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Rawan Elbaba/Handout via Reuters

Rana Abdelhamid was just 15, walking to a volunteer job in Queens, New York, when a man came up behind her and tried to yank off her headscarf, or hijab. 

“I just remember he was taller than me because I remember him hovering over me,” she says, “and he was wearing almost like a bomber jacket.”

What he couldn’t have known was that his 5-foot-1 target was a black belt in Shotokan karate. Abdelhamid pivoted to face her attacker, deflected his grab, and was able to escape unharmed — physically at least.

Talking publicly about women's menstruation has long been a taboo. But in 2016 the world made big strides getting over the squeamishness. There was the Chinese swimmer at the Rio Olympics who had no qualms explaining that she was on her period after she finished a race grimacing in pain.

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team has asked the State Department to list its workers who focus on gender equality and ending violence against women, in what's being seen as an echo of an earlier request for the Energy Department to list employees who work on climate change.

This story was reported by Latino USA in collaboration with All Tech Considered. The audio version of this story aired earlier on Latino USA; it is embedded below.

Micaela Honorato is looking from the sidelines as boys from her after-school program take turns racing their hand-made hovercraft on a dirt field in a city park.

Jeannie Yandel talks with Jessica Bennett, author of "Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual For A Sexist Workplace," about dealing with sexism at work, and why men need to be members of the Feminist Fight Club, too. 

In a study that is sure to rile male doctors, Harvard researchers have found that female doctors who care for elderly hospitalized patients get better results. Patients cared for by women were less likely to die or return to the hospital after discharge.

Previous research has shown that female doctors are more likely to follow recommendations about prevention counseling and to order preventive tests like Pap smears and mammograms.

Judy Maggiore remembers looking in the mirror in college, perplexed by her body's disproportion.

"I was skinny. I was a stick. The upper part of my body was really, really thin. You could see my ribs!" exclaims Maggiore. "But from the waist down, it was like there were two of me or something."

Tree-trunk-like legs and a slim upper body are the signature characteristic of a lipedema patient. You can starve yourself and exercise for hours a day and the fat will not regress. But Maggiore didn't know that at the time. She swore off bathing suits and hit the gym fanatically.

Washington state presidential elector Levi Guerra from Grant County in rural Washington state.
Courtesy of Levi Guerra

“Not Trump.”

The Democrats caucusing in Moses Lake, in rural Washington state, could agree on that.


Oregon lawmakers are delaying a decision on whether to open a second women's prison. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to deny a funding request from the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Note: This post has been updated for clarity.

Could vaccinating cattle get more girls into high school?

That's the intriguing prospect suggested by a new study of Kenyan cattle herding families in the journal Science Advances. But even more significant than the actual results of the study is the fact the researchers would even think to investigate whether there's a link between cattle vaccination rates and girls' high school attendance.

Seven KUOW women participated in creating Lucia Neare's wail in Seattle on election night.
KUOW Photo/Robert Jacobs-Springer

Last week on KUOW, you heard the beautiful and heartbreaking story of Lucia Neare.

Neare was an orphan who became an artist who specializes in large-scale public performances. After learning the election results last month, she became despondent. 

A ribbon of resistance by Ellen Sollod.
www.sollodstudio.com

After the November election, many people started wearing safety pins on their lapels.

It’s a visible sign of their support for people who might feel threatened by the Trump administration.

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Milo Yiannopoulos in 2013.
Flickr Photo/OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS (CC BY 2.0) http://bit.ly/2gSSOpS

At the University of Washington, the College Republicans club is being accused of inflaming tensions by inviting a right-wing speaker for Jan. 20, Inauguration Day.

Those Republicans, however, say the timing of the appearance of Milo Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, is accidental. Breitbart News publishes pieces that criticize and ridicule working women, Muslims and people of color.

There's no shortage of speculation about how the incoming Trump administration, whose appointees so far are staunch abortion opponents, might crack down on access to the procedure.

But reproductive rights groups say the big picture is getting lost: Women in large parts of the country already have limited access to abortion, due to hundreds of Republican-backed laws passed by state legislatures over the past half-decade.

In the two weeks since the election, Planned Parenthood Federation of America has seen a huge increase in volunteers and donations – over 200,000 donations in a single week. But this surge in support hasn't reached many other reproductive health organizations. And many of these centers are already struggling to meet a spike in demand for long-acting contraception after the election of Donald Trump.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson arrived at the International Space Station this weekend, making her the oldest woman in space at age 56. On the mission, she's projected to once again become the U.S. astronaut with the most time spent in orbit.

This is Whitson's third mission on the space station; she'll soon become its commander for the second time. Collectively, she's spent more than a year of her life in space.

Iesha Gray, 20, resigned from her job at the U.S. Postal Service because she felt she wasn't given time or space she found acceptable to pump.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Iesha Gray called it the drought.

One month back from maternity leave, her breasts were empty. No more milk. Her baby girl at home was drinking her way through the freezer stash.

It's not just national organizations like Planned Parenthood getting a boost in donations over worries about access to reproductive health care.

So is the grassroots Seattle-based CAIR Project. It helps people across the Northwest pay for abortion services and connects them with the closest provider that offers abortion services.


Courtesy of Barbara Frailey

The results of the presidential election have stunned people across the country. Trump's win has had a particularly emotional effect on some women and  girls. 

Seattle Girls' School is an all girl middle school in the Central District. And the first day after the presidential election was a time for sharing. Many teachers canceled their regular lesson plans and allowed their students to express their feelings about Trump's victory.

Art teacher Janet Miller said many girls were upset.

Days after she was deported from Pakistan to her native Afghanistan, the woman whose piercing green-eyed stare landed a spot on the cover of National Geographic will next travel to India for medical care.

That's the news from Shaida Abdali, Afghanistan's ambassador to India, who said via Twitter that Sharbat Gula "will soon be in India for medical treatment free of cost."

Brian Wahlberg gives daughter Luciena a good view of the proceedings as the crowd sings at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle.
KUOW photo/Gil Aegerter

In the liberal bastion that is Seattle, the response to the election was acute. People cried openly on buses and in cafes. Some took time off work to mourn in bed. It wasn't that their candidate had lost, we heard again and again, it was that they feared for the future.

Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Women's Health had been having a banner year. Her organization, based in Charlottesville, Va., operates several abortion clinics around the country and brought a legal challenge that led the Supreme Court to issue a landmark ruling this past summer.

"I would like to know more about microloans, and if they are in fact helping women start businesses in the developing world."

That's the question our readers wanted us to look into.

Amazon's new 10-part series Good Girls Revolt was inspired by a landmark 1970 case involving a group of women working at Newsweek magazine who sued their employers for gender discrimination. At the show's fictitious News of the Week magazine, women begin to rise up, too.

Mona Lee Locke in the KUOW studios
KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

Mona Lee Locke wrote this essay on Facebook:  

I am appalled that this election has become the biggest reality show of our country's recent history. In fact, I am so sick to my stomach that I have to speak out.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Liv Aannestad has known she wanted kids as long as she can remember.

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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

As the election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump nears, the prospects have never been greater that the United States could join the 50 other democracies that have been led by a woman.

So it’s timely to ask: What might this mean for American gender equality and foreign policy?

A lot.

The men parked their white work van on a patch of dirt down the road from the college where Hillary Clinton was set to give a major speech.

Then they attached a banner.

Make no mistake. Gloria Steinem, noted feminist and author, does not see that a woman elected to the White House automatically means a win for feminists or women.

"This is not all about biology, and I think we have to be careful to always say that, because if Sarah Palin were the president it wouldn't signify change," she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "If President Obama did not represent the majority views of Americans and of African-Americans, he would not represent change as he does. So it isn't about simple biology. It's about what we represent."

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