May 13
Her eye on the news
‘My takeaway’

A week after giving birth to her first child, Amy Schumer has taken to social media to credit her doula for helping her with a tough pregnancy — and to mothers everywhere who have endured the difficulties and dangers of pregnancy in order to bring life into the world.

“Here’s my post baby annoying post and my takeaway from pregnancy,” wrote the always candid comedian on Instagram. “Women are the shit. Men are cool and whatever but women are f—ing warriors and capable of anything.”

In the post, Schumer acknowledged that her pregnancy had been made particularly unpleasant due to hyperemesis gravidarum, a form of extreme morning sickness that causes severe nausea and vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration. At times, Schumer has said, the condition left her in such poor condition that she had to be hospitalized and rehydrated through an IV drip. But she was able to persevere, she said, thanks to her powerful network of support — including her loving husband, Chris Fischer, and her doula, Domino Kirke, who she said helped her to “feel totally secure and supported throughout my pregnancy and the birth process.”

View this post on Instagram

Ok here’s my post baby annoying post and my takeaway from pregnancy. Women are the shit. Men are cool and whatever but women are fucking warriors and capable of anything. I was lucky enough to get to have a doula. Her name @domino_kirke @carriagehousebirth what do doulas do? I don’t totally know But what she did was make me and Chris feel totally secure and supported throughout my pregnancy and the birth process. I really recommend getting one if you can. Doctor Brill and all the nurses and pediatricians at Lenox Hill and all the other hospitals i spent time in this year, thank you for everything. I did Pilates with strong women and went for walks. I threw up violently and felt sick mostly every day of my pregnancy. Hyperemesis is real and it’s awful. But fuck, what they say is true. The second you give birth it’s gone. @hgmoms has the best research I found on the condition The only thing that helped me with my nausea was products from @thelordjones I learned that globally 1 in 5 births take place without the assistance of a skilled birth attendant. @everymomcounts is a great place to donate $250 equips a midwife with a bag of medical equipment needed to provide care to hundreds of women and babies in Guatemala. All my friends. Friends I’ve had for 30 years or people who encouraged me to “keep going” or telling me “it will be worth it”. Thank you. Every woman I encountered is so willing to help and advise you and I felt all their strength. And you were right. Thank you ladies from my family. Chris, Gene and of course Tatiana #titsleaking #wearingadiaper

A post shared by @ amyschumer on

The practice of using doulas — specialized birth coaches who provide expecting mothers with support before, during and after childbirth — has become increasingly popular in the U.S. in recent years — particularly among black women, who are more likely to have their pain ignored by doctors in the delivery room and face four times the risk of maternal mortality compared to white women. Schumer, for her part, says she recommends that all women employ a doula if they are able to do so.

Read the full story at Huffpost and CBS News.


Amy Schumer makes surprise announcement in signature Amy Schumer style

Black women are hiring doulas to address racial bias from doctors during childbirth

60 percent of maternal mortality cases in U.S. are completely preventable, CDC reports

Grassroots campaign

A small but ambitious group of Trump-supporting women in Michigan are working overtime to rally female support for the GOP in wake of the record-setting success of Democratic women in Congressional races last year. At a “Women for Trump” event in Oakland county, a wealthy Detroit suburb that trends nearly 80 percent white, 65 women gathered to discuss ways to push more Republican women into running for office — and to counteract the president’s poor reputation with women.

“You’re here and eating and socializing and shopping – that’s what women love to do,” Women for Trump co-founder Meshawn Maddock told the small crowd. “The left is taking over your children and indoctrinating them with leftist ideas, so we need women like you to step up and run for the school board and take our schools back.”

According to Maddock, women shouldn’t be perturbed by multiple accusations of sexual assault leveled against Trump, nor by his long history of making sexist comments.

“[I didn’t] elect him to date my daughter or be my pastor — I elected him to turn the country around and right the ship,” she insists, adding that she prefers that men act like “an alpha male” anyway.

During the 2016 election, 54 percent of women voted for Clinton compared to 42 percent for Trump. And while Trump won about 53 percent of white women voters — 90 percent of black women, by contrast, voted for Clinton — recent polls have shown that Democrats hold a 47 point advantage with college-educated women.

Lenore Kurek told the Guardian she believes Women for Trump can counteract what she perceives as the president’s misrepresentation by the media. “The biggest questions I get are [about Trump’s tweeting] and the way he says things, and I tell them: ‘You don’t have to date him, you don’t have to marry him, you just have to want to get the country going in the right direction,” she said.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


‘I’m not anti-woman’: Trump Fed pick announces plan to win over critics who say he’s sexist

Democratic congresswomen cheer, dance and high-five their electoral triumphs during Trump’s State of the Union

Steve Bannon says white college-educated women are ‘triggered’ by Trump

‘Beautiful soul’

A prominent journalist and adviser to the Afghan parliament has been gunned down in Kabul, just days after posting on social media that she feared for her life.

Mena Mangal was killed on Saturday morning in a brazen, public attack carried out in broad daylight, the Guardian reports. In a Face­book post on May 3, she said had received threatening messages, but that a strong woman does not fear death, and that she loved her country.

“This woman had already shared that her life was in danger; why did nothing happen? We need answers,” Wazhma Frogh, an Afghan human rights lawyer and women’s rights campaigner told the Guardian. “Why is it so easy in this society [for men] to keep killing women they disagree with?”

The murder is under investigation, but Mangal’s mother, in a video posted to Twitter, named a group of men as suspects — claiming they had previously kidnapped her daughter but escaped justice by bribing their way out of detention.

Mangal forged her career as a presenter on the Pashto-language channel Tolo TV, the country’s largest private broadcaster, and later worked for one of its competitors, Shamshad TV.

Off-screen she was a passionate advocate of women’s rights to education and work, and had recently become a cultural adviser to the lower chamber of Afghanistan’s national parliament.

“Can’t stop my tears at the loss of this beautiful soul. She had a loud voice, and actively raised [that] voice for her people,” Frogh said.

Women have been repeatedly targeted for assassination over the past two decades of war in Afghanistan, by insurgents who sought to oppress women’s voices, and even by members of their own families and communities.

Mangal’s death comes as women’s rights are felt to be in jeopardy in the region, as the U.S. apparently sidelines hard-won freedoms in a push to broker peace with the Taliban.

Read the full story at The Guardian.


‘We can do everything’: 700 women descend on Kabul to fight for their rights

Will U.S.-Taliban peace talks sacrifice women? Not if Afghanistan’s first lady can help it

‘Mother of a thousand children’ Laila Haidari mobilizes women against the Taliban — and the U.S. peace talks


Girl talk

Writer and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge says she plans on fleshing out the personalities of female characters in the latest film of the James Bond franchise, despite the popular spy series’ long standing reputation for treating its female co-stars as one-dimensional sex objects.

Waller-Bridge, who has won critical acclaim as the writer for drama Killing Eve and as the star of comedy series Fleabag, and is part of the writing team for the 25th film in the spy franchise, told The Hollywood Reporter that she wants the new Bond film’s female characters to “feel like real people.” Asked whether she would be injecting some of the “female, feminist humor” for which she is best known, however, the writer hesitated.

“Well, we’ll see, we’ll see what I can sneak in,” she told THR. “But it’s mainly about making them feel like real people, you know? … I think Daniel’s films have had really fantastic Bond girls, so it’s just keeping it up.”

The latest Bond film, starring Craig, Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris, and Lashana Lynch, is set to release in April 2020.

Read the full story at BBC News.


PSA with James Bond in drag makes a real statement about gender equality

Danish director may become first woman to helm a Bond film

Gillian Anderson throws hat in the ring to be the next Bond … “Jane Bond”

‘Wonderful happiness’

Eileen Macken, 81, grew up in a Dublin orphanage and searched unsuccessfully for her birth mother for more than six decades before hearing from a genealogist who had managed to track her down. Speaking to RTÉ, Macken said that she finally met her birth mother, Elizabeth, and two of her half-brothers in Scotland last month. On Saturday, Elizabeth celebrated her 104th birthday.

“I went over to see her and she’s the most beautiful lady, lovely family, they gave me a great welcome,” Macken recalled. “Honestly I haven’t got over the acceptance that I got.”

Macken, who says she was just 19 when she first began her lifelong effort to identify her birth mother, described her three-day visit with Elizabeth as one of the happiest moments of her life. Her mother, she said, was initially confused by her appearance. But after Macken explained that she was her daughter, “she was thrilled and she never let go of my hand.”

“I felt, how could I be one person on this planet and having nobody — I had to go and search,” said Macken. “We had three days of wonderful happiness that I’ve never ever had before. I don’t think I’ve done any work in the house [since coming back], I’m that happy. I’m going around singing. You’ve no idea what it’s done to me, I’m just so happy.”

Watch video coverage of the story below.

Read the full story at RTÉ and BBC News.


Seemingly against all odds, mother and son reunited after 31 years apart

South Korean and North Korean families briefly reunite in bittersweet meetings near border

Migrant girl, 6, whose cries were caught on tape is reunited with mother


Sign up to the bi-weekly newsletter, for all the stories that you need to know, coming to you from global women on the front edge of change.