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This Week in Women’s Rights 2018–03–11


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/03/11

“Women’s History Month is the “honorary observance of the month of March, as designated in 1987 by the U.S. Congress, in recognition of women’s many accomplishments throughout history. A variety of agencies, schools, and organizations observe the month by focusing on the ‘consistently overlooked and undervalued’ role of American women in history. Libraries and communities promote special events that emphasize the achievements of women.” As an American Ahmadi Muslim, celebrating women’s achievements, I feel proud that my religion has given me all my rights, privileges, dignity, and respect-as my birthright, 1,400 years ago.
In America, the right to own property was given to women in 1839. The Married Women’s Property Act allows such women to own and control their property themselves, and makes it their own right. Before the advent of Islam, a woman was not allowed to own property. She didn’t even have the right to inherit from her own father! When she was married, she became her husband’s property, and it was against the law to be separated or divorced from him. When God chose the Prophet Muhammad ( peace and blessings be upon him) to be the messenger for all of mankind he improved the status of Muslim women.”


“On Feb. 28, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled in favour of the Ryerson Student Union (RSU), who were the defendants in a case brought to court by the Ryerson Men’s Issues Awareness Society (MIAS).

They filed the lawsuit because the RSU had not granted the MIAS club status through the student union, which the MIAS felt was unfair. The lawsuit was led by them along with two anti-abortion groups, who also claimed their rights were violated.

The MIAS had accused the RSU of breaking its own bylaws and violating members’ freedom of expression when the RSU, led by then-president Andrea Bartlett, rejected the MIAS’s application for student club status in 2015.”


“When you ask anyone who is a great Canadian, Manitoba’s Nellie McClung often makes that list.

McClung was an outspoken women, writer, and later, a politician. As a suffragist, she made it her mission to join the fight for women’s rights more than a hundred years ago.

But what would Nellie McClung think of women’s lives today?

“Farm wives at the time…that was a hard, hard, hard, hard life. Many of them were isolated. They wouldn’t have a lot of contact with other women,” said Doris Moulton, chair of the Nellie McClung Foundation.”


“Academia remains a bastion of patriarchal power — its structures mean certain men always get to the top of the hierarchy. Universities like to put on prominent display the tiny minority of women who have managed to break through the glass ceiling — but the presence of women in senior management is no consolation when researchers and lecturers face poverty, sexual harassment and the expectation of labour performed for free and out of an instinctive feminine desire to “care”.

In the UK, women aged 18 are 36% more likely than men to go to university. Young women are currently holding up the higher education sector in this country by taking out personal loans, buying into a field that offers them little in return for the burden of debt they are forced to take on.

What they have to look forward to, if they stay in academia, is low pay and precarious and short-term work, pensions under threat and an enduring gender pay gap. Casual contracts are widespread in academia, with about 50% of academic staff in the UK on insecure contracts.”


For International Women’s Day on Thursday, The Local takes a look at how Germany stacks up when it comes to women’s rights.

Germany has a female Chancellor, and overall it has a good record on sexual equality. In the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap report for 2017 Germany placed 12th overall in a comparison of 144 countries for economic participation, educational attainment, health and political empowerment.

But there are also some areas where the country could step up its game in the name of women’s rights.

1. Abortion rights

While abortions may be performed legally in Germany, the procedure is actually technically defined as “illegal” under the criminal code, and the circumstances under which it can be performed are labelled as “exceptions”.”


“ There’s an advertisement making the rounds on Twitter that features a GIF of a woman’s purse that has spilled onto a table. The splayed contents include dark sunglasses, red lipstick and a bottle of perfume — and then, a key fob for a luxury car slides into the frame, seemingly completing the picture.

The ad, which is a subtle overture to Saudi women, would have been unheard of a year ago. It represents huge change and opportunity in a country that has been extremely repressive toward women.

Car companies such as Jaguar, Ford and Nissan are looking to capitalize on a potential new market of women drivers after Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, announced that starting in June, women in the kingdom would be allowed to drive.

The 32-year-old prince wants to show his country is liberal, modern and open for business beyond the oil sector. Saudi Arabian women have embraced the move on driving, but hope it brings other, more substantial changes, too.”



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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