From Lebanese fighter pilots to gender-inclusive athletic gear, girls and women and breaking barriers this International Women’s month in all sorts of ways. Here is what we are reading this month at WomenStrong.

I Am Not Untouchable. I Just Have My Period.

New York Times
Even though chhaupadi, the tradition of forcing women and girls from their homes and away from social activity during their periodwhile they are menstruating, has been outlawed in Nepal, the harmful practice is still prevalent across the country. This compelling opinion piece and accompanying short documentary explore the challenges faced by thousands of Nepalese girls and women, as their lives are severely restricted and often endangered because of the stigma associated with menstruation.

Latin America Claims to Love Its Mothers. Why Does It Abuse Them?

New York Times
“According to a 2010 survey, one in every four Brazilian women has suffered mistreatment during labor. Many of them were denied pain relief or weren’t informed about a procedure that was being done to them. Twenty-three percent were verbally abused by a health professional…Outraged by this enduring abuse, Latin American women in the last few decades have helped to identify and to legally define a different type of gender-based violence: ‘obstetric violence.’”

The Lebanese Female Air Force Pilots Breaking Barriers

“Most women serving in the Lebanese armed forces work in administrative or logistical roles, but its top commander is trying to change this. Gen Joseph Aoun says bolstering women’s roles is among his top priorities, with the ultimate aim of getting them into combat roles.”

In Pictures: The boarding school in Kenya that helps Maasai girls escape FGM

Al Jazeera
The Maasai culture in Kenya is heavily patriarchal, with strong sociocultural norms and beliefs. The elders and spiritual leaders pass the traditional rites and norms from generation to generation. Among these rites of passage is female genital mutilation or cutting (FGM), followed shortly by marriage. As families become more economically desperate, they are marrying the daughters off younger and younger, some at the age of 7. One Kenyan school is serving as a haven where girls can be safe and protected from this harmful practice.

U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Sues U.S. Soccer for Gender Discrimination

New York Times
“Twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team significantly escalated their long-running fight with the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on Friday. The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France.”

Steph Curry releases sneaker co-designed by girl who asked why only boys’ sizes existed

“Steph Curry celebrated International Women’s Day by releasing his newest namesake sneaker, which he co-designed with a 9-year-old girl who prompted the NBA athlete to start selling his shoes to girls. The shoe, called the Under Armour Icon Curry 6 ‘United We Win,’ is a blend of a dark and light purple, and has a drawing of two girls holding a basketball on a sock liner with encouraging messages that read: ‘Rock the Currys,’ ‘Girl Power’ and ‘Be Bold.’ “

This is What a Feminist Country Looks Like

New York Times

“What’s so great about Sweden? Every year, the Nordic nation seems to rank highly on lists of the happiest, friendliest, most environmentally conscious countries in the world. But it’s another title it often claims that struck me: one of the best places to be a woman. This week, Sweden was one of the top three countries (along with Iceland and New Zealand) on the Women in Work Index 2019, a comprehensive assessment of female economic empowerment across 33 member countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”

Alyssa Milano: This Women’s History Month, Let’s Celebrate the Women Making History Today

The Wrap
“While much has been won for women over the past century, much remains to be done if we are to be truly equal. Pay, power, and the right to live free of violence are just a few of the fronts on which we have a long way to go.” This blog by Charmed actress Alyssa Milano, acknowledges the unsung heroes of the #MeToo movement: the farmworker women of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and their groundbreaking Fair Food Program.

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