March 24- Meet the World’s Greatest Female Leaders

“To borrow a feminist phrase, the future of leadership is female. Fortune‘s 2016 annual list of the World’s Greatest Leaders, which debuted on Thursday, features a record 23 women. That’s a big jump over last year’s ranking, which included 15 female leaders, and includes women in government, business, activism, nonprofit, and even the military (spoiler alert: no pop stars this year).” (Fortune)

March 24- From Peru to Kosovo, Female MPs Aim to End Abuse of Women in Politics

“Launched on the fringes of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York last week, the #NotTheCost campaign is seeking to raise awareness of the different methods of violence women face when seeking positions of power at local, national and international level. This can include physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and economic violence.” (The Guardian)

March 25- UN Commission on the Status of Women Ends With Agreement On Foundations To Accelerate Action

“The 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women concluded today with UN Member States committing to 'gender-responsive' actions with stronger laws, policies and institutions, better data and scaled-up financing.

According to UN Women – the UN entity tasked with promoting gender rights – the Commission recognized women’s vital role as agents of development. It acknowledged that progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the heart of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Developmentwill not be possible without gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” (UN News Center)


Nigeria: March 17- Failure to Pass Equality Bill Betrays Nigerian Women, Activists Say

“Women’s rights activists condemned the Nigerian Senate on Thursday for rejecting a gender and equality law that pledged to eliminate discrimination in politics, education and employment, protect women’s land rights and tackle violence against women. The Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill was thrown out on Tuesday after several lawmakers opposed it on religious grounds. Some quoted the Bible while others said the bill defied sharia, which is recognized by the constitution in Nigeria – home to the world’s largest equal mix of Christians and Muslims.” (Reuters)


Japan: March 16- As China Expands Military, Japan Allows Women In Combat Roles As Female Attack Helicopter Pilots

“Japan’s Defense Ministry has recently determined that women will be allowed to serve as pilots flying attack helicopters and special maritime patrol planes, Japan Times reported Wednesday. The decision comes as the Japanese government has pushed to widen the role of women in the Japan Self-Defense Forces.” (IBT)

Taiwan: March 27- Taiwan’s Nationalists Elect Their 1st Female Leader

“Taiwan’s China-friendly Nationalist Party has elected its first female leader after ousting her as its presidential candidate ahead of January elections that were won by pro-independence rivals. The Kuomintang had ditched Hung Hsiu-chu as her abrasive style and strongly pro-China positions were seen as alienating voters. The veteran legislator and former teacher was elected as leader over three other candidates Saturday and likely faces a difficult time rebuilding the party after its January electoral defeat.” (The Washington Post)


Ireland: March 3- First Election Under Gender Quotas Yields 35 Women TDs

“In the first national election to be held since gender quota legislation was introduced, 155 women candidates put themselves before the people. Political parties had to implement a 30 per cent gender quota for candidates or have their State funding cut by half. Now more than 22 per cent of TDs in the 32nd Dáil will be female, compared to the paltry 15 per cent elected in 2011.” (Irish Times)

Scotland: March 5- Scottish Women’s Convention Reveals Hard-Hitting Election Manifesto

“Welfare reform, childcare, zero hours contracts, health and transport are all top of the agenda in the Scottish Women’s Convention (SWC) manifesto being revealed today (March 5) at a special event in the parliament. The hard-hitting manifesto is calling on those standing for the Scottish Parliament elections in May to consider key priority areas for women. The document will be handed out to 380 women from throughout Scotland attending the SWC event at the Scottish Parliament today to celebrate International Women’s Day, to encourage women to ask questions of the nominees during the election process.” (The National)

Ukraine: March 10- Ukrainian Women Face Tough Battle for Equality in Military

“Nadiya Savchenko’s fight against Russia’s justice system captures headlines, but it is her persistence in the face of discrimination in Ukraine to which many women relate.  The 34-year-old is Ukraine’s only female military pilot and a veteran of Ukraine’s mission to Iraq, with a military career spanning 13 years. When her 2014 request to deploy to the war zone was rejected, she joined a volunteer battalion.”  (Voice of America)

Middle East

Syria: March 7- Syrian Refugee Women Take on Life in a Man’s World

“Lebanon, with a population of 4.4 million, is currently acting as host to more than one million Syrian refugees – three-quarters of whom are women and children. As a consequence, many women are now supporting their families alone for the first time in their lives. The mass influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon has put a severe strain on schools, hospitals and water supplies. Many refugees have exhausted their limited savings, and some have taken under-the-table jobs with low wages and poor working conditions to feed their families. The refugees also live with the constant threat of being deported back to Syria.

In the run-up to International Women’s Day next week, Al Jazeera met five Syrian women who have been struggling to survive in Lebanon.” (Aljazeera)

North America

US: March 2- Government Meets Goal Set in 1994 for Women’s Business Contracts

“After more than 20 years of effort, the federal government has, for the first time, met its goal of awarding 5 percent of the money it spent on contractors to businesses owned by women. The news comes on the heels of a Commerce Department analysis showing that businesses owned by women are 21 percent less likely to win government contracts than otherwise similar companies. Companies owned by women tend to be younger and smaller than other businesses, but even accounting for those differences, the disparity remains, the agency found.” (The New York Times)

Canada: March 8- Canada Seeks Nominations for Woman to Appear on Future Banknotes

“Canada will feature a woman on a forthcoming banknote and the country is seeking nominations from the public on who should receive the honor, the government said on Tuesday. Move over, Hamilton: woman to appear on $10 bill, Treasury announces Slavery abolitionist Harriet Tubman the apparent front runner as ‘historic decision’ is made to honour a woman in permanent design of currency. Although the Queen of England is featured predominantly on Canada’s currency, the new note will showcase a Canadian – either by birth or naturalization – who has shown leadership or achievement in the service of the country.” (The Guardian)

Canada: March 18- Women Outnumber Men on Justin Trudeau’s Influential Council of Economic Advisors

“Women will outnumber men on what could turn out to be the most-influential group of people around Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau. The Canadian Press has learned that Morneau will unveil the federal government’s new advisory council Friday — a team that will help draw up a plan designed to get Canada’s economy out of a rut. In total, the lineup of business and academic leaders will include eight women and six men.” (CBC News)

US: March 22- There’s Officially A Congressional Caucus On Black Women And Girls

“Three black women in congress made history on Tuesday when they announced the formation of the first and only Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls. U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Robin Kelly (D-III.) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.) confirmed the news in a press release issued by the U.S. House of Representatives. The release described the caucus as a group devoted to creating public policy that “eliminates significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.” (Huffington Post)

US: March 29- 2016 Women of Courage Award Winners

“10 years. 60 countries. Nearly 100 women. That’s the milestone the State Department marked on March 29, 2016, when Secretary of State John Kerry presented the 2016 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award during a ceremony at the U.S Department of State. To mark the milestone, Vice President Joe Biden delivered remarks during a forum following the ceremony. The forum also included panels and presentations featuring past and present winners of the Secretary’s International Women of Courage Award. Admiral Michelle Howard, who is the first woman to be promoted to four-star Admiral and the first African-American woman to attain a four-star rank in the Department of Defense, also spoke at the forum, and the artist Sonita Alizadeh performed.” (U.S. Department of State)