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.
Women and Girls Foundation Updates:
The Women and Girls Foundation is now on Instagram! Follow us at @wgfpa!
In the News:
Senate votes to approve legislation enacting new rights for rape survivors: The Senate voted unanimously in favor of the Sexual Assault Survivors’ Rights Act, sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). The act would provide sexual assault victims a right to be informed about the results of forensic testing of their rape kit, and the right to have their kit preserved free of charge until the relevant state’s statute of limitations has expired. The vote is largely thanks to the lobbying effort of Amanda Nguyen, the 24-year-old founder of a nonprofit called Rise. Nguyen urged the House to pass the legislation because it “will have a profound impact on the lives of the more than 25 million survivors of sexual assault across the U.S.” For more: Huffington Post
Taiwan inaugurates its first female president: Taiwan inaugurated its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen, last week. She is also “the first woman elected as head of state in Asia not related to a prominent male politician.” This historic achievement aside, Ing-wen faces a delicate balancing act in her presidency — her party has previously called for formal independence from China, which regards Taiwan as a “rogue province.” Ing-wen avoided any direct reference to the issue in her inauguration speech. For more: NPR
Two former captives of Boko Haram return to safety: In the past week, two of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram in 2014 were rescued and returned to Chibok, Nigeria. The recovery of these two women is a victory for the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and renews hope among many of the family members of the other 270+ missing women and girls. For more: TIME
Army’s first female infantry officer assigned to Fort Benning: Capt. Kristen Griest, one of the first women to graduate U.S. Army Ranger School, has been assigned to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia. Griest, alongside 1st Lt. Shaye Haver, an Apache pilot, made history in August 2015 when they became the Army’s first women to complete Ranger School. Two months later, Maj. Lisa Jaster also completed the course. Griest will be temporarily assigned to the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade until she gets a permanent assignment to an infantry unit, which will likely come sometime next year. For more: Military.com
Oklahoma governor vetoes bill that would criminalize abortions: Pro-life Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma vetoed a bill that would make it a felony for physicians to perform abortions, citing the bill’s vagueness and low likelihood of withstanding a legal challenge. Abortion rights groups said the bill is “a direct violation of Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide. For more: BBC
Online petition launched to get female stars to perform alongside Kesha at Pittsburgh Pride: A campaign has been launched encouraging major female musicians including Lady Gaga, Adele, Lorde, and Janelle Monae to join Ke$ha at Pittsburgh Pride on June 11. The petition mentions that many performers have spoken out publicly in support of Kesha during her ongoing legal struggles, including the fact that she cannot perform at the Billboard Music Awards. “All of these performers believe in standing up for women and the LGBT community… After all, no one is equal until we are all equal!” For more: NewNowNext
Results of recent primary contests favor Trump, Sanders: The May 17 primary contests resulted in a clear win for Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in Oregon, with Clinton securing a very narrow victory over Sanders in Kentucky. Sanders’s “narrow path to victory” depends on his hope that superdelegates will switch their vote, though Clinton draws ever-closer to the number of combined delegates needed to secure the nomination. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, swept all the congressional districts in Oregon. Today, Republicans in Washington state will head to the polls. For more: Wall Street Journal
Feminist of the Week:
Paulette Leaphart is a breast cancer survivor who recently started walking topless from Mississippi to Washington, D.C. to call attention to the hidden realities of breast cancer. She underwent a double mastectomy in 2014 and subsequently suffered from depression. This brave activist has been featured in Beyonce’s film Lemonade and will also be in an upcoming documentary entitled Scar Story. She has been hailed by many for baring some of the realities of breast cancer, including the fact that the disease disproportionately affects black women. Leaphart says: “I want my walk to be proof that no matter what the world defines as beautiful, I define me. Not my breasts, not my size: I define me.” For more: Huffington Post
Feminist Weekly Update: May 24, 2016