The Fem Word Vol. 33


curating stories of bold women in creative spaces.

weekly dose of female excellence ahead xx

1. She’s had death threats from the Taliban, but that hasn’t stopped Sediqa Sherzai in her fight to promote women’s rights in Afghanistan. Sediqa heads Radio Rashani, the only female run radio station in the town of Kunduz. Despite bombs in the station and a plethora of negative feedback, she continues to speak for the women of her town. Full Story

2. When women you care about are dying from birth related complications, and no one is talking about it, what do you do? For Alice Emasu Seruyange, the answer was simple: go to WashU, get a social services degree, and go open a hospital back in Uganda, her home country. The hospital opened in August, and is saving lives. Full Story

3. Hasbro’s recent announcement of their new game, Ms. Monopoly, has been met with mountains of controversy. The game features advantages for female players and disadvantages for male players. Critics claim that Hasbro should focus instead on equality, and that the game insinuates that women need help to get ahead. Full Story

4. Women in India are closing the social gender gap in taxable income, with a 240% increase in female Permanent Account Number (PAN) owners. PANs are required for large transactions, the issuing of debit and credit cards, and payments to other parties. The increase indicates that women in India are gaining more independence in financial aspects of daily life. Full Study

5. The Litas Khobar don’t like being told what they can’t do. As a Saudi all-female biker group, they break a lot of stereotypes. In fact, many of the members specifically learned to ride because they were told only men could lift the heavy motorcycles. They aim to break down stereotypes of femininity at the 2020 Women Riders World Relay. Full Story


Indigenous women from over 110 ethnic groups in Brazil united in a historic protest against President Bolsonaro’s increasingly violent and aggressive policies towards the Amazon and its people. These women are showing that men are not the only ones willing to protect their lands. Indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara’s words pulse with the power of these women: “submission is not culture.” Full Story

A recent Time article highlighted fifteen women who are at the forefront of climate-crisis activism. According to the U.N., 80% of people displaced by climate change are women. This means that women are at the forefront of this global crisis, and they are not going down without a fight. Full Story


What makes up a good parent? For Maye Musk, the answer is lots of freedom. You may recognize the last name, Maye is the mother of Elon, Kimbal, and Tosca Musk - all insanely successful entrepreneurs. In a recent interview with 1843, Maye recalled having a largely hands-off approach with her children, she was busy running her own business and modeling. Considering all her children have done, many would argue she did a lot right. Full Interview

“We can’t tackle a problem if we don’t know it exists.” These wise words from Sophia Bush refer to the largely unknown issue of period poverty in the United States. When Sophia learned that 1 in 5 girls across the country miss school because they can’t access period products, she found her mission. In cooperation with Always, Sophia is working to end the period stigma in society and get girls the products they need. Full Story

High school swimmer Breckynn Willis won first at her meet, but was disqualified. Why? According to officials, her swimsuit showed too much of her behind. Willis and her family responded to the body shaming - arguing that her muscular frame prevented the suit from fitting correctly. The family’s argument, paired with overwhelming public support for Willis, successfully got the disqualification reversed. Let’s let women do what they do best - win. Full Story


A touching personal piece in the New York Times last week spoke on the importance of honorary family members, especially for those who don’t have an actual family to fall back on. The article spoke of the “Honorary Auntie,” someone who becomes more than a friend and helps with the kids when things are hard, and when they aren’t. An homage to “it takes a village,” this piece will tug at your heartstrings. Full Article


Last week, the women’s field hockey team at Kent State was asked to cut their game off and call a tie...for a firework display for the football game scheduled later in the day. The decision was met with outrage, and coach Susan Ciufo stated, “what are we telling young female athletes what it means to be an athlete?” The administration has since apologized. Full Story

Over two years ago, the Indian government announced that they would take transgender applicants for the police force. For many, this opportunity came with the hope of a better life that could be led with dignity. The government still has not posted the results of written exams, and all indicators suggest that they will not. Those who risked their lives to apply are now wondering why they are not being given the chance they were promised. Read More

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