Feminist Weekly Update: March 29, 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.
WGF Updates:
GirlGov Application image
Calling all girls from Southwestern Pennsylvania entering 9th-12th grade! Applications are now open for GirlGov 2016! Go to GirlGov.org to apply by April 29th.

In the News:
Brazilian authorities confiscate abortion pills amid Zika outbreak:
Activists at a march for expanded female reproductive rights on International Women's Day in Brazil. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)Brazilian authorities have confiscated 95 percent of illicit abortion pills being shipped to the country by the advocacy group Women on Web. Some pregnant women in Brazil have sought out the drugs out of desperation following the Zika virus outbreak. More than 4,000 women have given birth to babies affected by microcephaly, the birth defect thought to be caused by Zika that affects the size of a baby’s skull. “I’m thinking of doing the worst,” one woman wrote to Women on Web when her pills failed to arrive. “I really need help. I can no longer eat, and I cry all the time.” For more: Los Angeles Times
NoVo Foundation pledges $90 million to support women and girls of color: The NoVo Foundation, led by Peter Buffett (son of Warren Buffett) and his wife Jennifer, recently announced the largest investment by a private foundation to date to address structural inequalities faced by young women of color in the U.S. “There’s a pervasive myth that girls and young women of color are doing fine. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Pamela Shifman, executive director of the NoVo Foundation. “Girls of color experience unique and deep-seated structural challenges — including living free from state violence and interpersonal violence.” Representatives from the Foundation will begin meeting with young women of color representing advocacy and grassroots organizations soon to discuss how the funds can be used most effectively. For more: HuffPost
Marines remain unsure if women will apply for combat positions: The U.S. Marines are set to begin training in June for the first women in ground combat positions. However, so far no women recruits have applied for positions in armor, artillery, or infantry. Around 100 out of 200 women made it through a nearly year-long experiment that included desert and mountain training. While waiting for applications, the Marines have begun designing a new physical training program for women as well as sending women sergeants and officers to ground combat units to work in support jobs, like logistics or intelligence. Col. Anne Weinberg said women leaders in those jobs will serve as mentors to women recruits. They’ll also send a subtle message to male Marines by “acculturating the males to see that there’s a competent female that is doing her job and she’s hanging with us and she’s out there in the field with us just like every other male.” For more: NPR
Over-50 women’s sailing team prepares to race 750 miles: image (2)Team Sistership is a sailing team consisting of three women all over the age of 50 who are preparing for the 750-mile “Race to Alaska” in June. “We defied the norm as young women,” says Team Sistership captain Michelle Boroski, age 58. “Since there is so much more to be done towards gender equality, we thought we would continue our trend and take on an adventure in a race that was mostly reserved for men—and younger men at that.” She continued: “Our inspiration to do this race came from so many factors: the positive influence of Title IX on our lives; lives lived constantly proving ourselves as capable women; discrimination felt for being capable and confident women; and now the realization that we are in our 50s. We watched Procter and Gamble’s “Like A Girl” campaign and it just made sense to do this race.” For more: Ms. Magazine
 
Election Updates: 
Bernie Sanders sweeps March 26th caucuses: Bernie Sanders won the caucuses in Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii by more than 70% in all three Democratic contests. The high-turnout, big-percentage wins are a momentum boost to the Sanders campaign, although Hillary Clinton still maintains a large lead in the pledged delegate count. For more: NPR
Donald Trump threatens to sue Republican Party: Donald Trump has threatened to sue the Republican Party over the way delegates are being awarded in the Louisiana primary. Trump won the popular vote in the contest, but delegates originally awarded to Marco Rubio sided with Ted Cruz after Rubio dropped out of the race, increasing Cruz’s delegate count. For more: International Business Times
Feminist of the Week: 
nine year old girlNine-year-old Milla Bizzotto is the newest role model for physically tough girls everywhere after completing a 24-hour obstacle race designed by Navy SEALs. The course itself consists of a 36 mile run and an eight kilometer course with 25 obstacles. Bizzotto began training to gain confidence to defend herself against bullies, and her family members hope she can set an example for other kids. For more: Independent