NEON MOON'S WOMEN WEDNESDAY
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!
(Todd Heisler / New York Times)
Barbra Underwood has made history when she became the first woman to be sworn into the post of New York attorney general this year, following the resignation of Eric Schneiderman when it broke that he was an abusive arsehole. But as one might surmise from the events of the 2016 presidential election, Underwood may not necessarily be able to keep the job — even if she’s far and away the most qualified person to ever hold the role, according to her team (and they’re probably right). Underwood says she plans on continuing the work of her predecessor, who had repeatedly introduced legislation for free contraception, defended abortion clinics, worked to spread awareness about domestic violence, and employed more women in leadership positions than men. Yeah, you see why Trump and men across the States might be gunning for her job. State legislators are already meeting with candidates to determine whether they want to appoint someone else within the next few weeks, and an official election will be held for the position, regardless of who might be appointed, in November. We hope Barbra gets her chance to create change!
(Tony Gaballa / Facebook)
With elegance and grace emanating from her every pose, 30-year-old ballet dancer and assistant ballet teacher Engy El Shazly has a very different story to most ballerinas. Not only did she start learning ballet when she was 27 years old, she is also the first ballet dancer in Egypt to be veiled. In just three years of dancing,Engy has been pushing boundaries and paving the way for other women, veiled or otherwise, to follow their dreams. From the very first class, Engy was hooked, “What I love about ballet is that it is an art. When I am practising I feel like I am living in another world, in another planet”. At first, Engy didn’t consider dancing on stage, believing that her hijab would prevent her but her teacher had other ideas. According to Engy, “She told me I can definitely go on stage in a hijab as normal. I wore the same dress as the rest of my team, but just with long sleeves and a hijab”. Engy believes that people like her are beginning to change perceptions towards Hijabi women, “People think that Hijabi girls are restricted, they are not open-minded, they are not able to do sports. But our message is that we are normal people doing things that we love, we can do whatever we want. Just covering your hair is not an obstacle to achieving your dreams and changing the world”.
A new 'Feminism Takes' movement is challenging Chile's education system as female students march to demand a university environment free of sexism, harassment, and sexual abuse. Over 30 institutions and hundreds of protesters have picked up the call for university directors to foster programs which promote equality and mutual respect as educators from at least 35 facilities enter their third week of strikes. Danae Borax, spokeswoman for the faculty of law at the University of Chile, said the movement was born out of students' concerns about the levels of physical, psychological and sexual violence they are exposed to. "An assembly with more than 1,000 women shows that this is a real problem and that is a concern," she said. "We have been witnesses of different acts of violence that women constantly experience in every social space, and universities are no exception," one student said. Organizers are calling for mandatory gender-equality training for students and faculty; the curriculum and required reading to be broadened to include female artists and authors; professors to be held accountable for sexist language and off-colour comments; the improvement of protocol in regards to sexual crimes and broadening the curriculum to include gender studies. We support the #TomasFeministas No more violence of gender, no more abuse of macho power. It is time to eradicate that patriarchal education. Long live empowered women!
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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