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Women’s Daily Dispatch: The news you need to know on 21/3/18

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Moya Crockett
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As part of our Visible Women initiative, Stylist.co.uk 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 WDD: kidnapped schoolgirls are freed in Nigeria, women’s studies students are on a drive to make Wikipedia more gender-balance, and a photo of a young Afghan mother taking a university exam has gone viral. 

Most of the Dapchi schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria have been freed

A girl released by Boko Haram walks with her father in Dapchi on 21 March

The majority of the 110 schoolgirls kidnapped by militants in Dapchi, Nigeria in February have been returned to their families, according to the Nigerian government.

An aide to President Muhammadu Buhari said that 101 girls had been delivered back to Dapchi in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

One of the freed girls said that five had been crushed to death when they were first kidnapped. The father of one Christian girl told reporters that she was still being held captive because she had refused to renounce her faith.

There is some speculation that the government paid the militants, thought to be from the group Boko Haram, to return the girls. However, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, said that “no ransom was paid”.

BBC News has more on this story here

Women’s studies students are editing Wikipedia 

Since 2014, 9,855 Wikipedia articles have been edited to make them more gender-inclusive  

More than 4,600 US students in women’s and gender studies are editing Wikipedia this month in a bid to close the website’s ‘gender gap’.

Currently, less than 18% of biographies on Wikipedia are about women. To level the playing field, students have been editing Wikipedia articles with the help of the Wiki Education Foundation, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) and other academic groups.

The drive to add more women’s stories to Wikipedia began in 2014. Since then, more than 3 million words have been added to the site, and 9,855 articles have been edited. This year’s editing drive is being carried out by the biggest cohort of students yet.

“Wikipedia is the fifth-most-visited website in the world. It’s a major source of information globally. And so to have both accurate information around gender issues, but also to just broaden the scope of content on Wikipedia, is important,” said Allison Kimmich, director of the NWSA.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a full-length interview with Kimmich here

Photo of Afghan woman taking exam while nursing baby goes viral

Jahan Taab, a 25-year-old woman from Miramar district in Afghanistan, was taking the entrance exam for a university social science course when her two-month-old baby started crying.

Rather than leave the exam, Taab sat down on the floor and held her baby close to her while she finished the paper. Struck by the scene, a lecturer who was invigilating the test took a photo of Taab and her baby and posted it on Facebook.

“She has a baby in her arms, a pen and a bright future ahead,” he wrote. “The child is screaming, screaming, screaming, but the mother was sitting on the soil and still thirstily writing the answers to the exam questions.”

Taab, who has two other children, travelled six to eight hours to take the exam at Nasirkhosraw Higher Education Institute in the central Afghan city of Nilli. She passed the test with 152 points.

Read more on this story at CNN

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.  

Main image shows (from left) Zahra Bukar, Fatima Abdu, Fatima Abdulkarim and Yagana Mustapha, schoolgirls who escaped from Boko Haram, visiting the home of a schoolmate in Dapchi in February.
Images: Getty Images

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Moya Crockett

Moya is Women’s Editor at stylist.co.uk, where she is currently overseeing the Visible Women campaign. As well as writing about inspiring women and feminism, she also covers subjects including careers, podcasts and politics. Carrying a tiny bottle of hot sauce on her person at all times is one of the many traits she shares with both Beyoncé and Hillary Clinton.

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