Entering into the new year 2022 top stories with hopes of betterment, more opportunities, and gender equality here’s to the new year and new ventures and accomplishments of women all over the world. Tracking women’s records from the past several years, it has been established that women never stand down when it comes to their rights or their battles.
Some accomplishments, many firsts, and mourning for the legend Betty White become the highlight of this article. Namita Gokhale winning 2021 Sahitya Akademi Award, the US naming two women to senior diplomatic posts for Afghanistan, Neeli Bendapudi becoming the First Woman President of Pennsylvania State University and others consists of this week’s top stories. Without further deviation, let’s catch up with this week’s top stories concerning women.
1. US names two women to senior diplomatic posts for Afghanistan
I welcome Rina Amiri back to @StateDept as Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights. Rina brings over two decades of expertise and specialized knowledge that will advance our vital work toward a more peaceful, stable, and secure Afghanistan for all.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) December 29, 2021
As women’s rights in Afghanistan continue to deteriorate under the new Taliban regime, the US has chosen two female diplomats to top positions representing Washington in Afghanistan. Rina Amiri was named as a special envoy for Afghan women, girls, and human rights by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday. Amiri has spent the last two decades advising governments, the UN, and think tanks on Afghanistan-related problems. She was a senior assistant to the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan under former US President Barack Obama. Blinken also designated Stephenie Foster, a former State Department official, as a new senior adviser for women and girls to US operations to evacuate and relocate Afghans at danger of Taliban vengeance after the Taliban assumed control of the nation.
2. Bangladesh scraps women-only beach zone after outcry
After a social media backlash over gender segregation, authorities in Bangladesh’s major tourist destination abolished a special beach zone for women and children, officials said on Thursday. Officials in Cox’s Bazar designated a part of the world’s longest natural sea beach as an exclusive zone for women and children on Wednesday afternoon. After “negative responses,” the government “withdrew its decision,” according to a news release published hours later. The portion was built in response to requests from conservative women in the Muslim-majority country, according to Abu Sufian, a top official in Cox’s Bazar. However, the decision to close off a stretch of the beach sparked outrage on social media, with some accusing the government of bowing to extreme Islamists who still retain significant power.
3. Namita Gokhale wins 2021 Sahitya Akademi Award
Deeply honoured by the Sahitya Akademi Award for English, 2021 for my novel Things To Leave Behind. Feel a deep sense of pride and gratitude to belong to the vibrant Indian literatures. #ManyLanguagesOneLiterature @sahityaakademi @PenguinIndia @JaipurLitFest pic.twitter.com/RbNuJdtAXv
— Namita Gokhale (@NamitaGokhale_) December 30, 2021
On December 30, 2021, the Sahitya Akademi selected Namita Gokhale as the winner for her 2016 English book Things To Leave Behind. Authors in 20 languages will be honoured by the Ministry of Culture. Namita Gokhale is a writer, publisher, editor, and festival director from India. She is one of the co-directors of the renowned Jaipur Literature Festival. She has written nineteen books in all, including fiction and nonfiction. In 1984, she made her breakthrough with the social comedy book Paro: Dreams of Passion. Things to Leave Behind, a historical panorama novel first published in 2016, garnered her many honours.
4. Neeli Bendapudi becomes the First Woman President of Pennsylvania State University
A woman and a person of colour will be named President of the prestigious American University for the first time in the university’s history. Neeli Bendapudi, a Louisville native of Indian ancestry, has been named the 18th President of Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Bendapudi is from Vishakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, where she received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Andhra University. In 1986, she came to the United States of America to pursue her higher education. Bendapudi has worked in academia for more than 30 years. She holds a doctorate in marketing and consumer behaviour from Kansas University. Bendapudi will begin her tenure as PSU’s 19th President in the spring of 2022. The 18-member panel, which included academics, staff, students, and trustee representatives, overwhelmingly backed her.
5.Oriini Kaipara is the First Woman With Māori Moko Kauae To Host Primetime News
Oriini Kaipara, a journalist from New Zealand, made news earlier today when she became the first woman with moko kauae to anchor prime time news on a television station. Moko Kauae is a low chin tattoo that is common among Mori women. Oriini Kaipara is a proud wearer of the tattoo that reflects her culture, and she wants to encourage others to do the same. Kaipara is a New Zealand-based journalist, broadcaster, and translator. She is a member of the Maori tribe, which is New Zealand’s original Polynesian people. Kaipara earned the Voyager Best Maori Affairs Reporter award in 2018 for her work on Maori Native Affairs. She hosted the Newshub Live 6 pm broadcast with moko kauae earlier this week.
6. Union Minister Lauds “Super Women” Working On India’s Oil Rigs
India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, thanked the women who work at the country’s oil and gas facilities for their efforts. Even during the epidemic, the minister turned to social media to say that these ladies had been working on the drilling platforms for 60 to 70 days at a time. Puri referred to them as equal participants in the country’s development. He shared a couple of photos of female staff at offshore locations wearing orange-coloured safety gear. They perform a variety of technical and non-technical tasks, including cylinder filling and handling, quality control inspections, plant and store maintenance, document management, as well as canteen management, and gardening. They were spotted working on the sites and maintaining them. The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has made steps to promote women in positions of leadership, including enabling them to work on offshore rigs.
7. TV’s Golden Girl, Betty White dies at the age of 99
Betty White brought a smile to the lips of generations of Americans. She’s a cultural icon who will be sorely missed. Jill and I are thinking of her family and all those who loved her this New Year’s Eve.
— President Biden (@POTUS) December 31, 2021
Betty White, who starred in iconic comedies “The Golden Girls” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and made audiences laugh for more than seven decades, died on Friday at the age of 99. Betty Marion White was born in the suburbs of Chicago on January 17, 1922. She began routinely appearing on television in 1949 and had a voice part in “Toy Story 4” in 2019. She was a pioneering Emmy-winning comedienne who had one of the longest careers in Hollywood history: she began regularly appearing on television in 1949 and had a voice role in “Toy Story 4” in 2019. In the 1950s comedy “Life With Elizabeth,” White was one of the first female producers. She died on Friday at her house, according to law enforcement officials. The reason for death was not discovered right away. The revelation prompted a barrage of condolences, including from President Joe Biden and other notable figures.