Pakistani Woman Receives International Women of Courage Award
At the age of 23, Ghulam Sughra Solangi found herself divorced with two children in Pakistan. As the first to be divorced in her village she was treated as an outcast, yet she persevered to slowly rebuild her life over the next several years. She soon became the first female high school graduate at Pakistan’s Girls Government School—only the beginning of a long list of accomplishments. Most recently Sughra, along with nine other women, was awarded the International Women of Courage Award 2011 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. The award recognizes her work toward improving the social status of women and poor families in rural Sindh. Read her full story here.
Malawi to Overturn Ban on Homosexuals
In her first State of the Union address, Malawi’s first female president Joyce Banda says she is determined to overturn the nation’s ban on homosexual acts. If successful, Malawi (which is considered a conservative country) would be the first African nation to reverse the ban since 1994. Read more here.
Israeli Court Rules to Help Fight Gender Pay Gap
In a historic ruling, Israel’s high court ruled that employers must pay men and women equally. Government figures show that women earned just 66 percent of men’s wages in 2010, which is far below most Western countries. This new policy removes the burden on females to prove a claim of pay discrimination. Read it here.
Rebuilding Education After War in South Sudan
Given years of brutal conflict and violence, South Sudan’s youth are eager to get back in the classroom where they belong. While attendance rates are still catching up amid continued interruptions due to conflict with the north, students remain passionate about learning. Nineteen-year-old Dhoal Thuol Khan says that education is the key to progress and peace in South Sudan. “Education means you can feel free,” he says. “No one can dominate you. You can get whatever you need when you are educated.” Read more here.