In a part of the world known for its rampant machismo, the recent Presidenta period marked a hopeful turning point for Latin America. There have been signs of progress in gender equality in many nations, but some women are disappointed that Bachelet and her fellow women leaders did not do more. “At one point Latin America had four women presidents at the same time,” in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Costa Rica, says Farida Jalalzai, who teaches politics at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.
Now, it’s the US Capitol – where a wave of complaints about sexual abuse and harassment have flooded the stately halls and engulfed a sitting senator, Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota. Women lawmakers and aides say inappropriate sexual behavior has long been “pervasive” on the Hill, largely kept in the shadows amid an insular, old-boys-club culture that persists to this day. “I was of a generation of survivors that never said a word,” Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D) of New Hampshire told reporters after she and a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation to make it easier to file sexual harassment complaints in Congress.
As he approaches the finish line of the Marine Corps 10K race, Vadym Svyrydenko breaks into a broad smile: He has picked out the blue and yellow of his country’s national flag amongst the red, white, and blue. Back home he is spearheading a campaign to bring people with disabilities out of the shadows where they have long been hidden, and to help them carve out new lives. “We are getting more boys who were severely wounded and are showing them that rehabilitation through sport is effective,” the 44-year-old former soldier says as he recovers from his race.
In Africa, a popular Twitter hashtag in recent days has been #Zimbabwe. It is rare for Africans to witness a dictator like Robert Mugabe being sidelined so easily by close associates, especially after 37 years in power. Just as compelling for Africans is the sudden lifting of mental chains among millions of Zimbabweans.