The USA National Soccer team beat Thailand 13-0 for a record-breaking first match of the 2019 Women's World Cup.

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6.14.2019

This Week In Women: Soccer & Sudan

International women’s issues are at the forefront of our attention this week from the violence against women in Sudan to equal pay disparities here in the U.S. Here’s what you need to know and how you can help advocate for necessary progress. It’s time for This Week in Women!

How to Help the Women & Girls of the Humanitarian Crisis in Sudan

The reported death toll and victim count continues to climb as the conflict in Sudan continues on. On June 3, pro-democracy protestors, bystanders, and medical workers were attacked by the military during a peaceful sit-in that took place in the capital Khartoum. As background: In April, Sudan’s authoritarian President Bashir was ousted and replaced by Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, part of the ruling military council. The protesters are calling for a civilian-led body during the transitional time to a promised democratic state.

Over the past week, more reports detailing the extent of violence that occurred and the horrific dumping of bodies by the military group Rapid Support Force (RSF) in the Nile River surfaced. “The decision to unleash violence against peaceful protesters is absolutely unjustified and unlawful, and a slap in the face for those who have been pursing dialogue to achieve a handover to civilian government,” said Jehanne Henry, Associate Africa Director at Human Rights Watch. “UN member states should urgently establish an impartial, independent UN inquiry into these atrocities, and ensure that those responsible for killings, detentions, destruction, and looting are held accountable.”

Here are several ways to take action and support families and survivors:

  • #BlueForSudan – Instagram and Twitter users are turning their profile pictures blue in a showing of solidarity for protestors. The color blue was chosen to honor the memory of one of the deceased victims: Mohamed Mattar. #BlueForSudan promotes international solidarity and heightens awareness of atrocities against civilians, putting additional pressure on Western governments and human rights coalitions to act.
  • Sign org Petition to UN – This petition has over 200,000 and counting signatures, but needs 300,000 signatures, and will then be sent to António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. The petition demands that “the United Nation establish an International commission of inquiry and investigate because the Sudanese people believe the Transitional Military Council is incapable of investigate itself.”Rihanna also brought attention to the petition earlier this week on her Instagram story, posting, “They’re shooting people’s houses, raping women, burning bodies, throwing them in the Nile like vermin, tormenting people, urinating on them, making them drink sewage water, terrorizing the streets, and stopping Muslims from going to eid prayer. There is an Internet blackout! Please share. Raise awareness.”
  • Donate to relief organizations – Organizations, such as UNICEF, CARE and Save the Children, are deploying life-saving assistance, medical relief and vaccines, as well as distributing necessary food supplies and other essentials to those affected by this humanitarian crisis.
  • Support the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of AfricaSIHA (Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa) is a network of civil society organizations from Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Uganda, and, most recently, the coastal area of Kenya. The organization works to empower women economically, challenge violence against women and girls, and strengthen women’s access to justice.

USA Women’s Soccer Dominates National Conversation About World Cup & Equal Pay

The U.S. Women’s National Soccer team crushed their first game of the 2019 FIFA World Cup, voraciously outmatching Thailand in a 13-0 victory. Their remarkable start to the tournament emphasizes the size of their talent and their elite level of athleticism. Yet, the women’s team is woefully underpaid compared to their male counterparts — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) pointed out on the Senate floor this week that “a women’s national soccer team player earns a base salary of $3,600 per game while a men’s player earns $5,000.”

28 soccer players filed a complaint in early March against U.S. Soccer through the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles, citing “institutionalized gender discrimination.” The U.S. women’s soccer teams and the 28 players represented in the suit are standard bearers in what has become a broader argument about the pay inequality of women’s professionals sports across the board.

Featured image via Business Insider

Stay tuned to Milk for more of This Week in Women and check out our previous installments here.

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