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This Week in Women’s Rights 2018–09–30


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/09/30

We are not done yet.

Of all the thoughts I have had this week in response to Senate hearings and the testimony of Dr. Blasey Ford, this thought keeps returning. We are not done creating a society that guarantees justice and equality for women.

There are many lessons to learn in this moment about sexual assault, white male privilege, public expressions of angergender representation in government, the judicial nomination process in general, and the various ways it can be compromised. It is easy to feel disappointed with elected officials, disgusted with some of our social values, and despair at the disproportionate amount of violence still directed towards women as women.”


“The news made headlines around the world: Saudi Arabia, the only country to bar women from driving, ended the ban in June 2018. Pioneers hit the roads to cheers — and stares — and celebrated the demise of a notorious restriction on the freedom of women. But the advancement of women’s rights is uneven at best in Saudi Arabia, as well as across North Africa and the Middle East, a region that regularly rates worst or second worst to sub-Saharan Africa in overall assessments of gender equality. The role of women is the subject of sustained public debate, with campaigns for equal treatment resisted by entrenched patriarchal and conservative forces.

1. Why did Saudi Arabia let women start driving?

The change came amid the Saudi monarchy’s ambitious campaign to diversify the economy and wean the kingdom from dependence on oil revenue. If more women are to have paying jobs, they need to be able to drive to work. Promoting civil liberties wasn’t really the point. In fact, the government jailed some of the country’s most prominent women’s rights campaigners before the driving ban was lifted, accusing them of collaborating with unspecified hostile foreign entities.”


“Access to daily necessities has long been a priority for social-reform movements. As tea had been on British shopping lists since at least the early 17th century, Boston turned its harbor into a tea party to protest a tax on the quotidian beverage while lacking the ability to vote on that tax.

When it came time for women to get the vote, tea played a role too. Women like the wealthy Alva Vanderbilt-Belmont held “suffrage teas,” where support for the cause was proclaimed. The tea parties also served as fundraisers, a practice that extended to the teas themselves.

In California, suffragist women showed how both tea and women’s suffrage of the national movement could be democratized at the state level. Two suffrage teas generated revenue for political organizing in the run-up to the 1911 election on women’s suffrage. Equality Tea sprang up in Northern California and spread throughout the state. In Southern California, Nancy Tuttle Craig used her position as one of the only female grocers in the state to package a “Votes for Women” tea.”


Sao Paulo — Erica Malunguinho is one of the 27,000 Brazilians running for office in Brazil’s October election. She is part of the 31 percent of candidates who are women, four percent who are black and 0.19 percent who are transgender.

“I decided to run because I had no other choice”, she said.

“People like me, we have no other choice than to confront the system. More than a need to stay alive, we have a need to be in positions of power,” Malunguinho, who is running for state deputy in Sao Paulo told Al Jazeera.”


“Calgary junior high students are honouring their school’s namesake during Canada’s first-ever national Gender Equality Week.

Many grade nine students at Annie Gale School are wearing homemade buttons to highlight Annie Gale’s historic role in the fight for women’s rights.

Gale was the first female member of Calgary city council, and when she took office in 1918, she became the first woman in Canada to hold an elected position.”



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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