the digital giraffe - Y Not

All About Women

Our Woman of the Month Award for July, 2019, goes to Laura Kraup Frandsen, a fashion student at the Royal College of Art in the UK. Frandsen refused to present a fashion collection, required for her degree, as a protest against consumerism. Instead she presented a "die-in" with 20 models dressed in their own clothes. Frandsen was supporting a movement called #Boycott Fashion that asks consumers not to buy any new clothes for a year. She was drawing attention to the fact that approximately 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide are contributed by the fashion industry.

Note: Woman of the Month now has its own page in the giraffe.com archives section.

In Papua New Guinea, an urban slum called Eight Mile contains run-down shacks filled with women and children suffering from various illnesses. In 2016, Human Rights Watch designated this area as "one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a woman, with the majority of women experiencing rape or assault in their lifetime and women facing systemic discrimination". A group of World leaders, predominantly men, ignored an opportunity to address the situation. In addition, Papua New Guinea's parliament does not have any female members.

Many people do not realize how courageous Ellen DeGeneres is and how many obstacles she has surmounted to achieve her success. A single one of her television shows generates more advertising income than Kelly Ripa's and Dr. Phil's combined. Her own clothing brand is sold in 2,300 Walmart stores, she produces movies, and she voices a character for Pixar. When DeGeneres first came out as gay 22 years ago, such an admission was destined to destroy her reputation. She persisted in spite of the difficulties, and is now one of the most successful business women in the world.

In the 1950's, bacteriologist Sarah Stewart fought the prevailing opinion that viruses could not cause cancer. As a result she was almost ejected from the scientific community for her heresy. Her pioneering research led to a vaccine that is 100% effective against certain strains of cancer.

The Library of Congress has just named Joy Harjo to be America's Poet Laureate, the first Native American woman to be so honored. Her title is officially "Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry" and includes a payment of $35,000. Two of her collections are titled "The Woman Who Fell From The Sky" and "In Mad Love and War".

For the first time, a statue of a woman will be shown in New York City's Central Park. Artist Meredith Bergmann has created a monument to honor Elizabeth C Stanton and Susan B Anthony, both of whom fought for women's right to vote. This project marks an important step forward in the recognition of women's role in history.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired a female college basketball coach as part of their staff. Lindsay Gottlieb was the head coach at Cal Berkely for 8 years, taking the team to tournament level 7 times

Equal Measures is reporting that not one country worldwide will achieve gender equality on the target date set by United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Particularily vulnerable are the health and safety of woman and young girls. Violence in places like Yemen, Chad, and DR Congo is largely responsible for the mistreatment of females. The goal is to see that women are empowered, educated, healthy, and in charge of resources.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has sponsored a project called "Making the Invisible Visible" which was displayed for the first time in Vancouver, Canada at the Women Deliver 2019 Global Conference. Photographer Robin Hammond is showing women as fighters and survivors, rather than as victims, in areas of conflict.

Parliament in the UK is re-evaluating its public art collection to include more female figures. The current art collection shows mainly white men from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Public demand has forced parliament to borrow and commission art that shows women in politics. Among the new works will be a portrait of Nancy Astor, the first woman to be elected to the British House of Commons.

Concern is mounting about the number of young women caught in abusive relationships. It appears that 90% of teenagers killed by an intimate partner are girls. A new foundation called One Love aims to educate teenagers about the signs of an unhealthy relationship.

Brookline Massachusetts officials have voted to offer menstrual products in public restrooms, thanks to one of their high school graduates. Sarah Groustra wrote an article in her Brookline High School newspaper about the taboo against discussing women's menstrual periods. Her article spurred Brookline to become the first city in the United States to supply free pads and tampons in all of the town's restrooms.

c. Corinne Whitaker 2019

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