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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former President Bill Clinton (L) and running mate Tim Kaine, concedes the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


The Week in Women: Clinton’s emotional concession, a shakeup in the Senate, and French women fight the pay gap

November 11, 2016

Well … the world is certainly a very different place than it was last week. Let’s take a look back at the changes that rocked the headlines.

Donald Trump was elected 45th president of the United States on Tuesday, to the dismay of millions of voters who had hoped to finally see a woman in the Oval Office — or who had at least hoped to not see a racist, sexist, reactionary, Putin-loving reality star in the Oval Office. Hillary Clinton waited until late Wednesday morning to make her concession speech in New York, and she had a special message for her female supporters. “To all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion,” she said. “And to all the little girls watching this, never doubt that you are valuable, and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.”

We may not have a female president, but Tuesday night saw the number of women of color in the U.S. Senate quadruple, with victories in California, Illinois, and Nevada. Although four out of 100 Senate seats may seem to be a small win, it is the largest leap in any one election. Japanese-American Mazie Hirono of Hawaii used to be the Senate’s only woman of color. She is now joined by Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Kamala Harris of California, and Catherine Cortez Matso of Nevada. And in Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, a 34-year-old, hijab-wearing Muslim-American woman, became the United States’ first Somali-American legislator after winning a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Just something to consider before you make a depression tent out of your bed sheets and vow to stay there for the next four years.

Women in France took a stand against wage disparity by collectively walking out of work at 4:34 p.m. on Monday. The feminist group Les Glorieuses calculated that this particular moment marks the time that women stop being paid for the year 2016, due to the pay gap in France. Men earn about 15 percent more than women, on average, though women make up 48 percent of the country’s workforce. And so at the designated time, women left their desks and protested in the streets. Laurence Rossignol, France’s women’s rights minister, has expressed her support for the movement. She said she did not mind if women in her office walked out of work early. As she told Le Parisien: “When women protest, they make visible what is invisible.”

Breast cancer researchers in New Zealand are experimenting with a potentially revolutionary method of detection, which uses tears — as in, the kind that come from your eyes — to uncover breast cancer risks. A tear-collecting device known as Melody can find biomarkers that indicate breast cancer within half an hour of testing. The test is both significantly cheaper and faster than a mammogram, but it must undergo extensive clinical trials before it can be considered a reliable diagnostic tool. To that end, at a special screening of the romantic drama Brooklyn in Auckland, the Breast Cancer Foundation collected the tears of nearly 400 emotional moviegoers. Perhaps researchers should have also stopped by election watch parties on Tuesday night.