Visible Women

Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 19/4/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, brings you the Women’s Daily Dispatch: your daily digest of international news relating to women. It’s the good, bad, inspiring and urgent stories you need to know from around the world, all wrapped up in one bitesize piece.  

In tonight’s Dispatch: US women secure breastfeeding victory in the Senate, record numbers of Nepalese women climb Everest, Indigenous women in Canada call for changes to discriminatory law, and Google launches an interactive map allowing users to explore the #MeToo movement. 

Babies are now allowed on the US Senate floor 

US Senator Tammy Duckworth

Following a campaign by US Senator Tammy Duckworth, the US Senate has unanimously voted to allow politicians to bring newborns onto the floor during votes.

Duckworth, the senator for Illinois, gave birth to her second child earlier this month. She had pushed for the Senate rules to be changed to enable politicians to breastfeed their babies during votes.

Votes in the Senate can often take several hours, and archaic rules had meant that politicians were not allowed to pass their babies to staffers or vote via proxy. This meant that female politicians who were breastfeeding and couldn’t be separated from their babies for long periods of time were effectively blocked from taking part in votes.

“By ensuring that no senator will be prevented from performing their constitutional responsibilities simply because they have a young child, the Senate is leading by example and sending the important message that working parents everywhere deserve family-friendly workplace policies,” said Duckworth in a statement.

CNN has more on this story here

A “record number” of Nepalese women are climbing Everest 

Nepalese women preparing to climb Everest in 2008

A record number of Nepalese women are climbing Mount Everest this spring, mountain officials have said.

Fifteen Nepalese women are planning to scale the marathon from the Nepali side, with many planning to raise awareness of environmental, religious and gender issues.

Trekking guide Sharmila Lama is one of the members of the team. Speaking from the Everest base camp, she told the BBC: “The female climbers in our team have two different messages – to stop female trafficking, and to remind the world that the Buddha was born in Nepal.”

Five Nepalese man are also preparing to climb the mountain from Nepal.

Read more on this story here.

How Indigenous women in Canada are fighting discrimination 

Young First Nations women in Calgary, Canada, 2016

Indigenous women in Canada are campaigning for the government to change a 150-year-old law which denies them status as First Nations people.

The Indian Act, which was first written in 1876, stated that a member of the First Nations was “a male Indian, the wife of a male Indian or the child of a male Indian”. While this law has been amended over the years, thanks largely to the efforts of Indigenous activists, campaigners say it still results in women being discriminated against and blocked from accessing key services.

Sharon McIvor, whose parents were members of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, was stripped of her Indigenous status in the eyes of the law when she married a non-Indigenous man. Without this status, she was banned from living on reserve land and from participating in hunting, gathering and fishing or traditional marriage, funeral and healing ceremonies.

She and her children and grandchildren were also denied the tax breaks, healthcare and education benefits that some First Nations people are able to access.

“What I lost was my community, and what I lost was my ability to feel like I belonged,” McIvor told The Guardian.

Read more on this story here.  

Google launches interactive #MeToo map 

The globe featured in Google’s Me Too Rising map 

Google has created an interactive world map that allows users to explore how the #MeToo movement spread around the globe.

Called Me Too Rising, the interactive visualisation tool illustrates how the movement has progressed since 1 October 2017, when the first story about Harvey Weinstein was published by The New York Times.

The map opens with a quote from the 1968 poem Käthe Kollwitz by Muriel Rukeyser (“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open”), before showing a dark globe dotted with glowing lights.

Each light represents a city where #MeToo has caught on, and can be clicked on to read articles about the movement in that area.

“This is not only a significant moment in history; it’s a significant moment in internet history: #MeToo marks a time when sexual assault survivors everywhere turned the internet into a platform for their voices and perspectives to be heard and respected,” said Malika Saada Saar, Google’s public policy and government relations senior counsel.

Read more on this story here.

Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.  

Images: Getty Images / Google