Happy News!

By Gigi C. and Lauren H.

100th Anniversary of Women Voting Rights 

With the upcoming Summer Olympics, presidential election, and a new Mars mission, 2020 will prove to be an exciting and profound year for all. Most importantly, the year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers an unparalleled opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and to explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today. As of 2018, a record of 102 women have been elected to the House of Representatives. This progress is evident compared to 1916 when the House of Representatives was completely comprised of men. In history, women have worked tirelessly for equal privileges, rights, and social liberties. The 19th Amendment represents their success and dedicated work, no matter the costs and sacrifices(WVCI).

Going Green Around the World

Countries around the world have shown their eagerness to help preserve the planet. This month, Dutch scientists successfully designed a floating device with the potential to eliminate the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a collection of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean three times the size of France. The UK has recently struck a deal with Co-op Energy to create the first energy tariff to offer clean electricity for their residents and promote other sustainable practices (The Guardian) . On January 15, Rome banned all diesel cars from roads in an effort to curb pollution. Three days later, the environment minister of Colombia reported that the country will increase jungle and forest monitoring to combat deforestation and protect the native species living there. On January 20, China sought to restrict single-use plastic products, one of the country’s largest environmental problems (Reuters). China’s goal is to ban all single-use straws from the restaurant industry by the end of this year. These reports display just a few of the many ways governments around the world are working to protect our planet and preserve our future.

New Guinea’s Bus for Women and Girls 

New Guinea has developed a new public transportation program for women and girls. These buses, implemented in 2014, have helped over 170,000 women and girls get to school and work safely each year. In 2014, the capital city of Port Moresby became the first to launch women-only public transportation, and, in 2019, Lae, the second-largest in New Guinea, followed suit. The buses, named “Meri-Self” (Women Safe), are women-only, since, in 2017, more than 90 percent of women in the country reported in 2017 that they were either sexually harassed or robbed by men on public transportation. “M-buses” have been branded as a “road to safety.” This trend of women-only transportation has been spreading rapidly and exists in more than a dozen countries all over the world, including India, Guatemala, and Japan. (Stanford Social Innovation Review)