Happy Roe Day! (And Other Feminist Wins of the Week)

By Aina Ramiaramanana
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If you’ve watched or tuned into the news recently, you probably know that last week was a devastating week featuring a government shutdown. But over the weekend, people across the world showed up to Women’s Marches, marking the first anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March – one of the largest coordinated protests in world history. And today marks Roe Day (#7in10forRoe), when we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and all of the work that has been done to expand access to abortion care. Happy Roe Day!

In other feminist news, here are some highlights from last week:

New Special Courts for Sexual Assault Cases in Antigua and Barbuda Islands

In order to put an end to sexual violence and discrimination in the Caribbean, the Antigua and Barbuda government will start creating new courts called the Sexual Offences Model Courts that will focus only on sexual assault cases. According to a UPR report of Antigua and Barbuda in 2016, sexual offenses (including marital rape) are not recognized under the Sexual Offenses Act, and most rape and child abuse incidents are not reported and are often ignored in Antigua and Barbuda. According to the Attorney General, creating special courts for sexual assault cases is one of the many projects the country will focus on to end sexual violence.

When They Call You a Terrorist memoir released

Last Tuesday, a memoir by Black Lives Matter activist and co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, co-written with asha bandele, was officially released. The memoir highlights the racial and social barriers in the U.S. that have shaped the authors’ experiences since childhood, encourages Black women to become leaders, and refocus the spotlight, as “young poor black girls who are queer rarely get to be at the center of the American conversation.”

Somaliland legislation outlaws rape

A new bill that criminalizes all sexual harassment and assault including rape, trafficking, and child marriages was introduced and approved in the lower house of the Somaliland parliament. In order for the bill to be implemented, it must be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by the Somaliland president on March 1. The bill was written in order to end gender-based violence, which has risen in recent years due to a 2017 drought that has displaced thousands of people, leaving women and children vulnerable. Nafisa Yusuf, executive director of the Nagaad Network of 54 women’s organizations in Somaliland, said this bill is “a great milestone achieved by Somaliland women.” According to Equality Now’s analysis of rape, 10 countries still do not have marital rape laws on the books.

Time’s The Avengers

In 2016, they were ordinary voters. In 2017, they became activists … Now, in 2018, these doctors and mothers and teachers and executives are jumping into the arena and bringing new energy to a Democratic Party sorely in need of fresh faces,” reads Time’s magazine’s cover story, which features 48 first-time women candidates and other women who ran for office because they were inspired by the Women’s March in 2017. Time‘s cover story falls on the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration and of the Women’s March, celebrating a year in resistance. The feature also looks to the 2018 midterms, anticipating that the number of women in power in politics will only continue to grow.

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