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This Week in Women’s Rights 2018–02–18


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/02/18

“(CNN)American department store Macy’s sparked a fierce debate on Thursday, when it launched a line of “modest clothing” that featured hijabs.

The Verona Collection was founded by fashion photographer Lisa Vogl, after she converted to Islam in 2011, and struggled to find modest, fashionable clothing. The brand stands for “women’s empowerment and taking pride in one’s Muslim identity,” according to its website.

Macy’s decision to stock Vogl’s line came after US retailer Nike released a “Pro Hijab” for Muslim athletes, and fashion brand American Eagle’s limited-edition denim hijab, which sold out.”


“Rather than promoting issues regarding women and girl empowerment through the use of the internet, most women promote issues that are of little or no relevance to women empowerment, a study by the Media Foundation for West Africa [MFWA] has revealed.

At a workshop organized for representatives of women’s rights advocacy groups and journalists by the foundation, participants received training on techniques they can adopt to advocate the use the internet to their advantage of women nationwide.

According to facilitators of the workshop, “the under representation of women online by public and women themselves is appalling” thus the need to empower them because “no one tells stories better than women themselves.””


“(CNN)Women’s March organizers are encouraging students, teachers and their allies to walk out of schools on March 14 to protest gun violence.

They’re demanding that Congress take legislative action on gun control in the wake of last week’s deadly school shooting in Florida instead of merely tweeting their thoughts and prayers.

“Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school,” reads the group’s statement. “Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.””


DAVOS, SWITZERLAND — Like many longtime gender advocates, Katja Iversen has spent the past five months having conversations she never expected to have with ordinary people, about topics she’s spent a lifetime working on.

“One of the most powerful things in the #MeToo movement is that everybody realized that everybody has a story, big or small, many or few,” she says.

“I’m sitting on airplanes with people I’ve never spoken to and hearing their stories.”

“It’s destigmatizing: This is something you can work on for centuries or decades, but this is happening monthly now.””


““How can there even be a question about whether we should protect women from violence? Why is there still the need to debate it?” German Green MEP Ska Keller asked Croatia’s Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, recently.

She encountered only a deafening silence.

Like other European countries, Croatia is still debating this issue. The Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the “Istanbul Convention”, stands signed but un-ratified in Croatia and in a number of other EU countries, including the UK.

Another EU member state where the ratification has become a major bone of contention is the current EU presidency holder, Bulgaria.”


“ In her new book Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of the leader of the British suffragette movement, examines the battle for women’s rights. Yvette Huddleston reports. This month marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, passed on February 6, 1918, which for the first time gave some women in the UK the right to vote. It was a significant step in a long-fought, sometimes bloody, campaign by the suffragettes — and if there is one name that is most associated with that fearless, committed group of women, it is Pankhurst.

To commemorate the centenary Helen Pankhurst, granddaughter of Sylvia and great-granddaughter of Emmeline, has written a book, Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights Then and Now, published last week, that reflects on the legacy of her famous forebears and charts how women’s lives have changed over the last hundred years. As a notable women’s rights activist and senior advisor to CARE International — a charity which fights poverty and injustice around the world and supports women and girls to overcome inequality and fulfil their potential — Pankhurst has continued the work of her pioneering ancestors.


“COLUMBUS — Ohio’s abortion clinics are challenging a state law that would ban abortions after a fetal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The law, signed by Republican Gov. John Kasich in December, would penalize doctors who perform abortions based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome. The law is set to take effect March 23, but advocates for access to abortions want to stop what they say is an unconstitutional restriction.

Physicians who perform these prohibited abortions would face a fourth-degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine. They also would lose their license to practice medicine and could face lawsuits if a woman is injured or dies because of the prohibited abortion.

Just two other states have similar laws. The legislation was found unconstitutional in Indiana, and North Dakota’s 2013 ban is not enforced because the state’s sole abortion clinic does not perform the procedure after 16 weeks gestation.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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