A whole pack of roaring lionesses comes to star in the Women in News of August 2022. They are stepping strong and marking this summer as one of honoring trailblazers and legacies. From the fight for freedom in the streets of Kabul to the stars with the first Native American woman traveling to space, their stories are making history.
Meet our Lionesses this month:
Women rally in Kabul to protest the Taliban
Brave women have marched the streets of Kabul. A roughly two-dozen people rally sparked in what marks the one-year anniversary of the extremist group taking over Afghanistan. Chants of “bread, work, and freedom”, “political participation” and “no enslavement” filled the streets.
Taliban security forces quickly tried to shut down the protest. They started grabbing phones from journalists, and opening fire in the air above the protesters. Luckily, there haven’t been any immediate reports of injuries.
“It was important because it’s nearly the first anniversary of the Taliban rule. We wanted to say that we don’t consent to this government” said one young woman who spoke to NPR after the protest. She requested anonymity to avoid Taliban authorities identifying her. “After a year of this government, there is no change in the situation. We are showing that we won’t stay silent,” she said. “It’s important to show the world that Afghans don’t accept this. We will stand against injustice.”
American Airlines honors Bessie Coleman with an all-black, all-female flight crew
The calendar marks the 100th anniversary of Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license in 1921. American Airlines wanted to pay its respects to the aviator, who inspired many throughout her life. The company organized an all-black, all-female crew to fly from Dallas to Phoenix. Hosting the Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars tour, Coleman’s great-niece, Gigi Coleman, joined the flight as a guest of honor.
“I am grateful for American Airlines to give us this opportunity to highlight my great aunt’s accomplishments in the field of aviation,” Gigi said in a video posted by American Airlines.
Prior to her death in 1926 due to an accident during a flight, Coleman used her influence. She encouraged other African Americans to follow her steps. Inspired by Coleman, American Airlines is working to diversify its flight deck. Aware of the fact that black women currently represent only one percent of the aviation industry, the company
Women solidarize with Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin on social media
After videos of Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin dancing and partying spread across the internet, the politician experienced backlash. Critics questioned her competence as a politician, being 36 and the world’s youngest Prime Minister, to her maturity.
In the leaked videos, Marin was partying with some friends. “I have a family life, I have a work life and I have free time to spend with my friends. Pretty much the same as many people my age,” Marin said, according to the Finnish outlet Yle.
As a supportive response to Marin, thousands of women have also posted videos of themselves partying, dancing, or drinking. Women in the news are often the target of harsh criticism, not only in their personal but especially in their professional lives. The main message Marin’s supporters wanted to lay out there is the double standards of society. People can excel at their jobs and also have fun.
Serena Williams opens up about her retirement
After a lot of hesitation, the world-famous tennis player has decided to pause her brilliant career as an athlete. In her announcement for Vogue, she speaks up about the struggles women face when making these choices.
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family. I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this. I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family,” says Williams.
“I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition. But I want to be sensitive about how I use that word. Because it means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me.”
Yoshimi Yamashita becomes Japan’s first woman professional football referee
Yamashita has now signed a professional contract with the Japan Football Association. Japan has taken this step less than a year after it launched its first professional women’s football league, the WE League. However, she will be working on the men’s Asian Champions League match. “The goal is to get to the point where it’s not a big deal that a woman is refereeing a men’s match. But at this stage, I’m happy this is making a splash,” she said. This is huge news for women and diversity in the country.
More stories of women in the news this month:
- #SitLikeAGirl ignites social media again after Ukraine’s First Lady posed for Vogue in a non-traditional “feminine” pose.
- Nicole Aunapu Mann is the first Native American woman who will travel to space.
- Becca Balint conquers a primary win, making Vermont the final U.S. state with its first woman in Congress.
Interested in hearing more inspirational stories? Check out July’s Lionesses This Month!