Facts and figures on females from throughout the world.
By Sarah Holcomb, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer
A pink fleet of vehicles will soon hit the streets in Surat, India, with 15 drivers, all of whom are female, at the wheel. Auto rickshaws—better known in the U.S. as three-wheelers—ferry millions of passengers in India, and traditionally, most drivers are men. Pink Auto Service, however, created by Surat Municipal Corporation, is by women, for women. The corporation not only offers women jobs driving its pink rickshaws, but also recruits, trains and assists them in obtaining driver’s licenses and loans to purchase the vehicles. Each woman is able to earn an estimated $280 a month while also providing safe transit for female passengers and schoolchildren. The new jobs are of high interest, and another 55 more female drivers are scheduled to join the team.
Gellera, the first Afghan women’s magazine, made its debut this summer with a print run of 2,000 copies. The publication’s 23-year-old editor, Fatana Hassanzada, and 12 young female volunteers spent almost five months creating content for the publication, including style and beauty tips, celebrity interviews and essays on women’s issues, aiming to show a “positive, colorful view of women.” Gellera’s feminist content—primarily aimed at hundreds of thousands of educated young women in Afghanistan—challenges traditional cultural views and has provoked some contempt, its creators say. They hope the magazine generates new conversations amid the male-dominated discourse.
18 Years Old
Eighteen-year-old Becca Longo will make history when she steps onto the football field this fall as the first female to receive a college football scholarship at the Division II level or higher. The new kicker for Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo., started playing the male-dominated sport as a freshman in high school. In her senior season, Longo converted 35 of 38 extra-point attempts, and successfully made a 30-yard field-goal attempt. Now she sets her sights on becoming the first female player in the NFL. Meanwhile, female professionals are breaking ground in the NFL organization, with 55 women working in football operations. A record-high number of four women currently serve as coaching interns at NFL training camps.
Girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai marked her last day of high school in July by joining Twitter. Her first tweet—“Hi, Twitter”—received more than 55,000 retweets, and she’s since amassed more than 744,000 followers. In 2012, at the age of 15, the Pakistani activist survived being shot by Taliban gunmen on a bus while on her way home from school, an event that drew public attention to her fight for women’s education and equality. At 17, Yousafzai received the Nobel Peace Prize. Now the 20-year-old has set off on her “Girl Power Trip” to connect with girls globally, tweeting her thoughts along the way. Her first day on the platform, she tweeted out a rousing message: “On and off Twitter, I’m fighting for girls. Will you join me?”
$50 Million in Funding
The RealReal, a San Francisco-based startup and online consignment company, raised $50 million in 2017’s largest fundraising round led by a female-founded company. Recognizing a need for authentication in online luxury resale, CEO Julie Wainwright employs art curators, watchmakers, gem experts and buyers who visit homes in major cities to assess products and build trust with the website’s customers. The company started at Wainwright’s kitchen table in 2011, but has grown to occupy more than 300,000 square feet of fulfillment-center space. More than one-third of The RealReal’s customers are millennials, bridging the age gap in luxury markets. Thanks to Wainwright’s relentless focus and technology-driven model, the company projects it will surpass more than $500 million in revenue this year.