Wednesday 5: Women of Integrity

In this week’s Wednesday 5: appalling laws against women in 44 countries; Glamour magazine’s “Women of Integrity” profiles 16 women who are changing the world for the better; recognizing the legacy of women during Black History Month; groundbreaking women in aviation and space; and a new study reports that the percentage of women coaching college women’s teams is on a steep decline—in fact, it’s nearly at an all-time low.




Laws Against Women

Consider these current laws about women:

  • “Sexual violence by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape.” (India)
  • “If a kidnapper after abducting a person, shall marry such person, he shall not be liable to prosecution.” (Malta)
  • “Violence by a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife is considered lawful.” (Nigeria)
  • “Women’s driving of automobiles is prohibited due to it as a source of undeniable vices.” (Saudi Arabia)

These laws are not antiquated. They are still in effect. Writing for The Daily Beast, Nina Strochlic says, “these laws are still on the books despite the fact that 20 years ago, at the 1995 World Conference on Women, 189 countries signed on to a plan that would incorporate greater gender equality in their penal codes by revoking any discriminatory laws.”

Read more at The Daily Beast about the work of Equality Now, which is launching a report and campaign, “Ending Sex Discrimination in the Law,” against 44 governments for their discriminatory laws.



16 Inspiring Women of Integrity

GlamourImage Source:

Here’s why we’re loving this list from Glamour magazine: These “Women of Integrity” include a Cuban activist, a Turkish best-selling writer, a Jamaican poet and LGBT activist, a Dutch museum director, and a Moroccan cancer research executive. By “integrity” Glamour means “changing the world for the better.”

See all the gorgeous portraits and stories of these women here.



Legacy of Women During Black History Month

Walker-Chisholm-Wells-550 Madame CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, and Ida B. Wells

Over at our friends at BlogHer, Jenn M. Jackson shares:

Growing up, two prominent figures were frequently highlighted during Black History Month: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and Frederick Douglass. I always remember wondering: where are the Black women in all this?

Jackson writes further about the erasure of Black women from history and the damage this has done:

The intergenerational erasure of Black women from historical narratives has impacted the way we conceptualize Black History on the whole. Seeing historical events as led by men alone appropriates Black women’s contributions while reinforcing this inaccurate and damaging message for future generations of Black scholars, educators, and political leaders.

Read “Recognizing the Legacy of Women During Black History Month” at BlogHer.



Women in Aviation and Space History  . Women Pilots  . This is one of the fields where, outside of the incredible Amelia Earhart, we don’t hear much about the groundbreaking role of women. That’s why we were thrilled to see this list featured on the website of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Women’s participation and contributions are noted . . .  from the earliest female pioneers to racing pilots to the first female commercial pilots to women in space. Although women have flown since 1908, nearly all of them were restricted to general aviation, i.e. private planes, or support jobs, (prior to the 1970s) . . . However, women have now gained full access to military and commercial cockpits, as well as the Space Shuttle and aerospace technology. 

See the full list of women who have been featured in the museum’s galleries from Early Flight to the Space Race.



Women Coaches on the Decline: A Study

We were surprised to see these numbers, shared by Lindsay Hock on The She Network:

In the 40+ years after the passage of Title IX, female sport participation is at an all-time high but the percentage of women coaching women at the collegiate level has declined from 90+% in 1974 to near an all-time low today of 40%.

 The numbers come from a report and new initiative by the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center, in collaboration with the Alliance of Women Coaches. See the full report card on the status of women coaches here.

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