Skip to main site content.
Lukas Schulze for OIS/IOC/Handout via REUTERS
Lukas Schulze for OIS/IOC/Handout via REUTERS

Newsletter

The Week in Women: Which phenom athlete is retiring from her sport at the peak of her stardom?

By on April 24, 2019

SEIZING THE FOCUS
Fed up with the undue attention lavished on Beto, Buttigieg, Biden and the rest of the presidential boys’ club, a righteous Elizabeth Warren is making herself impossible to ignore.

Having become the first candidate to call for President Trump’s impeachment, Warren made a second wave of headlines over the weekend when she revealed her Game of Thrones addiction. Her boldest statement of all, however, was still to come.

On Monday, the Senator — who has already outlined plans to make high-quality childcare widely available and to dismantle startup-killing tech monopolies — announced that a Warren White House would write off student loan debt for millions and make public colleges tuition-free (though how it will all get paid for remains an x-factor). Her banner day was capped by a CNN town hall, during which she shared a story about telling little girls during her first Senate race: “My name is Elizabeth, and I’m running for Senate because that’s what girls do.”

‘THIS IS A GREAT VICTORY’
The verdict is in on one of the most closely watched cases of the #MeToo era.

After being accused of groping, unwanted sexting and harassment in the summer of 2016, French politician Denis Baupin charged six of his accusers — and the journalist Lénaïg Bredoux — with defamation. (Bredoux has become known as the “French Ronan Farrow” for her work exposing high-profile abusers.)
After almost two years, Baupin’s case was dismissed by a Paris judge on Friday who added one final coda before clearing the courtroom: Baupin must pay each woman he accused 1,000 euros for wasting their time.

UNSPEAKABLE HORROR
A Bangladeshi teenage girl was horrifically burned to death on the roof of her school two weeks after filing a sexual harassment claim against her headmaster.

The threats began for 19-year-old Nusrat Jahan Rafi as soon as she came forward to describe having been inappropriately touched. Rafi somehow found the courage to attend school 11 days later to take an exam. But soon after arriving, a female student tricked her into going up to the roof, where she was allegedly ambushed, doused in kerosene and set aflame by a mob.
Thousands attended Rafi’s funeral, and her death has sparked nationwide protests and global outrage. In the ambulance, she recorded a final message on her brother’s phone: “The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath.”

ONE LAST DANCE
In a new interview, UCLA gymnastics phenom Katelyn Ohashi opened up about how life has changed since her epic, Beyoncé-backed routine broke the internet.

As she prepares to graduate, the fan favorite said she’s gotten used to strangers coming up and asking, “Oh my gosh, are you the perfect 10?” She also shared how she successfully overcame a sports culture that encouraged eating disorders. And Ohashi’s mother recalled how her daughter was doing backflips “in utero.”
After completing her final routine this weekend, Ohashi will continue empowering women off of the arena floor — a gender studies major, she plans to spur more discussions around domestic violence, mental health, and homelessness (and says she’ll continue to share her poetry and essays on her blog.)
SAUDI’S SHAME

In what has become a familiar cycle, a media-friendly story about “progress” in the Saudi kingdom has turned out to be whitewashing.

Last month, the trial of Loujain Al-Hathloul and other activists imprisoned for driving while female was followed by news of the temporary release of three of the women — a decision picked up and spread by the Western press. But now, the trial has been quietly postponed with no explanation offered. At the 2019 Women in the World Summit, Al-Hathloul’s sister Lina delivered an impassioned plea for her sibling’s freedom, asking attendees to “join me, speak up and fight.”

RISKY BUSINESS
Afghan women are using the hashtag #MyRedLine to demand that any peace deal reached between their country and the Taliban not sacrifice women’s rights.

Afghan women have said they’ve been shut out of the peace process. But when talks between the government and the Taliban fell apart again last weekend, another meeting did take place — between the Taliban and women’s rights activists.
“This was the cracking open of the door,” Masuda Sultan of nonprofit Women for Afghan Women told the Washington Post. Anticipating criticism for taking the meeting, she continued: “They spoke with us for more than six hours. If we don’t engage… we will just be continuing the same war.”

THERE’S MORE
CBS News President Susan Zirinsky announced that Diana Miller has taken the reins on CBS This Morning, which means women are now running America’s top three morning shows.Following the murder of fearless journalist Lyra McKee in Northern Ireland on Friday, the country’s rival parties have renewed calls for peace talks.

British journalist Carole Cadwalladr (an opening night speaker at Women in the World 2019) has accused Facebook’s top brass of being the “handmaidens to authoritarianism.”
Beyoncé reveals in a new Netflix doc that she had to back out of headlining Coachella after a traumatic pregnancy.

Kara Swisher’s latest column
argues that Sri Lanka’s decision to shut down social media following Sunday’s terror attack is a welcome development in how governments fight the spread of viral hate online. Swisher shared her anger at irresponsible tech companies at a fiery panel on Women in the World’s opening night.