What happened in July 2021?

Ukraine: Female soldiers are forced to march in heels instead of military boots for a military parade happening on the 24t of August. This decision caused a lot of discontents and many people were expecting apologies.

Spain: All non-consensual sex is now defined as rape and street harassment became a crime. They also have the project to create better programmes to help the victims. Yes is thus the sign for consensual sex whereas before rape was considered as such only if there were signs of violence.

Egypt: Sexual harassment of a woman is now a crime punishable by 5 years in prison. The length of time that a person can be imprisoned for sexual harassment and the number of fines that can be levied on those who do it has both been extended in the law.

Argentina: In Buenos Aires, close relatives of a femicide victim protested in front of the government to be heard by the members of the government. A feminicide is committed every 31 hours in Argentina.

Germany: In Berlin, women protested topless for the right of being topless just like men. Besides, men were wearing bras and bikinis. Indeed, they highlight the fact that men are not allowed to be topless where men are allowed. They took this action in solidarity with the woman who was asked to leave a park after refusing to cover her breast while sunbathing. 

Kenya: Joannah Stutchbury, an 67 years old environmental activist, was murdered in Nairobi. She was already receiving death threats for raising awareness about deforestation in some parts of the country by some local businesses. The president as well as Amnesty International condemned the assassination. Furthermore, Kenyan nature is very attractive for tourism, nevertheless, the country has important problems with deforestation.

European beach handball championship: Norwegian female players are forbidden to wear shorts instead of the usual bikini during the competition. They decided to still wear shorts and received a fine of 1500€ for “improper clothing” whereas the same clothes for men are considered normal for the competition. The singer Pink offered to pay the fine against these players to enable them to wear what they want during the competition. She tweeted: “I’m VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR “uniform”. The European handball federation SHOULD BE FINED FOR SEXISM. Good on ya, ladies. I’ll be happy to pay your fines for you. Keep it up.” 

Chile: The Senate accepted the marriage for everyone.

USA: Mississippi calls for abrogation of federal abortion law to let each state decide about their abortion regulations going against the Roe versus Wade laws unifying abortion’s rules from 1973. This is very threatening for women’s rights and health.

Olympic Games

  • Olympic athlete and five time world champion Simone Biles has chosen to withdraw from competitions in order to take care of her mental health. She stated that she feels like her mental health and body are not in sync and also said  “It’s the craziest feeling ever, not having an inch of control over your body.” It’s incredibly important that female athletes like Simone speak up about their mental wellbeing especially when people have incredibly high expectations of them. 
  • At the Olympics, German female gymnasts have decided to wear body covering suits which is a first for female gymnasts at the Olympics. Traditionally, gymnasts wore leotards, which are garments that cover the body except for the legs. With wearing these suits, they want to fight against the sexualisation of gymnasts and embrace their own choice to wear what they think is appropriate and feel comfortable in. 
  • Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi are two exceptional athletes competing for the 400m race but they were stopped for having a natural rate of testosterone exceeding the norm. The organisation has regulation markin the limiti between the accepted amount of testosterone for women to have a clear separation between men and women competing. However, scientists proved that in a group of male competitors, the athlete with the highest rate of testosterone does not necessarily have the best performance. Thus, this hormone regulation can be very discriminatory for women who are accepted to stay under a certain amount of testosterone because there is a variety of women with various rates of hormones.

USA: The US is exploring the possibility of adding a third gender option on passports. The Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced the abolition of the medical certification requirement for changing gender in the passport, allowing people to self-select through a smoother process.

Wally Funk: She is the oldest woman to go into space with her 82 years old. She has always been denied space because of her gender. Now, she went to space during the space trip funded by the billionaire Jeff Bezos.

Turkey: Last year in July the murder of a 27-year-old woman Pinar Gültekin by an ex-boyfriend has caused huge outrage and shed a light on the rising femicides in Turkey. This caused a lot of demonstrations and social media movements such as women posting pictures with black and white filters to raise awareness. Even though it has been a year full of people speaking out and demonstrating, the President has decided to leave the Istanbul Convention which protected women from violence and domestic violence was left. This is pretty ironic, as the treaty was signed in Istanbul in 2011 and is very much needed here as in the past year there have been over 200 femicides. 

Hungary: Many joined the Pride march in Budapest to protest against the law that prohibits the teaching of homosexuality and transgender issues in school

Georgia: LGBTQ activists were forced to call off the Pride demonstrations after clashes with opponents.

Oldest Gold Championship: Transgender coach Alison Perkins is forced to leave one of the most important golfing championships ‘The 149th Open Championship at Royal St George’s Golf Club’ and was later on molested by the championship’s expectations