Skip to Content

The World’s Most Powerful Women: May 12

In the U.S., many see Ivanka Trump as women’s best hope for a federal policy on paid parental leave, affordable child care, and equal pay. The first daughter spoke about all three issues throughout her father’s presidential campaign, and continues to position herself as a proponent of investing in women—both America and abroad. Earlier this month, for example, news broke that Trump is working with the World Bank on an investment fund for female entrepreneurs.

However, in Europe—where, we should note, women are provided with federally-funded paid leave and child care to varying degrees—the focus is on what President Trump’s daughter can do to change her dad’s mind on climate change and keep the U.S. in the Paris agreement. The BBC’s Matt McGrath reports that at a meeting of diplomats in Bonn, Switzerland, the talk was all about how to get through to Ivanka, who has been put in charge of reviewing the U.S. climate policy. Environmental campaigners around the world are reportedly being urged to get in touch with the White House and try to speak to her—instead of her father.

It’s understandable that policymakers would turn to Ivanka Trump—after all, she has proven that she has her father’s ear. Yet one must wonder whether she is equipped to make the kinds of decisions or give the kind of guidance to the president that people expect of her. It’s one thing to work at the family business or even to start your own company—but quite another to be making decisions about something as complex as environmental policy. The idea that she is “the best bet for keeping the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement,” as McGrath writes, doesn’t inspire much confidence.

—Valentina Zarya (@valzarya)


Spain’s girls get the W The girls of amateur club AEM Lleida won a junior regional football league in Spain over 13 boys’ teams. This is particularly notable for a country where, despite the first Women’s World Cup appearance in 2015, women’s football remains a sideshow. The top Spanish women’s league did not sign its first major corporate sponsorship deal until last summer—three decades after the league began. New York Times


Free but not home
The 82 Chibok girls kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 and released from captivity last week aren’t simply allowed to go home to their families. In fact, the release is just the beginning; the young women will now have to go through a process of re-integration or rehabilitation.

Merci, Macron
The party of French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has selected a diverse list of 428 candidates for parliamentary elections next month. Exactly half are women, in keeping with a promise for gender equality made by the Macron team.


An expensive ordeal
Fox News’ parent company, 21st Century Fox, has paid $45 million in sexual harassment settlements since mid-2016. The expenses were for “settlements of pending and potential litigations,” following the departure of former CEO Roger Ailes in July 2016 amid sexual harassment allegations.

Tech pays…a lot
The highest-paid women in the U.S. are beneficiaries of the tech boom. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, HPE CEO Meg Whitman and Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz brought in $96.8 million, $52.5 million, and $39.2 million, respectively.

Conway cries sexism
President Trump’s counselor Kellyanne Conway says CNN host Anderson Cooper’s eyeroll during his interview of her was sexist. “I face sexism a lot of times when I show up for interviews like that,” she said on Thursday morning. “Could you imagine having a male anchor on a network roll eyes at Hillary Clinton or a female representative spokeswoman for President Obama or President Bill Clinton? I think not.”


Campaigning in Nepal
The first local elections in nearly 20 years are taking place in Nepal and nearly 20,000 women are running in the first phase, which takes place May 14. By law, women must fill certain positions in the local administrations, and this has driven strong female political engagement across Nepal, especially among women under 30. 

Bligh’s ready to fight
Australia’s Bankers’ Association chief Anna Bligh is accusing the government of playing “fast and loose” with the country’s financial system. Australia’s biggest banks are planning to launch an ad campaign to fight the administration’s new $6.2 billion tax.
Sydney Morning Herald

Deciding on divorce laws
India’s Supreme Court has formally opened hearings into a number of petitions challenging the controversial practice of instant divorce in Islam. India is one of a handful of countries in the world where a Muslim man can divorce his wife in minutes by saying the word talaq (divorce) three times.

News summaries by Valentina Zarya (@valzarya)


Newcastle pub pulls posters telling men to alert staff if their date ‘won’t stop talking about herself’
Sydney Morning Herald

The midwife who saved babies she was supposed to kill

Lorde wonders how much fame is enough
Wall Street Journal

Magic Leap settles sex discrimination lawsuit
The Verge


If you want me to do the job, you’ve got to pay me to do the job and you’ve got to give me flexibility, and flexibility means that I will work my tail off for you, but you better pay me and value my family.
—Michelle Obama, recounting her words to a future boss at a job interview early in her career. She brought her four-month-old daughter with her to the interview.