January 9, 2013 — A "universal vision" to elect more female officials, end violence against women and advance other women's issues seems to be at play globally this year, giving women's rights leaders worldwide a "note of cautious optimism," according to the New York Times.
The Times highlights the increased focus on addressing violence against women amid international outrage over recent rape and assault cases in India and Pakistan. Michelle Bachelet, executive director of U.N. Women and former president of Chile, said, "In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused, or mutilated during their lifetimes," adding, "There can be no peace, no progress, when women live under the fear of violence."
Meanwhile, the U.S. elected a record number of women -- 20 -- to the Senate in November, giving "fresh momentum" to the idea of a female candidate for president in 2016, according to the Times.
While issues such as achieving equal pay, fair workplace policies and more political power are on the agenda in the U.S., developing countries are working to fulfill women's basic needs and rights.
"But more women in more regions of the world are stepping up and living better lives, just about everyone in the field agrees," according to the Times, which concludes, "And as the old women's issues become global, the expectations rise, and the challenges get larger" (Lopez Torregrosa, New York Times, 1/8).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership