Romania appoints first female prime minister
Last week, Viorica Dancila was nominated to become Romania’s first-ever female prime minister. She was put forward by President Klaus Iohannis following the resignation of Mihai Tudose, who lost the support of the governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) amidst scandal. Dancila will become Romania’s third leader within seven months, taking the helm of a government beset by political infighting and still grappling with the effects of the largest protests since the fall of communist rule. Romania, which put forward its candidacy for OECD membership last year, would place among the worst-performing OECD nations with respect to female parliamentary representation should it be admitted, with women comprising only 14 percent of parliament.
Mexico reports increase in femicide
On Sunday, Mexican authorities released the country’s homicide tally for 2017, reporting a staggering 72 percent rise in murders of women. At least 2,585 women and girls were killed in 2017 alone, with the state classifying nearly 100 cases as femicides, or killings carried out solely because the victim was female, the majority of which involve sexual assault. The homicide report follows an October analysis classifying Mexico City as the fourth most dangerous city for women in the world. Thousands of marchers have taken to the streets to raise awareness about the pervasive problem of gender-based violence, which was voiced as a top concern by marchers in demonstrations across Mexico to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the historic 2017 Women’s March and call attention to the #MeToo and #NiUnaMas campaigns.
Gender equality in Davos
For the first time in the four-decade history of the World Economic Forum (WEF)’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the co-chairs of the gathering, chosen to reflect global stakeholders, are female. In addition, gender equality was on the official agenda, with two sessions devoted exclusively to addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Many global leaders attending the Swiss annual summit used the platform to call for greater attention to women’s labor force participation and fair pay, mostly notably Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who cited research showing that gender parity could boost global GDP by $2.5 trillion. The focus on gender equality at Davos represents a break from previous years, which drew criticism for a lack of female representation, this year still at only 21 percent of attendees.