Wrapping Up 2015 for Women

UNITED STATES - JUNE 10: From left, Charlotte Robertson, Rachel Clay, both of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Rep. Lloy
UNITED STATES - JUNE 10: From left, Charlotte Robertson, Rachel Clay, both of the Feminist Majority Foundation, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, attend a news conference at the House triangle to to oppose 'fast tracking' of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and any future trade agreements, June 10, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Well we did it. Made it through another year. When it comes to women, we've had some good news, and some bad news, with a little weird news thrown in. But with wars, floods, police shootings, and terrorist attacks dominating the headlines, we've probably missed a few things. So let's review some items that didn't make the front pages in 2015.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabian women will be able to vote for the first time in history this month, more than four years after King Abdullah granted them voting rights. But, they'll have to hitch a ride to the polls. Last year the government promised to lift the ban on female driving, but it hasn't happened. Maybe in four years.

In January, after the bombing of the Charlie Hebdo newspaper offices in Paris, 40 world leaders marched in solidarity to protest the killings, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other female heads of state. But Israel's conservative newspaper airbrushed all the women out of the historic image -- so as not to offend its highly devout Orthodox readers.

Here at home, "feminist" was added to the list of dirty words at a middle school in Ohio, when a student wore a shirt with the word on it for a school picture. Officials blurred it out, saying "feminist" might be offensive to some, along with certain hand gestures from boys in the back of the photo.

In U.S. church news, the Mormons stepped up their excommunication campaign against heretics -- those who advocate ordaining women. They kicked out podcaster John Dehlin for his support of women in the clergy and same-sex marriage.

Back across the pond, Britain sent a message about the importance of women when officials designed a new passport, replacing pictures of birds with pictures of people. Seven male people and two female people. Reflects the population -- right?

On the good news front, members of Parliament in Nepal elected a veteran campaigner for women's rights to be the country's first female president. Puts Nepal ahead of the good ol' U.S. of A.

That's a wrap for 2015. No doubt the struggles will continue in 2016, but with women a rising political force worldwide, let's hope significant victories are also on the horizon.

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