The world got its first Barbie with Down syndrome, and women finally obtained the right to vote at on of the most important meetings in the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, a group of grannies in South Africa is showing everyone that getting older can be empowering.
Here are the inspiring women you should know about this week.
1. Barbie with Down syndrome
The toy company Mattel has revealed its first Barbie with Down syndrome, in an effort to diversify its famous doll line.
Mattel worked alongside the US National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) to accurately represent a person with Down syndrome, according to a statement announcing the doll on Tuesday April 25.
The doll even has a single line in her palm, which is a characteristic often seen in people with Down syndrome.
She is wearing a patterned butterfly and flower dress in blue and yellow, the colors associated with Down syndrome awareness.
Her necklace shows three upward chevrons that represent the three copies of the 21st chromosome and “the lucky few” who have someone with Down syndrome in their life.
Meanwhile, on her feet, she sports a pink ankle foot orthotics, which some children with the genetic condition wear to support their feet and ankles.
2. Catholic religious sisters
Pope Francis has changed the Catholic Church’s rules so that women can vote at a major meeting of the bishops.
Until now, only men could vote at the meeting of Bishops, called a synod, while women could only attend as observers.
The synod in October will focus on the future of the church, including women’s and LGBTQ rights and how it can be more inclusive.
Under the new changes, five religious sisters will become voting representatives alongside five priests at the meeting in October.
The pope has also decided to appoint an additional 70 non-bishop members to join the meeting and vote.
He has asked that half of them are women and young people are included.
This will bring the proportion of total women voters to just over 10 percent, according to the New York Times.
3. South African grannies soccer team
A group of grannies in South Africa are keeping active by playing soccer and are now hosting their own World Cup.
The soccer team, Vakhegula Vakhegula, was formed in 2007 and consists of women between 55 and 84 years old.
It started as an initiative by community activist Beka Ntsanwisi, who wanted to encourage local women to improve their physical and mental well-being.
The initiative has been effective in promoting women’s health and has inspired the formation of several teams across the country and worldwide.
This year, the International “Grannie” Soccer World Tournament was held in South Africa’s Vakhegula Vakhegula, with up to 15 countries participating, including the United States, France, Togo, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.