February- Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey

“Analysis of a global survey of 21,980 firms from 91 countries suggests that the presence of women in corporate leadership positions may improve firm performance. This correlation could reflect either the payoff to nondiscrimination or the fact that women increase a firm’s skill diversity. The results find no impact of board gender quotas on firm performance, but they suggest that the payoffs of policies that facilitate women rising through the corporate ranks more broadly could be significant.” (Peterson Institute for International Economics)


Rwanda: Feb 26- Has Gender Parity in Rwandan Government Led to Gender Equality Throughout the Country?

“Rwanda is lauded as a world leader in women’s political participation. In 2007, Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, was presented with the African Gender Award. In 2013, the country won the international ‘Women in Parliament’ award for its work promoting women’s political empowerment. These partial victories stand alongside one important failure: the absence of female parliamentarians mobilising on behalf of rural women during land policy debates in 2003 and 2004.” (Open Democracy)


China: Feb 4- Women’s Rights Crackdown Exposes Deepening Crisis in Chinese Society

“Just a few years ago, Beijing hailed Guo Jianmei as China’s ‘patron of the weak’, a fearless and influential activist-lawyer whose NGO offered solace and support to thousands of disenfranchised Chinese women. But this week, after 20 years, Guo’s organisation – the Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Counselling and Service Centre – abruptly announced it was closing, sending shockwaves through the country’s already embattled third sector.” (The Guardian)

Marshall Islands: Feb 5- Hilda Heine Elected First Female Pacific Leader as President of Marshall Islands

“The Marshall Islands parliament has elected a new president, Dr Hilda Heine, the first female leader of any independent Pacific island nation. Her election follows a period of unprecedented politicking which culminated on Tuesday in a no-confidence motion which ousted 44-year-old Casten Nemra just one week after he was inaugurated.” (ABC)

Afghanistan: Feb 22- Importance of Women’s Leadership Role in Afghan Society Emphasized by UN Envoy

“The integral role of Afghan women in the country’s social, political and economic spheres was emphasized by a top UN envoy during a meeting with future leaders in Kabul today. To encourage and promote women, the UN envoy also said that UNAMA is working to recruit more women in its mission. The 17 young women who spoke with Mr. Haysom today are part of a USAID leadership skills course. They talked at length with the UN envoy about their work and their hopes for the future of Afghanistan.” (UNAMA)

India: Feb 24- Indian Armed Forces to Recruit Women for All Combat Roles: President

“India will allow women to take up combat roles in all sections of its army, navy and air force, President Pranab Mukherjee said, signaling a radical move towards gender parity in one of the world’s most male-dominated professions.” (Reuters)

Cambodia: Feb 26- Women Face Discrimination in Politics

“Women in Cambodia still face a lack of openness and opportunity within political institutions, according to a Committee For Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel) report … Although the rate of discrimination against women dropped in 2015 to 12.19 percent from 19.35 in 2014, women still face systemic discrimination from political institutions, especially at the commune level, where in some places there is no budget for women’s and children’s affairs.” (Khmer Times)


Ireland: Feb 4- Election 2016: Impact of Gender Quotas May be Fairly Limited

“The impact of gender quotas on the results of the 2016 general election may well be fairly limited in terms of the numbers of new women TDs entering the Dáil. Certainly, voters will have the option of voting for more women candidates than at any other time in the State’s history. The letter of the law has been adhered to by most parties, and they have done just about enough not to have their precious State funding slashed, but the spirit of the law has not been respected in many cases.” (Irish Times)

Middle East

Egypt: Feb 10- Egyptian Women’s Rights Groups Denounce Exclusion from State Council

“NGOs and women’s rights organisations warned against the continued discrimination by judicial bodies, ahead of a new round of appointments for assistant representatives at the State Council. Eleven organisations, including the New Woman Foundation, Nazra for Feminist Studies, and El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, issued a joint statement condemning the continued exclusion of women from judicial positions at the council.” (Albawaba News)

UAE: Feb 11 – Sharjah Council Elects First Ever Female Chairwoman

“On Thursday, during the opening session of this year’s council, Khawla Al Mulla was appointed the first chairwoman of the body since its formation in 1999. The motion to appoint her was unopposed by the 44-members council, seven of whom are women.” The motion to appoint her was unopposed by the 44-members council, seven of whom are women." (The National)

Jordan: Feb 24- Not Enough Seats for Women

“The just adopted draft elections law, tossed around for too long from government to Parliament, did not show any apparent political will to give women more rights that would enable them to equitably share in the determination of the future of their country, according to some advocates of women’s rights.” (Jordan Times Editorial)

Iran: Feb 29- Iran Set to Elect Record Number of Women into Parliament

“Estimates based on the latest results show that as many as 20 women are likely to enter the 290-seat legislature known as the Majlis, the most ever. The previous record was set nearly 20 years ago during the fifth parliament after the 1979 revolution, when 14 women held seats. There are nine women in the current Iranian parliament.” (The Guardian)

North America

US: Feb 17- Only 88 Tech Startups are Run by Black Women

“While big tech firms have pledged to be more transparent about their diversity stats — releasing annual reports to benchmark their progress — that same transparency is still rare in the venture capital world. There were many jarring findings, said Kathryn Finney, the founder of digitalundivided, which led the study. The first was that there are so few tech startups led by black women — just 88. They make up just 4% of the estimated 2,200 women-led tech startups.” (CNN Money)

South America

Argentina: Feb 23- How One Woman’s App is Changing Politics in the Digital Age

“33-year-old Argentinian woman Pia Mancini has developed DemocracyOS, an app which provides a platform for citizens to engage with politics away from those outdated structures. When a new piece of legislation is brought to congress in Argentina DemocracyOS is used to immediately translate and explain it in plain language. Citizens are also able to discuss and directly “vote” on these new bills using the site or desktop app.” (The Guardian)