The United Arab Emirates has announced its first female astronaut

Mohammed al-Mulla, left, and Noura al-Matroushi have joined the United Arab Emirates’ space program. A woman has made history in the United Arab Emirates as the country’s first female astronaut. Noura Al-Matrooshi is one of two new astronauts in the UAE’s Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) Space Centre astronaut program, UAE vice president and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced on twitter. She was chosen with Mohammed Al-Mulla, two of over 4,000 candidates who applied to the program, Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, said. “The nation gave me unforgettable moments today. I aim to work hard to script … Continue reading The United Arab Emirates has announced its first female astronaut

Women’s underwear to be provided to female recruits in Swiss army

Switzerland is to allow female members of the army to wear women’s underwear for the first time in an effort to boost recruitment, local media report. Under the current system, the standard uniform issued to military recruits includes only men’s underwear. The trial, beginning next month, will provide two different sets of female underwear for warmer and colder months. Women make up about 1% of the Swiss armed forces, but the country hopes to increase that figure to 10% by 2030. Marianne Binder, a member of the Swiss National Council, said that offering women more suitable underwear would encourage more … Continue reading Women’s underwear to be provided to female recruits in Swiss army

Miscarriages and stillbirths: New Zealand to allow bereavement leave

Couples in New Zealand who have a miscarriage or stillbirth will be eligible for paid bereavement leave under a new law approved by parliament. MP Ginny Andersen, who put forward the bill, said it would allow mothers and their partners to “come to terms with their loss” without taking sick leave. The bill also applies to those having a child though adoption or surrogacy. New Zealand is reportedly only the second country in the world to introduce the measure, after India. The legislation, which was unanimously passed in parliament, provides three days of bereavement leave. Ms Anderson said one in … Continue reading Miscarriages and stillbirths: New Zealand to allow bereavement leave

Philippines probes immigration officers over trafficking women to Syria

The Philippine immigration bureau said Wednesday it has launched an investigation into allegations that some of its officers were involved in the trafficking of 44 women to work in Syria. A Senate inquiry into the human trafficking scheme has been told that women using tourist visas travelled from the Philippines to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where they had been promised work.  They were “locked up inside a dark and dirty dormitory and were made to sleep on the floor”, Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is spearheading the inquiry, said previously.  After their 30-day visas expired, they were forced to … Continue reading Philippines probes immigration officers over trafficking women to Syria

Anger, condemnation after Turkey exits treaty to protect women

Turkey has sparked local and international outrage after it withdrew from the world’s first binding treaty to prevent and combat violence against women. The 2011 Istanbul Convention, signed by 45 countries and the European Union, requires governments to adopt legislation prosecuting domestic violence and similar abuse as well as marital rape and female genital mutilation. On Friday, Turkey pulled out of the treaty by a presidential decree in a shocking move for human rights activists in the country. No reason was provided for the withdrawal, but officials in Erdogan’s governing Justice and Development (AK) Party had said last year that … Continue reading Anger, condemnation after Turkey exits treaty to protect women

Kenyan court upholds ban on female genital mutilation

The ruling by three High Court justices against the petition filed by Tatu Kamau said evidence presented showed women in the communities that practise female circumcision – widely referred to as female genital mutilation (FGM) because of its adverse effects – do not have a choice. Kamau argued many women want to undergo circumcision, but the law prevents them. “We are not persuaded that one can choose to undergo a harmful practice. From the medical and anecdotal evidence presented by the respondents, we find that limiting this right is reasonable in an open and democratic society based on the dignity … Continue reading Kenyan court upholds ban on female genital mutilation

Pentagon rebukes Fox host Tucker Carlson for mocking female troops

The Pentagon has condemned a Fox News host who called female troops “a mockery of the US military”. Tucker Carlson, one of the most popular hosts on the network, made the remark on his Tuesday programme. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Mr Carlson’s programme “essentially demeaned the entire US military” and hoped he would realise his error, other top brass, as well as veterans’ groups, have also rebuked Mr Carlson. Mr Carlson, who hosts the conservative network’s highest rated programme, used part of his show to deride military “maternity flight suits” and recent updates to Army and Air Force hair … Continue reading Pentagon rebukes Fox host Tucker Carlson for mocking female troops

Protesters clash with police in Mexico

Police and activists have clashed in Mexico City at a march to mark International Women’s Day, officers forced back protesters with tear gas and riot shields in the capital’s main square, the Zocalo. Protesters were calling for the government to address the country’s poor record on the murder of women, often referred to as femicide, and gender-based violence. Government figures suggest at least 939 women were victims of femicide in 2020. Thousands of women, some with their daughters, attended the march in the Mexican capital on Monday. One girl was seen carrying a sign reading “They haven’t killed me, but … Continue reading Protesters clash with police in Mexico

Organisers boost number of women on board of Tokyo 2020

The Tokyo Olympic Games organising committee is set to add 12 new female directors to its executive board, the move comes weeks after long-time president Yoshiro Mori was forced to quit for making sexist remarks. His female replacement, Seiko Hashimoto, aims to have women make up 40% of the board members. The changes just five months before the games begin, come after public outrage over Mr Mori’s complaint that women talked too much in meetings. The committee’s chief executive, Toshiro Muto, said on Tuesday the group planned to add 12 new female directors to its board, raising the ratio of women … Continue reading Organisers boost number of women on board of Tokyo 2020

Taylor Swift criticises Netflix show for ‘deeply sexist joke’

Taylor Swift has accused a Netflix show of “degrading” women for featuring a joke she branded “deeply sexist”. The pop star tweeted to criticise the joke, which was in the season finale of comedy-drama Ginny and Georgia. In one scene, main characters Ginny Miller and her mother Georgia argued about relationships. Asked whether she had broken up with her boyfriend, Ginny said: “What do you care? You go through men faster than Taylor Swift.” The line incurred the wrath of Swift’s fans, prompting criticism of the show and its cast members on social media. Some Swift fans even called for … Continue reading Taylor Swift criticises Netflix show for ‘deeply sexist joke’

China court orders man to pay wife for housework in landmark case

A Beijing divorce court has ordered a man to compensate his wife for the housework she did during their marriage, in a landmark ruling. The woman will receive 50,000 yuan ($7,700; £5,460) for five years of unpaid labour. The case has generated a huge debate online over the value of domestic work, with some saying the compensation amount was too little, the ruling comes after China’s introduction of a new civil code. According to court records, the man identified by his surname Chen had filed for divorce last year from his wife, surnamed Wang, after getting married in 2015. She … Continue reading China court orders man to pay wife for housework in landmark case

Prominent actor Dimitris Lignadis held over rape accusations

Prominent Greek actor and director Dimitris Lignadis has been arrested over underage rape allegations. Mr Lignadis, 56, is accused of raping a 14-year-old boy in 2010, and of a second assault, details of which have not been made public. The former artistic director of the National Theatre of Greece denies all the accusations, his lawyer said, he said Mr Lignadis was arrested after turning up voluntarily at a police station in Athens on Saturday. He is being held in custody pending an appearance before an examining magistrate, according to the Ekathimerini newspaper. Mr Lignadis resigned as director of the National … Continue reading Prominent actor Dimitris Lignadis held over rape accusations