In tonight’s Dispatch, we have two stories about women bringing the feminist fight to election campaigns in the US and Brazil. Elsewhere: a film about the first Muslim female superhero is in the works, and London is set to get another statue of an early women’s rights pioneer.
This woman is on a mission to become the first Native American governor in the US
Since the 19th century, hundreds of Native American men and women have held political office in the US. However, a person of Native American descent has never been elected to the position of governor – and Paulette Jordan wants to change that.
The 38-year-old Democrat is currently campaigning to be governor of Idaho. A member of the Coeur d’Alene tribe, she will hold the highest possible elected seat in the north-western state if she is successful at November’s midterm elections.
Jordan was a member of the Idaho House of Representatives for four years until February 2018, when she stepped down in order to focus on running for governor. In a new interview, she says she was inspired to take up the challenge as a response to the “divisive” Trump administration.
“I come from a powerful line of women. I’m proud of that heritage and legacy,” she says. “The opportunity for women is now. The President is divisive. Women know we can bring the country together. I’m working to defend my state, my people, even as this President is part of spreading hate and fear.”
Read the full interview at CNN.
Marvel is working on bringing the first female Muslim superhero to the big screen
Marvel has confirmed the existence of tentative plans to create a film about the female Muslim superhero, Ms Marvel.
Ms Marvel became the first Muslim character to headline a Marvel comic book in 2014. Her alter ego is Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American teenager from New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities.
Speaking to the BBC, Avengers: Infinity War producer Kevin Feige reveals that a film starring Ms Marvel “is definitely sort of in the works”.
He describes her as “another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel”. Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, will be played by Oscar-winning actor Brie Larson in Marvel’s first female-led solo superhero film of the same name, due to hit cinemas in March 2019.
There is speculation that the role of Ms Marvel could go to Priyanka Chopra, who voiced the character in a mobile video game. However, some fans have argued that the superhero should be played by a younger Pakistani-American actor.
Read more on this story here.
How Brazil women are incorporating feminism into their presidential campaigns
The Brazilian presidential elections are scheduled to be held in October this year. Of the 17 candidates currently in the running, only three are women – but two have said they are determined to bring the battle against sexism to the top of the political agenda.
The female frontrunner is 60-year-old Marina Silva, a centre-left environmentalist who is currently neck-and-neck at the top of the polls with right-winger Jair Bolsonaro. Silva, who is of African and Portuguese descent, has spoken out about the need for women to be properly compensated for their work and hit back at criticisms that she is too “weak” to be president.
“I know what it is like to work as a maid and as a seamstress,” she says. “I am the politician who has lived the fragility of the fragile people.”
Less popular than Silva but even more vocal about the need for feminism is Manuela D’Avila, the candidate for Brazil’s Communist Party. While not expected to win, D’Avila told the Financial Times she is passionate about pushing for women’s rights in a country notorious for chauvinistic attitudes and gender-based violence.
“Gender inequality is brutal in Brazil,” the 36-year-old says, referring to the Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco, who was murdered in March. Many have argued that Franco, a black lesbian activist, was killed because of her various marginalised identities. “This is the political violence we women are subjected to,” D’Avila adds.
Read more on this story here.
London is getting another statue of a women’s rights pioneer
Last month, the statue of leading suffragist Millicent Garrett Fawcett was unveiled in Parliament Square. Now, another monument to a trailblazing early feminist is set to be erected in the capital.
The acclaimed British artist Maggi Hambling has been commissioned to create a sculpture commemorating Mary Wollstonecraft in north London. A writer, teacher and campaigner, Wollstonecraft is best known for her 18th century manifesto A Vindication of the Rights of Women, in which she made the then-radical argument that women were not naturally inferior to men.
Hambling, who was awarded an OBE for her services to painting in 1995 and a CBE in 2010, said she hopes her abstract sculpture “will act as metaphor for the challenges women continue to face as we confront the world”.
The monument will show the figure of a woman rising from a swirl of silvered bronze, atop a plinth bearing one of Wollstonecraft’s most famous quotes: “I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”
See a sneak preview of Hambling’s statue design and read more here.
Stylist’s Visible Women campaign is dedicated to raising awareness of women who’ve made a difference, celebrating their success, and empowering future generations to follow their lead. See more from Visible Women here.
Images: Getty Images