The World’s Most Powerful Women: April 13

April 13, 2016, 5:12 AM UTC

Good morning, WMPW readers! Angela Merkel has a Turkey problem, a restaurant in East London is providing jobs and comfort to migrant women, and professional tennis players have a gender pay gap, too. Want to share a tip about a powerful woman? Get in touch: or @laurascohn. Have a great Wednesday!





Merkel tiptoes with Turkey

Angela Merkel has a Turkey problem. The German Chancellor is facing the ticklish task of trying to balance her desire for Turkey's help with Europe's migrant crisis with the nation's demand that a German comedian be prosecuted for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The diplomatic dustup has culminated in Turkey's ambassador to Berlin asking Germany to pursue a criminal prosecution against Jan Bohmermann, host of satirical late-night talk show, Neo Magazin Royale, after Bohmermann described Erdogan having sex with goats and sheep in a poem. According to the Wall Street Journal, Merkel said Germany would consider the request soon, adding that freedom of speech would be upheld. "These basic values apply regardless of any political problem that we discuss with one another," she said. "That includes the issue of the refugees." But the timing of the tussle couldn't be worse: The European Union and Turkey just cut a deal to reduce the number of migrants coming across the Aegean Sea to Europe.

Financial Times


Protesting the limits
Women in Europe are holding protests to fight anti-abortion laws in Poland and Northern Ireland. In Poland, a woman can only get an abortion under certain circumstances, such as rape or incest.


Ruling with a skull and cross bones
Birgitta Jonsdottir, who leads the parliamentary group of Iceland's Pirate party, has said she is daunted by the idea of running the country. But her party, which started as an offshoot of the global anti-copyright Pirate movement, could soon rule the nation now that the current coalition has been hurt by the 'Panama Papers' leak that revealed their ties to offshore finance.
Financial Times


Comfort food
Mazi Mas, a restaurant in East London, is providing jobs and comfort to refugee and migrant women in the city. The restaurant, which employs female chefs from Iran, Ethiopia, Turkey, Senegal, and Peru, was started by New Yorker Nikandre Kopcke, who recruits her workers from refugee outreach programs.


Curtailing drop-outs
Natalie Walker, an Indigenous Australian, says Indigenous teenage girls in her country are much less likely to finish high school than other girls. Walker says she hopes the Cape York Girl Academy, Australia's first Indigenous-led school, will help fight the trend.


Derailing divorce
In India, Muslim men can divorce their wives with a so-called "triple talaq," in which they say the word "talaq," meaning divorce, three times. But the Supreme Court is weighing whether to outlaw the practice, bringing the country more in line with the rest of the world. According to activists, other Islamic countries, such as Pakistan and Bangladesh, have banned the action.


The will to close the gap
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said the gender pay gap "costs women and their families and our economy so much money every single year," adding that the problem doesn’t just affect women. "[It’s] an issue that really has almost universal repercussions." Speaking on the one-year anniversary of her presidential bid, Clinton also said the problem can we solved "if we summon the political will."


A person that you'll meet
Sesame Street has a new Muppet. Named Zari, the purple puppet is a feminist who lives in Afghanistan and wears a head scarf. Zari, who will appear on the Afghan version of the show, will focus on female empowerment, which is sorely needed in Afghanistan.
Fast Company


Game, set, gap
Turns out tennis pros have a gender pay gap, too. With the exception of Grand Slam tournaments and certain other events, professional female tennis players still make less than male players. "I think that sometimes we just hope that those problems are in the past, and that we have come much further," said Andrea Petkovic, a German tennis player. "But it’s good to be confronted with the thoughts of men that still think that way, and it’s maybe nice for us to have discussions with them and to explain our point of view." Amen to that.
New York Times


Brazil's Rousseff loses coalition partner ahead of key vote
Wall Street Journal

Infuriating facts about the gender wage gap

A top woman in hedge funds raises $130 million

Designer Ilse Crawford likes to help companies find their humanity
Financial Times

How a hashtag, #BlackGirlMagic, is empowering women

A female economist argues that Central America needs to prioritize women's issues
Americas Quarterly

Australians express a dislike for their new $5 bill, which has an image of Queen Elizabeth


I still view her more as the Queen than my grandmother. You have this huge amount of respect for your boss and I always view her as my boss, but occasionally as a grandmother.
— Britain's Prince Harry, on how he sees Queen Elizabeth