Rewind

The Week in Women: The Orlando gunman’s wife, progress in Pakistan, and a new celeb Ambassador at the U.N.

Orlando gunman Omar Mateen seen with his wife, Noor Salman, and their son in an undated Facebook photo.

It’s been a turbulent, and pretty horrible week for the world. But amidst all the awful news, there were some hopeful moments. Let’s take a look back at the highs and lows:

The wife of Omar Mateen, who shot and killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on Sunday, reportedly knew of his plans to carry out a jihadist attack. According to officials cited by NBC News, Noor Zahi Salman drove her husband to the Pulse nightclub on a scouting mission, and accompanied him while he purchased a holster and ammunition. The couple is said to have exchanged multiple text messages during the rampage; after Salman asked her husband where he was, he responded “I love you, babe.” It remains unclear if Salman was aware that an attack was imminent, and she has told federal prosecutors that she tried to talk Mateen out of committing violence. A U.S. attorney will bring evidence before a grand jury to determine if Salman should be charged with a crime.

Jo Cox, a member of the U.K.’s Labour party, died Thursday after she was shot on the streets of Birstall in northern England. The 41-year-old had been holding a town hall-style meeting with local constituents when a fight reportedly broke out between two men. Cox tried to diffuse the altercation and, according to witnesses, was shot by one of the men involved. Police have released little information about the case, but a 52-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the murder. Cox’s husband, Brendan, said in a statement that “Jo believed in a better world and she fought for it every day of her life with an energy, and a zest for life that would exhaust most people. She would have wanted … that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

Before you completely despair of the state of things, know that some good came of this week, too. A group of prominent Sunni Muslim clerics announced on Monday that women in Pakistan should be free to marry whomever they choose, without fear of “honor killings.” Prompted by outrage over the murder of a teenage girl last week, the Sunni Ittehad Council called on the Pakistani government to launch an awareness campaign and declared a fatwa on honor killings, calling them “unethical and unjustifiable.” Slow clap, but progress is progress, right?

The United Nations announced Wednesday that Anne Hathaway will become a global Goodwill Ambassador for U.N. Women, joining the likes of Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson. The Academy Award-winning actress will advocate for policies such as childcare services and shared parental leave, in the hopes of removing barriers to women’s equal participation in the workforce. “I feel honored and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality,” Hathaway said. “Significant progress has already been made but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realized.” Might it be fair to say that Hathaway has “dreamed a dream” of better times? (We’re so sorry.)

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