Apr 17
Her eye on the news
Car culture

Uber has implemented a feature for its women drivers in Saudi Arabia that allows them to only give rides to other women.

The decision came after Uber offered the feature to Saudi women drivers as part of a pilot program in September that proved a hit in the predominantly gender-segregated country. Following the program, 74 percent of Uber’s Saudi women drivers told the company that they didn’t want to pick up men. The ride-sharing company has thus far said that the women-only feature will remain exclusive to Saudi Arabia.

After Saudi Arabia finally lifted its ban on women drivers last June, Uber and its former Middle Eastern rival Careem announced that they would be launching initiatives to train women drivers. While Uber was only able to recruit a “handful” of women drivers by last October, Careem, which has since been acquired by Uber, reported that they had managed to hire 2,000 registered women drivers.

In recent days, a number of companies have been scrambling to offer the Islamic Kingdom exclusive features that conform to the country’s unforgiving stance toward gender equality. Both Google and Apple, for instance, have repeatedly refused to remove apps from their stores that allow men to track the movements of women — and even to cancel women’s visas and legally bar them from traveling in real time.

Read the full story at Engadget.


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TIME magazine’s annual list of the most influential people contains the most women in its 15-year history. This year, just under half of the list’s 100 honorees are women.

Included are political giants such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former First Lady Michelle Obama, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Philippine journalist and Executive Editor of Rappler Maria Ressa, Captain Marvel star Brie Larson, and Saudi activist Loujain Al-Hathloul were also among the 48 women named to the TIME 100.

Clinton, Ressa, and Larson were among the many influential women to take the stage at the 10th annual Women in the World Summit last week in New York, as was Loujain Al-Hathloul’s sister, Lina Al-Hathloul.

“We have 48 women on the list this year, up from 45 last year,” TIME Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal told CBS This Morning. “When we first started doing this in 2004, I just went back and counted, there were 24.”

The record number of women, he noted, was “in some ways a reflection of our society,” but also due to an “amazing year” of achievements from the women included on the list.

Sitting across from Felsenthal as he unveiled the list was another TIME 100 luminary, CBS This Morning host Gayle King, who has been hailed for her bold and unflinching interviews — including a tense conversation with a furious R. Kelly after he was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

“It’s not even noon and I am having a great day,” said King. “I am so appreciative and so humbled by this I can’t even begin to tell you.”

Watch the announcement of the Time 100 list on CBS This Morning below.

Read the full story at The Hill.


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Bittersweet victory

On Saturday, 24-year-old Sadaf Khadem became the first Iranian woman to compete in an official boxing match, defeating French boxer Anne Chauvin in an amateur match in Royan, France.

But she barely had time to savor her historic victory. On Wednesday, the young fighter was abruptly forced to cancel her return flight home to Tehran after learning that authorities there had issued an arrest warrant for her and her coach, Iranian-born former boxing world champion Mahyar Monshipour.

Khadem had traveled to France with Monshipour, who has duel French-Iranian citizenship, to train despite the Iran Boxing Federation’s policy that women boxers may only train with other women. The Iranian boxing authority also unilaterally bars women from competing in official matches. Ahead of her bout with Chauvin, Khadem had told Now This that she been “dreaming of my first fight” for a long time.


“I hope I can also achieve the dream of making it the best match possible,” she had said. “I hope that this fight will lead to more matches and that I will go as far as I can with the plans that I have in mind and to reach the highest levels in boxing and make a name for myself as a boxer.”

Asked by Now This about Iran’s policy barring women from competing in boxing, Khadem had said that “there are limitations that apply in each and every country” and that “there are some good things about Iran and there are some not so good.”

Her coach, meanwhile, had said that he was almost as excited as Khadem to see her fight.

“It’s historic,” Monshipour told AFP. “I often say it: In 100 years we will say that in Royan, Sadaf Khadem was the first Iranian women to compete in an official match. It’s as simple as that.”

Read the full story at Reuters and Now This.


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Perfect pairing

Actresses Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Mindy Kaling are set to co-star in a new comedy about the culture shock that ensues when two families — one American, one Indian — meet up in India for a traditional wedding. The new project, which is co-written by Kaling and Dan Goor, is being billed as “Crazy Rich Asians meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” according to Deadline, and will be directed by Kaling if she so chooses.

“My dream team is making a movie,” Kaling declared on social media following the announcement. “Can’t wait for this one!”

Earlier this year, the rights for the new Kaling film Late Night — which stars herself and Emma Thompson — sold for $13 million to Amazon Studios, a record for a U.S. rights deal at Sundance. In a separate project, Kaling is also reportedly adapting the film Four Weddings and a Funeral into a TV series for MGM and developing a new coming-of-age comedy series for Netflix that revolves around the lives of Desi women.

Chopra Jonas, who is also set to star as Osho cult leader and mass-poisoner Ma Anand Sheela in another upcoming film, appeared at the 10th annual Women in the Summit in New York last week for a candid interview with Women in the World Founder Tina Brown. Watch video of that conversation below.

Read the full story at Deadline and Refinery29.


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'Extremely dangerous'

Update: On Wednesday evening, Sol Pais, the suspect that authorities had been searching for in the area around Denver, was found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Schools were closed across the Denver area on Wednesday as authorities launched a massive search for a woman said to be armed and, according to the FBI, “extremely dangerous.”

The suspect, identified as Sol Pais, an 18-year-old woman from Florida, recently flew from Miami to Colorado and bought a pump-action shotgun and ammunition upon arriving. She was last seen in the Rocky Mountain foothills wearing camouflage clothing and black boots. Her parents in Florida lost contact with her on Sunday and reported her missing on Monday night.

Pais had been on the radar of authorities for what they described as her “infatuation” with the 1999 Columbine High School massacre that left 13 dead. Her father told the Miami Herald of his daughter, “I think maybe she’s got a mental problem.”

“We consider her to be a credible threat — certainly to the community and potentially to schools,” said the head of the FBI’s Denver office.

Some 100,000 students who attend Denver public schools stayed home on Wednesday, and many other area schools were closed, as well. The suburban town of Columbine sits on the city’s southern edge. The deadly attack at its high school, perpetrated by two 12th-grade students, was one of the first mass school shootings in the United States. The 20th anniversary of that attack is on Saturday.

Read more at the Denver Post.


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