Equality

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Music
BTS takes stand against racism
BTS takes stand against racism
Credit: @BTS_twt, via Twitter (Screenshot)

The successful South Korean supergroup BTS has openly spoken out against racism towards people of Asian descent.

On their official Twitter they stated that "What is happening right now cannot be dissociated from our identity as Asians. It required considerable time for us to discuss this carefully and we contemplated deeply on how we should voice our message.

But what our voice must convey is clear.

We stand against racial discrimination:

We condemn violence.

You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Deb Haaland confirmed as first Indigenous US cabinet secretary
Deb Haaland confirmed as first Indigenous US cabinet secretary
Credit: United States Congress Natural Resources Committee, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In a 51 to 40 vote, the US Senate confirmed Deb Haaland as secretary of the interior on Monday, making her the first Native American cabinet member.

"The historic nature of my confirmation is not lost on me, but I will say, it is not about me. Rather, I hope this nomination would be an inspiration for Americans -- moving forward together as one nation and creating opportunities for all of us," Haaland said during her confirmation hearing.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
Oscars: Two women nominated for Best Director for the first time
Oscars: Two women nominated for Best Director for the first time
Credit: @nomadlandfilm, via Instagram

For the first time in its 93-year-history, two women have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director: Chloé Zhao's Nomadland and Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman. Only five women have ever been nominated for this award.

Zhao is also the first Asian woman nominated for Best Director. She recently made history by being the first Asian woman to win the Golden Globe for Best Director. Nomadland is also nominated for five other Oscars, including Actress in a Leading Role (Frances McDormand), Best Screenplay (Chloé Zhao), Cinematography (Joshua James Richards) and Film Editing (Chloé Zhao).

Diversity & Inclusion
Netflix announces $5 million fund to promote female filmmakers
Netflix announces $5 million fund to promote female filmmakers
Credit: unsplash.com/ Thibault Penin

Netflix has announced it will commit $5 million worldwide to programs that promote female talent in the entertainment industry.

“If you have women behind the camera, you see more women in front of the camera,” says Bela Bajaria, Netflix’s head of global TV. “If you have more people of color and underrepresented groups being creators, you absolutely see that reflected—and see those stories—in front of the camera.”

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
Survey shows half of UK women see set back in gender equality due to pandemic
Survey shows half of UK women see set back in gender equality due to pandemic
Credit: unsplash.com/Jessica Lewis

A Mumsnet poll for International Women’s Day has shown that over half of the women in the United Kingdom think that the pandemic has set back gender equality decades. Since the start of the pandemic, women have been more likely to lose their job and be furloughed while taking care of household chores and their children's needs and education. Women have reported that, while their male partners were able to work uninterrupted, they had to reduce their work hours to take care of childcare.

“This survey paints a fairly depressing picture of how gender inequality has been exacerbated during the pandemic, with women really struggling to cope,” said Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts. “What’s needed is a proper women’s strategy, with specific policies to redress the inequality that’s been triggered by Covid, or we’re at real risk of heading right back to the 1970s with regard to women’s economic power.”

Sports
Qatar withdraws dress code for women at beach volleyball tournament in Doha
Qatar withdraws dress code for women at beach volleyball tournament in Doha
Credit: unsplash.com / Braedon McLeod

Following international criticism of the dress code rules for women at the beach volleyball tournament in Doha, the organizers have now withdrawn the originally planned restrictions on women's workwear. Qatar Volleyball Association (QVA) has "confirmed that there will be no restrictions on female players wearing standard uniforms during the event in Doha if they so wish" according to a spokeswoman for the world federation

Diversity & Inclusion
German all-female publishing house wants to turn the industry upside down : Ecco publishes and employs exclusively women
German all-female publishing house wants to turn the industry upside down : Ecco publishes and employs exclusively women
Credit: Ecco Verlag

The new Hamburg-based Ecco publishing house wants to help women gain a greater presence in the literary world and empower them. It will launch its first program in March and publishes books exclusively by female authors and employs only women. "We want to focus on the female gaze and perspective with our content," Magdalena Mau, producer on the Ecco team, told the press.

Lifestyle • Religion
Religious leaders call for end of gay conversion therapy
Religious leaders call for end of gay conversion therapy
Credit: Jmquez, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Over 370 religious leaders from around the world are calling for an end to the criminalisation of LGBT+ people and a ban on gay conversion therapy, the pseudoscientific practise of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation. The leaders stated that "certain religious teachings have often, throughout the ages, caused and continue to cause deep pain and offence" to LGBTQ+ people and further have "created, and continue to create, oppressive systems that fuel intolerance, perpetuate injustice and result in violence."

Among those who signed are eight archbishops, including South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu; over 60 rabbis, including former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen; the Catholic former president of Ireland Mary McAleese and various senior Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus.

Sports • Soccer
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Stephanie Frappart becomes first female referee in the Champions League
Credit: El Loko Foto / via Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie Frappart from France is the first woman to whistle the Men's Champions League. The 36-year-old whistled 3-0 in the match between Juventus and Dinamo Kiev and received much praise for her unagitated and assertive performance.

Business • Entrepreneurship & Startups
Pharrell Williams launches "Black Ambition" – a non-profit to help Black and Latinx entrepreneurs
Pharrell Williams launches "Black Ambition" – a non-profit to help Black and Latinx entrepreneurs
Credit: Black Ambition

Pharrell Williams has launched "Black Ambition", a non-profit initiative to support Black and Latinx startups in design, tech, healthcare and consumer products. The initiative has launched a call for applications on December 2 and is offering both seed capital and pitch feedback and mentorship.

"Recent events and tragedies have illustrated the always existent stark divisions in the American experience, and while entrepreneurship has long been a tenet of the American dream, marginalized people have faced long-standing barriers to success," so Williams. With Black Ambition, the goal is to help strengthen the pipeline of talented entrepreneurs and close the opportunity and wealth gaps derived from limited access to capital and resources."

Diversity & Inclusion
Talking Stove helps people with visual impairments

Inventors of a start-up from Aachen have developed rotary knobs for the stove for people with visual impairments. These can be plugged into electric stoves as required and transmit the stove setting to a loudspeaker via radio. This makes cooking easier for people who cannot see, because they can hear the temperature of the respective stove top.

Health
Scotland unanimously votes in favor of free access to menstrual products
Scotland unanimously votes in favor of free access to menstrual products
Credit: unsplash.com / Gabrielle Rocha Rios

Scotland is the first country in the world to vote for free access to menstrual products. The law, which was unanimously passed in parliament in Edinburgh on Tuesday, obliges the administrations of public buildings to provide hygiene products for women free of charge.

Scottish Labour’s health spokeswoman, Monica Lennon, has stated that: "This will make a massive difference to the lives of women and girls and everyone who menstruates. There has already been great progress at a community level and through local authorities in giving everyone the chance of period dignity."

Diversity & Inclusion
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Norway extends legal protection for queer people
Credit: unsplash.com / Alexander Sinn

Since 1981 hate speech against gays and lesbians has been a punishable offense in Norway. Now the Scandinavian country extended its protection law to include bisexuals and trans people. In the hate speech prohibition, the category "homosexual orientation" was changed to the category "sexual orientation" and so among other things also Bi- and Pansexual humans were included. Furthermore, "gender, gender identity or expression" was added. Under the law, hateful comments in public can be punished with up to three years imprisonment.

Law
Gender discrimination becomes illegal in the Philippines
Gender discrimination becomes illegal in the Philippines
Credit: Ramon FVelasquez / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Manila's mayor Francisco Domagoso signs a decree making discrimination based on sexual identity or sexual orientation a criminal offence. In addition, the capital of the Philippines is working to establish gender-neutral toilets and will soon decide on same-sex marriages. The Philippines is the largest Catholic-influenced region in Asia, so these decisions are expected to have a pulling effect.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • TV & Movies
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
"Star Trek: Discovery" introduces first-ever transgender and non-binary characters
Credit: @startrekcbs via Twitter (Screenshot)

"Star Trek: Discovery" will introduce the franchise's first-ever transgender and non-binary characters in its third season premiering on October 15.

Trans actor Ian Alexander will portray the trans character Gray and Blu del Barrio will make their TV acting debut as the non-binary character Adira.

Business • Economy
Report: 45 of 58 Austrian publicly traded companies have all-male boards
Report: 45 of 58 Austrian publicly traded companies have all-male boards
Credit: unsplash.com / M. B. M.

According to a report from the consultancy Ernst & Young out of 58 Austrian companies that are publically traded at the stock exchange, only 13 have a female board member. In total out of 191 board members, only 14 are female.

Every fourth company does not fulfill the quorum of 30%.

Science • Space
NASA Astronaut Jeanette Epps to join ISS as first black woman
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps
NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

Jeanette Epps is going to make history as the first black woman on the ISS.

Epps is set to join NASA astronauts Sunita Williams and Josh Cassada on NASA's Boeing Starliner-1 mission, a six-month expedition aboard the orbiting space laboratory set to launch in 2021.

Regional News • Africa
Zimbabwe bans expelling pregnant women from school
Zimbabwe bans expelling pregnant women from school
Credit: SuSanA Secretariat (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in Zimbabwe are not allowed anymore to expel pupils who get pregnant. Women's rights campaigners said this would help tackle gender inequality in schools and stop many girls from dropping out of school.

Cain Mathema, the education minister in charge of schools, has stated that "I'm expecting every parent and guardian and everyone else to understand that every child must be assisted by all of us to go to school" as many parents of pregnant girls, or the girls themselves, decide to quit schooling due to the pregnancy, and schools do not always do enough to encourage them to stay.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Trump pardons campaigner for women's suffrage Susan B. Anthony 114 years after death
Trump pardons campaigner for women's suffrage Susan B. Anthony 114 years after death
Credit: Engraved by G.E. Perine & Co., NY (Public Domain)

US President Donald Trump has pardoned women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony, who had been convicted of participating in the 1872 presidential election. Trump announced the move on Tuesday at a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women in the USA at the White House.

Anthony's trial in 1873 fired up the women's movement in the United States and she had been sentenced to a fine. In August 1920 with the 19th Amendment to the American Constitution the United States introduced the right for women to vote. Anthony died in 1906 at the age of 86.

Sports • Football
First black president in NFL history hired by Washington
First black president in NFL history hired by Washington
Credit: Washington Football Team via Twitter

The Washington Football Team has introduced the first black president in NFL history. jason Wright is a former NFL running back and takes over the position from Bruce Allen as Washington has parted way with him after the team fell behind expecations in the last season.

Jason Wright who is now also the youngest NFL team president stated that "I have always enjoyed building exciting new things and taking on the hard, seemingly intractable challenges that others may not want to tackle".