April 1- Women in Power & Utilities Index 2016

“EY’s 2016 Women in Power and Utilities Index tracks the number of women in the boardrooms of the world’s largest utilities in revenue. This year, there are 16% women on P&U boards, with progress a painfully slow rise of only 1% over three years. EY’s Women in P&U Index analyzes the boards and leadership teams of the top 200 utilities by revenue across the globe. The Index provides a baseline for measuring how much — or how little — the sector progresses each year.” (EY)

April 4- UN Secretary General: The Other New York Race

“As the hoopla of the presidential campaign comes to New York, featuring the political all-stars seeking to become the world’s most powerful leader, another race is also under way in the city – a contest of the largely obscure. It involves candidates hoping to become the world’s most prominent diplomat. At the stroke of midnight on 31 December, as the glitter ball in Times Square makes its annual descent, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is due to end his term in office. Just as Campaign 2016 could end up with the election of the first female US president, there’s a strong possibility that the next head of the UN will become the organisation’s first female secretary-general.” (BBC)

April 21- Here Are 13 of the World’s Most Influential Women You Don’t Know Yet

“You already know about the Power Women: the celebrities and moguls, the world leaders and dignitaries, the stars who can dominate a news cycle with a single tweet. Lots of these women—like Nicki Minaj, Caitlyn Jenner, Hillary Clinton, and Angela Merkel—are on this year’s TIME 100. But influence and fame are not the same thing, and this year’s list also includes women whose impact far exceeds their fame. You may not know who they are (yet). Here’s why you should.” (Time)


April 22- African Women Help Their Communities Go Solar

This number cannot be emphasized enough – more than 1 billion people around the world live without access to electricity, and 2.9 billion still cook with polluting, harmful fuel like firewood and dung. As we celebrate Earth Day, we’re looking at the ways to bring energy access to those communities and transform lives, and at the same time, protect our planet’s resources. How can we make sure that the right progress for communities is the right progress for the planet?  Solar Sister is a social enterprise that recruits, trains, and supports African women launch clean-energy businesses in their communities, selling lights and cookstoves to their neighbors. We are organized around the principle that women must be intentionally included in discussions around energy.” (The World Bank)


Australia: April 20- Turnbull Wants More Women in Top Public Service Roles and More Tech-Savvy Staff

“The public service must encourage more women into senior roles and embrace the technology prowess of younger staff, the Prime Minister says. Malcolm Turnbull spoke to about 800 mostly senior public servants in Parliament on Wednesday morning, in what is understood to be the first prime ministerial address to the bureaucracy in about six years. He exhorted them to find the courage to experiment with technology, saying government agencies needed to harness data to measure and improve their services.” (The Canberra Times)

India: April 20- 8 Indian Women Honored in Forbes’ ‘Asia’s Power Businesswomen’ List

“Last week, Forbes released its fifth annual Asia’s Power Businesswomen list, and India made a strong showing with eight influential women entrepreneurs who are currently shaking things up across diverse industries in India and globally. The unranked list includes 50 powerful women from 14 countries. The list is dominated by China and Hong Kong, with 14 women from that region, followed by India with eight, Thailand with five and Japan with four. Singapore, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam each have three, while South Korea and the Philippines each have two. Macau, Taiwan, and New Zealand have one each. According to Forbes, the list acknowledges the ‘inroads women are making in the business world but gender inequality persists. Women are best positioned to know what it will take to get more of them into commanding roles in the workforce and keep them there.’” (

Nepal: April 21- Milestones in the Himalayan Country Nepal: Women On Top

“The Himalayan country Nepal made history with the first female ‘President’, the first female ‘Speaker of Parliament’ and the first female ‘Chief Justice’. In September 2015, the new constitution had declared Nepal as an inclusive federal democratic republican country. The Constitution of Nepal, which came into effect on Sept 20, 2015, replacing the Interim Constitution of 2007. This special day is the major milestone in the history of Nepal. The constitution was endorsed by 90% of the total lawmakers out of 598, however, some human rights activists, political groups and some ethnic groups remained dissatisfied. They accused the Constitution of being gender discriminatory especially in regards to citizenship provisions. On the one hand, citizenship provisions in the new constitution discriminate against women; on the other hand, after the declaration of the new constitution, Nepalese women are creating one by another milestone. First time in the history, women are leading the major bodies of federal democratic republic Nepal.” (The World Post)

Pakistan: April 29- Swat Activist Tabassum Adnan Wins 2016 Nelson Mandela Award

“Tabassum Adnan, a women’s rights activist from Swat valley became the recipient of yet another prestigious award on Thursday when she was bestowed with the Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016 in Bogota, Colombia. Talking to Dawn from Colombia soon after receiving her award, Adnan said she dedicates her award to her country, Pakistan. She won the award for the individual activist category on the concluding day of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW) held from April 25-28.” (Dawn)


April 14- EU Referendum Campaigns are Failing to Win Women Over, New Poll Warns

“Campaigns to leave or remain in the EU are failing to engage a female audience, with twice as many women as men still undecided on which way to vote in the run up to theJune referendum. Nearly a quarter of men agree that the campaigns have helped them to make a decision, compared to just 19 per cent of women, a new ICM poll for the UK’s leading gender equality charity, Fawcett Society, found. The Leave campaign is drawing in a larger male audience with 35 per cent of men satisfied that their issues are being addressed, compared to 25 per cent of women, according to the survey more than 2,000 people. However, the Remain campaign is performing only slightly better with women, with 28 per cent satisfied that their issues are addressed, compared to 27 per cent of men.” (The Telegraph)

April 23- BBC Pledges Half of Workforce Will be Women by 2020

“Women will make up half of the BBC workforce on screen, on air and in leadership roles by 2020, the corporation has announced. It says it will “go further than ever before” to represent women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and LGBT people with its new diversity targets. The corporation wants to “meet or better” other broadcasters in representing the UK population by 2020. The BBC said it had made “good progress” but “there’s more to do.” (BBC)

UK: April 27- Women Occupy Less than a Quarter of UK Board Positions

“Britain has fallen behind other European countries in efforts to get more women on to company boards, with research showing women occupy less than a quarter of all UK board positions. A third of boardroom positions should be held by women, UK firms told. With women in 23.2% of board seats last year, Britain falls short of the European average of 25%. That compares with 38.7% in Norway, which has a 40% mandatory target and still tops the table, according to research by European Women on Boards (EWoB), a network which includes Britain’s Institute of Directors.” (The Guardian)

Latin America

Peru: April 19- Goldman Prize Winner: ‘I Will Never be Defeated by the Mining Companies’

“Environmental activism may not have been what Maxima Acuña de Chaupe had in mind when in 2011 she refused to sell her 60-acre plot of land to the biggest gold-mining project in South America.She did not belong to any movement or organisation but she doggedly held on to her land in spite of her claims of beatings, death threats, intimidation and court proceedings, becoming a symbol of resistance in her native Peru and above all its northern region of Cajamarca which rejected the $4.8bn Conga gold mine after five demonstrators were killed in clashes with the police in 2012. The Goldman prize – the world’s most prestigious environmental award – is in recognition of the courage she has shown in so far preventing the mine from destroying the two highland lagoons, her farm, and the supply of fresh water for thousands more people.” (The Guardian)

Middle East

Saudi Arabia: April 28- Saudi Arabia is ‘Not Ready’ for Women Drivers, says Deputy Crown Prince

“Despite moves towards rights for women under King Abdullah before his death, deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud has said the Saudi community “is not convinced about women driving”. The 30-year-old prince, who has amassed increasing powers since his father King Salman came to the throne, said the topic was not about Islam but about cultural norms. ‘Women driving is not a religious issue as much as it is an issue that relates to the community itself that either accepts it or refuses it,’ he said, according to local media reports.” (Independent)

Kuwait: April 29- Kuwait Leads Gulf States in Women in Workforce

“In March 2009, the country was dazzled by the impressive show of skills displayed by the first batch of 27 policewomen who graduated after five months of intensive learning courses and training sessions. It was the beginning of a wide array of opportunities for women in uniform. Seven years later, in March 2016, Lt. Col. Melody Mitchell, from the Office of Military Cooperation-Kuwait at the US embassy in Kuwait, was all praise for the increased participation of Kuwaiti women in the military.” (Gulf News)

North America

US: April 11- See Where Women Have The Most And Least Political Representation In The U.S.

“Wyoming is sometimes called the Equality State — it had the nation’s first female governor and was the first territory to give women the right to vote. But that legacy isn’t visible on the floor of the state Senate. Just one of the 30 state senators is a woman Overall, just 13 percent of state lawmakers in Wyoming are women, the lowest rate of representation in the country according to data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.” (NPR)

US: April 12- Obama Declares National Monument Connected to Equal Pay Day

“President Obama established a new national monument — the Seawall-Belmont House — to mark Equal Pay Day. The presidnet addressed the issue of equal pay, closing the gender wage gap, during a ceremony at the house.” Watch his speech here: (YouTube)

US: April 21- Only One Woman was Named CEO of a Major Company in North America in 2015

“Just four percent of S&P 500 CEOs are women. Only 19 percent of those companies’ board members are women. Yet even among the discouraging stats about the number of women in corporate leadership roles, this one stands out: Exactly one of the 87 new CEOs named to lead the largest public companies in the United States or Canada in 2015 was a woman.” (The Washington Post)

US: April 27- Army to Commission First 22 Female Officers into Ground Combat Roles

“In the coming weeks, the Army is set to commission 22 female lieutenants into ground combat roles, a first for the service, the Army announced in a release Friday. The move comes just months after Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter opened all jobs in the military to women, including roles that were previously closed such as those in the infantry and artillery fields. According to the release, the women are about to graduate from their respective ROTC programs and service academies. One woman is currently in Officer Candidate School. Nine women will head to the infantry while 13 will commission as armor officers. Armor means the officers will be in charge of vehicles such as the M1A2 Abrams main battle tank and M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.” (The Virginia Pilot)

Canada: April 29- Bank of Canada Announces List of Women being Considered for Bank Note

“The Bank of Canada has announced a list of 12 iconic Canadian women who could be featured on the first in a new series of bank notes expected in 2018. The finalists include artist and writer Emily Carr, Inuit artist Pitseolak Ashoona, and Nellie McClung, who fought for women’s suffrage. The list reflects women from several occupational fields and periods of history. The independent advisory council took online submissions from the public following an announcement on International Women's Day in March by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it was time Canadian women appeared on our bank notes.” (CBC News)