theBuddhist nuns practise Kung-fu at the Am Himalayas to raise awareness about human trafficking that disproportionately affects women and girls. Dressed in vibrant orange biking gear, the Drupka Lineage nuns weave through traffic and pedal up mountain slopes, persevering through blistering heat and heavy rains. The nuns’ bicycle “yatra,” or pilgrimage, began in Kathmandu, where their nunnery is located. By the time they reach their final destination of Ladakh, India, they will have biked more than 2,500 kilometers. “We are spreading these messages: girls also have power, they are not weak,” said Yeshe Lhamo, a 27-year-old nun who is participating in the yatra. “In these regions, they listen to and respect religious teachings, so for a religious person to say that diversity and equality is important, maybe people can make this their spiritual practice too.” For more: New York Times