INQ Roundup: Women empowerment takes center stage in March | Inquirer News

INQ Roundup: Women empowerment takes center stage in March

/ 11:23 AM March 31, 2023

INQ Roundup: Women empowerment takes center stage in March

The month of March was replete with news of devastating circumstances, such as the tragic train collision in Greece where 57 people died, which was reported on the first day of the month.


Meanwhile, destruction caused by a storm in California, the unrest in France, and mass protests across the world hogged the headlines.

On the bright side, the world celebrated women this month. One particular highlight was the story of women increasingly being seen in senior posts in Vatican. There was also the story about how young Afghan women train midwives for out-of-reach villages, while Canada repealed the historic laws targeting women and even LGBTQ community.


Other heartwarming news include the world’s most premature babies celebrating their first birthday and the out-of-this-world’s first 3D-printed rocket set for its debut flight.

Other good news in the month of March are as follows:

Spain record divorce settlement

The woman received a €204,000 for 25 years of unpaid domestic labor in a record divorce settlement. PHOTO: PEXELS via The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Spanish man ordered to pay ex-wife 204K euros for 25 years of housework

A woman in Spain has received a €204,000 (P 12 million) payout for 25 years of unpaid domestic labor in a record divorce settlement.

The judge in a Malaga courtroom in southern Spain decided on the figure after calculating what Ms Ivana Moral would have received if she had been paid the minimum wage of €1,080 a month for her housework over the period the couple were married.

According to the ruling made public on Tuesday, the former husband also has to pay Ms Moral a pension of €500 each month. In addition, he must pay €400 and €600 each month to his two daughters, now aged 14 and 20.

In an interview with British newspaper i, Ms Moral said: “Clearly this was a case of abuse, to be completely excluded financially (by my former husband) after my marriage ended, so my daughters and I were left with nothing after all these years of putting my time, energy and love into the family.

“I was supporting my husband in his work and in the family as a mother and a father. I was never allowed access to his financial affairs; everything was in his name.”


The couple were married in 1995 and Ms Moral sought a divorce in 2020.

The court heard that Ms Moral’s former husband, who was not named in court documents, had built a successful gym business.

With the proceeds, the man bought luxury vehicles – a Porsche sports car, a Range Rover and BMW motorbikes – and a 70ha olive oil farm valued at €4 million.

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cherry blossoms

This picture taken on February 27, 2023 shows tourists sitting on a bench under a Kawazu cherry blossom tree, one of the earliest blooming cherry blossoms in Japan, in Miura city of Kanagawa Prefecture. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Record early start again for Tokyo’s cherry blossoms

TOKYO — Japan announced the official start of Tokyo’s cherry blossom season on March 14, 10 days earlier than usual and tied with a record early start seen only twice before.

In past years the country’s meteorologists have linked the increasingly early blooms to climate change, and temperatures in Tokyo have been unseasonably mild in recent days.

Tokyo’s official cherry bloom records go back 70 years and the delicate white-pink flowers have only appeared this early in 2021 and 2020, according to the weather agency.

Japan’s sakura or cherry blossom season is feverishly anticipated by locals and visitors alike, and the announcement of the Tokyo season start was alerted by major news agencies and covered live on television.

The blooms are traditionally celebrated with hanami, or viewing parties, with picnics — and sometimes boozy festivities — organized beneath the trees.

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Princess Iman wedding

A handout picture released by Jordan’s Royal Palace shows the groom, Jameel Alexander Thermiotis, putting the ring on the finger of his bride, Princess Iman — the eldest daughter of the Jordanian monarch — during their wedding ceremony in Amman on March 12, 2023. – The daughter of King Abdullah II married Thermiotis, who was born in 1994 in Venezuela to a family of Greek origin, and currently works in the field of finance in New York. (Photo by Jordanian Royal Palace / AFP)

Jordan princess weds Greek-origin financier

AMMAN — The daughter of Jordan’s King Abdullah II wed a financier of Greek origin at a ceremony at the royal palace west of the capital Amman.

State television broadcast the ceremony that saw Princess Iman tie the knot with Jameel Alexander Thermiotis in the presence of the king, queen and other members of the royal family, as well as the groom’s family.

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SpaceX capsule returns crew of four

FILE PHOTO: NASA’s Crew 5 members depart their crew quarters for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S. October 5, 2022. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

SpaceX capsule returns crew of four from space station mission

WASHINGTON — Four crew members aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule splashed down off Florida’s Gulf coast, returning safely from a five-month science mission on the International Space Station.

The SpaceX capsule, dubbed Endurance, parachuted into waters off the coast of Tampa just after 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT) carrying two NASA astronauts, a Japanese astronaut and one Russian cosmonaut after a roughly nine-hour flight from the orbital research lab, a NASA-SpaceX webcast showed.

The Crew-5 team launched from Florida on Oct. 6 to conduct routine science aboard the station. It included cosmonaut Anna Kikina, 38, who became the first Russian to fly on an American spacecraft in 20 years, and NASA flight commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, 45, the first Native American woman sent into orbit.

NASA pilot Josh Cassada, 49, and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, 59, a veteran of four previous spaceflights, were also aboard.

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Singapore visitors

The program for those who arrive by air on a short-term visit is designed to suit different interests and itineraries. The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Cruise dining, biking tours among activities Singapore visitors can now enjoy free

SINGAPORE — Visitors to Singapore can now look forward to enjoying historical bike tours and other leisure activities free under a new program launched by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

The SingapoRewards program allows them to take part in one out of nearly 40 activities or experiences here at no charge, the STB said.

The program is designed to suit different interests and itineraries, and the activities that are redeemable fall into four categories: novelty and excitement, food and dining, sustainability, and wellness.

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis holds the weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican, March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Pope Francis says equal opportunities for women are key to a better world

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis decried violence and prejudice against women and said granting equal pay and opportunities could help create a more peaceful and sustainable world.

In a book preface published by the Vatican News website on International Women’s Day, Francis stressed the differences between men and women but called for “equality in diversity” on “a playing field open to all players.”

“I like to think that if women could enjoy full equality of opportunity, they could contribute substantially to the necessary change towards a world of peace, inclusion, solidarity and integral sustainability,” the pope said.

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A general view of Cabo Froward area at Magallanes region, in Punta Arenas

A general view of a Cabo Froward area that could be donated by Tompkins Conservation and Foundation Rewilding Chile, to create a future conservation area and a National Park in the Punta Arenas commune, at Magallanes region, Chile, in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on March 3, 2023. Rewilding Fundation Chile/Handout via REUTERS

Chile announces biological corridor to protect endangered deer

SANTIAGO — Chile launched a program to protect the huemul, an endangered southern deer, by creating a biological corridor that includes an area recently donated by the family of the late philanthropist and founder of the North Face, Douglas Tompkins.

The Rewilding Chile Foundation, Tompkins’ legacy, along with Chile’s Ministry of Agriculture, said that the “Huemul National Corridor” will be made up of approximately 16 connected, state-protected areas alongside other private conservation initiatives.

“This public-private initiative seeks to reduce threats to the species, strengthen huemul populations in key conservation areas of the Patagonian Park Route,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that it will also build the world’s first Rescue, Rehabilitation and Reproduction Center for Huemuls.

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Ukraine's winter grain crops

FILE PHOTO: A combine harvester loads a truck with wheat in a field, as Russia’s attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv region, Ukraine July 19, 2022. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova

Most of Ukraine’s winter grain crops in good condition – scientists

KYIV — Most of Ukraine’s winter grain crops – winter wheat and barley – are in good condition and could produce a good harvest, Ukraine’s academy of agricultural science was quoted as saying on Monday.

“The analysis of the viability of winter wheat … showed that the vast majority of plants – 92% to 97%, depending on the predecessor and sowing date – were in relatively good condition,” the APK-Inform consultancy quoted a report by the academy as saying, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine is a traditional grower of winter wheat which accounts for around 95% of the country’s overall wheat output, and key for both local consumption and exports.

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Vietnamese artist on quest to paint thousands of "heroic mothers of Vietnam", in Cao Lanh

Vietnamese artist, Dang Ai Viet, paints a portrait of a woman as a part of her project, “heroic mothers of Vietnam”, a term recognised by the Vietnam government for women who lost their husbands and sons to the Vietnam War, in Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province, Vietnam, March 8, 2023. REUTERS/Thinh Nguyen

Vietnam artist in race to ensure ‘heroic mothers’ not forgotten

CAO LANH CITY, Vietnam — On her trusty motorcycle, Vietnamese artist Dang Ai Viet travels around the Southeast Asian country in a quest to ensure that the thousands of women who suffered the loss of two or more loved ones during the Vietnam War are not forgotten.

The 75-year-old has painted the portraits of 2,765 of the women, who are part of a group known in Vietnam as “heroic mothers”, in recognition of their sacrifice during the war that ended in 1975.

“I paint so that the current generation and the ones after will have a chance to see the look in the eyes of a mother who lost more than one of her sons,” Viet told Reuters.

Click here to read more.

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