Ascend brings you biweekly reports on issues that affect women and nonbinary people of color from all over the world. All these stories have been buried by the breaking news.
1. California’s Gender Recognition Act. California senators voted May 31, 2017 to pass a bill that adds a third gender option for nonbinary individuals to official forms such as birth certificates and driver’s licenses. The Gender Recognition Act still needs to be inked by Gov. Jerry Brown, but if it gets signed into law, California will become the first state to provide a third gender option on IDs. source
2. Protections for trans individuals. In Wisconsin, Democratic lawmakers are pushing to protect trans people from being discriminated against when they apply for a job or search for a home. If passed, the bill would make Wisconsin the 20th state to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. source
1. Global Gag Rule. On May 23, the United States released a plan to expand the notorious “Global Gag Rule,” or the Mexico City Policy, which prevents foreign non-governmental organizations that receive funding from the US from providing safe abortions for family planning methods. Such restrictive policies increase the number of women resorting to unsafe abortions, which can result in more women dying, research shows. source
1. Women and Afro-Latinos face the most inequality in Latin America. A report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) has found that in Latin America, women continue to have the lowest-paying wage jobs while working longer hours compared to men, and that Afro-Latinos also face the highest rate of unemployment. source
2. Femicides must be stopped. June marks the start of the annual march against femicides –– or the killing of women by men due to gender –– in South American countries. The march arrives amid a troubling surge in cases of femicides reported in many countries within South America. In Colombia alone, more than 200 women have been killed during the first months of 2017, statistics show.
“Being a woman is living constantly in a time of war,” a spokesperson from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America said. source
1. In Nigeria, women are far too busy to take care of themselves. A study by the George Kerry Life foundation has found that most women in Nigeria were lackadaisical towards their health and that they did not attend breast cancer screenings even though they were free. One reason for this was that women faced too much pressure being the breadwinners of their families, the report said. With that in mind, the foundation aims to empower women and teach them to be accountable for their health.
“We want them to tell us what is it they need or want so that they can take care of themselves,” the foundation said. source
1. Lebanon bans Wonder Woman over Gal Gadot. DC’s Wonder Woman was denied release in Lebanon over former-IDF soldier and known Zionist, Gal Gadot. The film, which is being called “the Israeli soldier film,” was promoted around the country and was scheduled to premiere hours before the ban went into effect. source
2. Tiny golden lotus feet. Chinese women maimed their feet because of work and not because of sex, a new report revealed. Research by Laurel Bossen and colleagues found that the custom of binding their feet served an economic purpose, especially in the countryside. The painful practice ensured that girls as young as 7 years old sat still and helped make goods like cloth, yarn, and mats, the authors of the study said.
“You have to link hands and feet. Foot-bound women did valuable handwork at home in cottage industries. The image of them as idle sexual trophies is a grave distortion of history,” Bossen said. source
alyssa navarro is a 19-year-old filipina writer and activist. she worked as a reporter for a new york-based site before returning to university to study psychology. she tweets @ysabarro.