Global Roundup: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson First Black Woman Nominated to US Supreme Court, Hijab ban in India Sparks Global Outrage, UAE Women STEM Pioneers
Curated by FG Intern Sayge Urban
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson speaks after President Joe Biden announced Jackson as his nominee to the Supreme Court in the Cross Hall of the White House, Friday, Feb. 25, 2022, in Washington. Vice President Kamala Harris listens at right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Joe Biden has nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States Supreme Court, setting in motion a historic confirmation process for the first Black Woman to sit on the highest court in that nation.
The Supreme Court hopes to have a vote confirming Jackson to the court by mid-April.
For too long, our government, our courts haven't looked like America…I believe it's time that we have a court that reflects the full talents and greatness of our nation with a nominee of extraordinary qualifications, and that we inspire all young people to believe that they can one day serve their country at the highest level. - President Joe Biden
Jackson, 51, is currently on DC’s federal appellate court, and has a long history of public work.
It has been mentioned that she has been considered a front-runner for the position since the announcement of Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement, whom Jackson has previously worked for, and thanked in her speech.
Jackson has been the leading contender, as Biden gave “considerable weight” to the other finalists, said an official. The other contenders included Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.
At her 2021 confirmation hearing for the appellate court, she connected her family's professions – her parents worked in public schools – to her decision to work as a public defender.
I come from a background of public service. My parents were in public service, my brother was a police officer and (was) in the military and being in the public defenders’ office felt very much like the opportunity to help with my skills and talents. - Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson
A Muslim student shouts slogans as she takes part in a protest against the recent hijab ban in schools across India's Karnataka state (Reuters/Rupak De Chowdhuri) via Middle East Eye
In the southern Indian state of Karnataka, a ban has been implemented on the hijab in schools, resulting in widespread solidarity in many parts of the world, including Arab countries, where protests and social media campaigns have taken place.
Social media users worldwide have spoken out against the discrimination targeted at Muslim women because of their choice of how to dress, including Super Model Bella Hadid and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai.
Videos have been circulating online as well, showing disturbing scenes of Muslim students being refused entry and Muslim women being heckled outside educational establishments. Another video included footage of an Indian bank refusing to allow a long standing customer to withdraw money from her account.
With a 200 million Muslim minority in India, people fear the hijab ban is infringing on their religious freedom. In Kuwait, various protests have taken place over the last few weeks with demonstrators standing outside the Indian embassy, carrying placards. Additionally, with such high social media coverage, #ExpeltheIndianAmbassador is now in Kuwait's trending topics in both Arabic and English.
The movement has even received political attention. Kuwaiti parliamentarians demanded that the government put an immediate ban on the entry of any member of India’s ruling BJP into Kuwait, stating “we can’t sit back and watch Muslim girls being publicly persecuted.”
The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq has also condemned the hijab ban. In a statement, it denounced the Indian government’s discrimination against Indian Muslim Women and restrictions on the hijab.
Protests also took place in Turkey.
Refusing to let girls go to school in their hijabs is horrifying. Objectification of women persists — for wearing less or more. Indian leaders must stop the marginalization of Muslim women. - Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai
Sarah Al Amiri, the U.A.E. Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, photographed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Jan. 25, 2022. Natalie Naccache for TIME
Arab women are playing a vital role in the development of science research and innovation across the Middle East, with a study from UNESCO stating that 57 percent of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) graduates in Arab countries are women. Additionally, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), 61 percent of university STEM students are female.
Despite this, Alexandra Palt, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer of L’Oréal and CEO of the Foundation L’Oréal, says female scientists will face many types of obstacles throughout their careers.
We see women drop out at different stages of their science career… it can be that environment, the parents, the family, the teachers can be discouraging when this goes on. There’s gender bias. There is discrimination. - - Alexandra Palt
To raise awareness and promote women scientists’ achievements, the L’Oréal Unesco For Women in Science Young Talents MENA Awards was held at EXPO 2020 Dubai, where 14 Arab female Scientists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region were recognized for their achievements. The 14 women were celebrated for their ground-breaking research and discoveries in photonics and organ transplants.
It is a field that requires a lot of patience. The type of research that we are doing is very special and required a lot of resources, lots of dedication from us. But being in the UAE, I’ve been really honoured to be amongst lots of universities that offer for us the right environment to do the research. - Dr. Ghasa Dushaq, a winner from the UAE
Along with the winners, the UAE’s Emirates Mars Mission is an example of women’s contribution to science and technology. The mission was launched in Dubai, with 34 percent of the mission and 80 percent of the entire science team being women.
I’ve had the privilege of working with remarkable women, especially on the science team of the Emirates Mars mission. They were all there, not because we impose a quota, but because we level the playing field. The best people for the job were working on the mission because you can’t compromise on development. - Sarah Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advances Technology and Chairperson of the UAE Space Agency.
Sayge Urban (she/her) is a student at the University of Ottawa currently studying Psychology. She has a passion for writing and speaking out on issues she cares about and strongly believes in the power of words and the weight they hold. She is keen to use her voice and platform to bring awareness to the troubles and triumphs women face and is determined to use her voice to highlight those who cannot and do not have the resources to speak up.
Sayge is a firm believer in the unity of women across the world and the power they hold collectively and wants to use her time at FEMINIST GIANT to learn about the issues most pressing to women as well as they ways she can best be of help.