Jan 26- Women Still Denied Fair Share of Top Jobs in Civil Service Worldwide

“Compiled by consultants, EY, the most recent index of female officials in senior central government posts shows Canada comfortably in the lead when it comes to promoting women to its most senior posts. But the index also shows that there is not a single G20 country where 50% of top government posts are held by women.” (The Guardian)


South Africa: Jan 24- S. African Mayor Awards Scholarships to Virgin Women

“A South African mayor has awarded college scholarships to 16 young women for remaining virgins to encourage others to be “pure and focus on school,” her spokesman said Sunday. The young women who applied for the scholarships voluntarily stayed virgins and agreed to have regular virginity tests to keep their funding, Uthukela Mayor Dudu Mazibuko told South African talk radio station 702.” (Business Insider)


Regional: Jan- Women’s Leadership and Corporate Performance (Asia Development Bank)

“This paper reviews the concept, theory, and international evidence on gender diversity and its relation to financial performance. We examine gender diversity in corporate leadership in 10 economies in Asia and the Pacific and find that gender diversity is overall lower in this region compared with North America and Europe. Among the 10 economies studied, Australia has the highest female ratio in corporate leadership and the Republic of Korea, the lowest. India and Malaysia are the only countries that currently have mandatory gender diversity quotas for the senior management positions or boards. The implementation is however poor in India. The PRC potentially loses economic value by the largest magnitude because of the lack of gender diversity.”  (ADB)

Japan, South Korea: Jan 6- ‘Comfort Women’ Deal Is a Win-Win But Japan and Korea Must Do More

“Japan and South Korea reached a historic agreement last month on “comfort women” — the women and girls enslaved by Japan’s Imperial Army during World War II. In doing so, the two countries made a strong statement that diplomacy can be a positive-sum game. Now, two of America’s closest allies have a chance to deepen their own ties — but this fragile deal will need nurturing in the months ahead.” (Huffington Post)

China: Jan 13- China’s Most Prominent Women’s Rights Lawyer has been Arrested by Chinese Authorities

“Chinese authorities have formally arrested China’s most prominent woman human rights lawyer, accusing her of subverting the state, her lawyer said on Wednesday, as part of a crackdown on activists who have helped people fight for their legal rights.” (Business Insider)

Taiwan: Jan 16- Tsai Ing-wen Elected President of Taiwan, First Woman to Hold Office

“Tsai Ing-wen was elected Taiwan’s president on Saturday, becoming the first woman to win the office. Voters gave her Democratic Progressive Party, which is skeptical of closer ties with China, control of Taiwan’s legislature for the first time, giving her broad authority to enact her policies in office.” (The New York Times)

India: Jan 24- 66.3% Women in AP Hold Bank Accounts: NFHS Survey

“An impressive of 66 per cent women in Andhra Pradesh hold bank accounts, the latest National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS) 2014-15 report indicated… Among 66.3 per cent of women bank account holders, 58.9 per cent belonged to urban AP while a lion’s share of 69.9 per cent were from rural areas.” (Business Standard)

Australia and Oceania

New Zealand: Jan 23- No Progress on Gender Gap Pay

“Data released yesterday shows men in all but one government department are paid more than women, with the biggest gap in average pay being 39 percent. ‘New Zealand goes off internationally and says ‘we’re a great place for women to live because we first got the vote 122 years ago. What we don’t say is we still have a gender pay gap and it’s remained very much the same for the last 10 years.’” (New Zealand News)


Scotland: Jan 26- Scotland Leads Way on Equal Pay for Top Jobs, Though Number of Women Senior Roles Remains Static

“The Scottish Government is leading the way in the UK with the smallest pay gap between men and women in top public service jobs. New research by EY (Ernst and Young) reveals today (Tues.) that within the Scottish Government the gender pay gap is just 0.6 per cent, compared to the UK Government where women are paid an average 6.3 per cent less than men.” (The National)

Middle East

Saudi Arabia: Jan 13-  Samar Badawi: Saudi Arabia Jails One of its Most Prominent Activists for Women’s Rights

“One of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent female human rights campaigners has been arrested and jailed for allegedly running a Twitter account. [She] received the 2012 International Women of Courage award, presented by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.” (Independent)

Regional: Jan 25- How the West Undermined Women’s Rights in the Arab World

“In this article I aimed to problematize two assumptions about women’s activism and women’s rights in the Arab world. First, I have attempted to expand our concept of women’s agency beyond resistance to patriarchy and to demonstrate the ways in which the subversion and resignification of gender norms were also part of a counter-hegemonic movement against the post-1967 socio-political and geopolitical order… Second, I have aimed to problematize the notion that the West is an agent of progress and women’s rights in the Arab world.” (Jadaliyya)

North America

Canada: Jan 22- Justin Trudeau, Melinda Gates and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg Talk Gender Parity

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promoted gender parity on Friday at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, where four of five delegates are men. His presence on a panel with Melinda Gates and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg stemmed in part from the parity in the cabinet he named last year and his terse explanation for that: 'Because it’s 2015.'” (CBS News)