Women Wednesday #68

We love how women are changing the world and making an impact to their home countries that we're talking all things awesome and new every Wednesday!
In Tunisia, a lot of good work is happening to advance women’s rights and gender equality. There are new laws protecting women’s inheritance rights, and a law that makes it easier to prosecute domestic abuse. We even have a law against sexual harassment in public spaces. But many of these laws are not being applied in practice. But having such progressive laws makes Salma Belhassine feel more hopeful. It encourages her to make noise, because we want things to change. Salma, a 21-year-old activist from Tunisia is part of the Youth Leadership Programme, an initiative led by UNDP in partnership with UN Women and support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Moham-med Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation. In its third year of implementation, the ground-breaking initiative worked with over 1,000 young people in 14 countries across the Arab States region, strengthening youth leadership and innovation skills. Recently Belhassine attended the ECOSOC Youth Forum in UN Head-quarters in New York. Belhassine and four other university students are working to develop a mobile app to protect women from sexual harassment in public spaces as well as continuing their activism to encourage, support and protect women all over the globe.

(Stephanie Foden / The New York Times)
Salvador, the north-eastern Brazilian city, is famous for its Afro-Brazilian drumming traditions. the internationally acclaimed bloco-afro band Olodum is made up almost entirely of men, as tradition. But traditions change. Or actually, traditions are changed. By women like the ones that make up Banda Didá, a group composed exclusively of black women, pounding out those same Afro-Brazilian rhythms, filling up Salvador’s night with its old sounds, played by new hands. Banda Didá is a unique musical group breaking gender boundaries in the capital of Bahia, the state that is the epicentre of Brazil’s African cultural infusion. “Until Didá, no one here played like us,” said one of the band’s leaders and longest-serving members, Viviam Caroline de Jesus Queirós. Formed in 1993, the band was believed to be the first all-female bloco-afro in Brazil. “We’ve brought visibility to a group — black women — that have been historically marginalized here,” Ms. Queirós said. “We’ve feminized percussion here.” "This is the place where I found myself,” said Maiana Santos Bonfim, another young member of the band. “It's where I learned to accept myself, my hair, my body, my race. And I just love playing drums.”

(Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP / Getty Images)
The world is a strange and wondrous place. People live entire lives that we couldn’t possibly hope to understand. And eight of those people are now in a Japanese pop-idol group that exists to
extoll the virtues of mysterious-to-most-of-us cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Virtual Currency Girls, the aforementioned J-pop group, made their debut for an audience of about 20 people earlier this year in Tokyo. The members of the group wear frilly French maid dresses and lucha libre masks, and each member represents a different form of cryptocurrency such as Monacoin and the ever-popular Bitcoin. You’ll only be able to buy their concert tickets and merch using bitcoin, and members’ salaries are also paid in bitcoin, but they hope to be paid in each of their represented currencies eventually. Their debut single is called “The Moon, Cryptocurrency, And Me,” and it includes this lyric, in Japanese: “Be careful about your password! Don’t use the same one!”. They do it because they really love the technology and want to share their love and educate, introducing the world of cryptocurrencies to many.

Have a positive week,

Love Neon Moon x   

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