03/09/2019 10:00 EST | Updated 03/09/2019 10:41 EST

HuffPost Her Stories: A Special Celebration Of International Women's Day

Plus: Lilly Ledbetter shares her story.

Isabella Carapella

Dear reader,

People around the world celebrated International Women’s Day on Friday by honoring women’s successes and calling for increased equality. HuffPost editions continued their robust coverage of battles women are waging and winning — from taking steps to shrink the gender pay gap in the U.S. to pushing to change patriarchal laws in Morocco.

Louise Roug, HuffPost’s international director, said these sorts of issues are a year-round priority for the site’s multiple editions.

“Every day this past year, HuffPost journalists in Brazil profiled a woman making a difference, putting a spotlight on remarkable women from all walks of life,” she said. ‘Every Day Is Women’s Day’ — the title of the project — serves as a great short-hand for how we cover the lives of women across the world.”

“With more than 350 journalists working in HuffPost newsrooms outside the United States, we cover stories of injustice and violence as well as stories of triumphs and joy,” she added. “We cover women as subjects in their own lives.”

This special edition of Her Stories features stories honoring the spirit of International Women’s Day, which was established after women took to the streets of Europe in 1911 to rally for women’s rights. It has since evolved into a time to reflect on achievements, assess challenges and push for the changes we want to see.

I hope you enjoy the quick trip around the world and continue to check back in each week for more.

Until next time,


Moroccan Women Push To Change ‘Chauvinistic’ Legal Code

Peter Adams via Getty Images

Women’s rights advocates in Morocco are calling for an overhaul to the country’s family code, a legal text that governs personal matters, such as marriage, child custody and divorce. The code was reformed 15 years ago and has since been called one of the most progressive family codes in North Africa and the Middle East. But feminists campaigning for International Women’s Day told HuffPost Maghreb that the “chauvinistic” document is full of contradictions and loopholes: Child marriage and polygamy, for example, are still permitted.

Chip Yates via Getty Images
"Upskirting" -- or taking a photo up a woman's skirt -- is now an act of sexual offense punishable by up to two years in prison in the U.K.  

Gina Martin, a 27-year-old with no previous legal or political experience, was spurred to action after she caught a stranger snapping a photo up her skirt and was brushed off by police when she complained — what the stranger did, she learned, was not illegal. After a year of campaigning, she managed to get a bill passed this year that categorizes these sorts of acts as sexual offenses punishable by up to two years in prison. Martin and other activists spoke with HuffPost UK for an International Women’s Day video series about their achievements and what’s next on their to-do lists.

Courtesy Erica Malunguinho Campaign
Erica Malunguinho, Brazil’s first black trans woman to be elected a state representative.

In a report from Sao Paulo, HuffPost U.S. tells the remarkable story of Erica Malunguinho, Brazil’s first black trans woman to be elected a state representative. She was one of a record number of trans candidates to run for office in 2018 — a year that saw an alarming number of LGBTQ people killed. HuffPost Brazil has extensively covered the underreported attacks, and on International Women’s Day devoted special attention to the memory of Marielle Franco, a queer black councilwoman from Rio de Janeiro who was assassinated last year.

An Equal Pay Pioneer Shares Hard Lessons Learned

Lilly Ledbetter was the plaintiff in the Supreme Court pay discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 

Lilly Ledbetter sued her longtime employer, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., after finding out she was earning less than her male colleagues. She won her case — but the company won a 2006 appeal over a technicality and Ledbetter never saw a dime in damages. But she did become one of the faces of the U.S. equal pay movement. She and other women fighting to close the pay gap spoke with HuffPost U.S. about the long-term consequences of underpayment early in a woman’s career and what all women can do to break the cycle.

Unmarried Women In India Denied Sonograms To ’Preserve Their Virginity’

Ashutosh Rana / EyeEm via Getty Images

HuffPost India turned its attention to a surprising health care barrier many unmarried women face: Some health care professionals are reluctant to perform transvaginal ultrasounds on them for fear of tearing their hymens and damaging their “honor,” according to the report. The procedure is used to detect pregnancy and conditions such as endometriosis and fibroids. In some cases, it’s not the doctors who resist, but the patient’s family. “The taboo still exists, because families are not comfortable with such procedures,” Dr. Nupur Gupta said. “But younger women have become more aware, and things are changing.”

Lessons From Iceland: The ‘Best Place In The World’ To Be A Woman

patpongs via Getty Images

Iceland consistently tops the Word Economic Forum’s annual gender gap report, which ranks countries according to various gender equality criteria. HuffPost U.S. reported on how the Nordic country achieved enviable female representation in politics, boardrooms and other places of power. The report also highlights challenges that are often overlooked in glowing reports of this “paradise.” Violence and sexual harassment against women, for example, are still problems. But Bergljót Thrastardóttir, who works for the government’s equality directorate expressed hope all women pushing for progress can appreciate: “When it comes to gender equality, it’s a slow change but it’s happening.”