From major advances in women’s rights around the world to new, controversial laws enacted, 2022 had its ups and downs for gender equality and women’s rights. Let’s highlight some of the major events regarding women’s rights that happened in 2022.
On May 18, 2022, the United States Women’s National Team Players Association and U.S. Soccer agreed in a historic move to collective bargaining agreements that would achieve equal pay for both the men’s team and the women’s team. In doing so, U.S. Soccer became the first sports association in the world to make FIFA World Cup prize money equally awarded to the United States Women’s National Team and the United States Men’s National Team. This is said to set a precedent for women’s sports and organizations around the world.
On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which revoked the constitutional right to have an abortion. This led many conservative states to limit or ban abortion. Afterwards, thousands marched to the US Capitol and to outside the White House to protest, expressing anger and disappointment over the reversal of abortion rights and the limitation of women’s rights. More protests have sprang up since, urging for the recognition of this fundamental women’s right.
August marked one year since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Since then, the rights of women have been drastically affected under the regime. Many women-owned businesses and projects were forced to close down after restrictions were placed, leaving many women without a way to earn money. Girls have been banned from attending middle school and high school, and recently, the regime banned women from attending universities and working for non-governmental organizations. Sadly, the highest level of education currently permitted for girls in Afghanistan is sixth grade.
Starting in September, protests in Iran centered on Mahsa Amini, who died while in police custody after breaking Iran’s strict Islamic dress code, which requires all women to wear hijabs, or headscarves. This event sparked massive outrage, resulting in many protestors not wearing their hijabs and some even burning their hijabs as a way to revolt against the regime. These protestors have found support from around the world, from online campaigns to calls from global leaders; however, on-the-ground protests have led to clashes with the police, and multiple have died from them.
On November 22, 2022, the European Parliament passed a law which requires all publicly traded companies to have at least forty percent of non-executive director positions, or one-third of director positions, filled by women by July 2026. This major step taken by the European Union will help to advance gender equality in the workplace and the accessibility of corporate opportunities for women.
The fight for women’s rights is an ongoing process that will not end anytime soon. 2023 will hopefully open more doors for women around the world and welcome big steps taken to achieve gender equality.