Women in the know: 1/18-1/25

A weekly roundup of women in the news
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By Emily Cassidy

Kamala Harris' presidential bid marks a historic moment for American politics

On Martin Luther King Day, Sen. Kamala Harris of California announced her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. The Democrat will be the first African-American woman to enter the election. When Sen. Harris was voted into office in 2016, she was only the second African-American woman in history to serve in the U.S. Senate. She has reportedly raised $1.5 million since her announcement.

Female directors shut out of Oscar nominations

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Despite a number of options, women filmmakers were left out of the directing category in this year’s Oscar nominations. The news comes a year after Greta Gerwig became only the fifth woman nominated by the Academy's director branch. As a result, industry organizations focused on improving gender quality in Hollywood are speaking out.

NYC has only 5 statues of women – but not for much longer

Of the 150 public statues in New York City, only five are dedicated to women who have made history. That's why Chirlane McCray, the first lady of New York City, is spearheading the She Built NYC initiative. The goal is to ensure that at least half of the public monuments in the Big Apple are dedicated to women who helped build the city.

Fred Thompson, who championed women in track, dies at 85

Fred Thompson, lawyer, former New York assistant attorney general and advocate for women in sports, passed away on Tuesday. Thompson, 85, founded a track club for girls and young women in Brooklyn in 1963 and coached national and Olympic medalists, all while championing the importance of female track and field athletes for decades.

Should women be required to register for the draft?

Three years ago, Congress sought to determine if the Selective Service System, which requires men to register for a potential military draft at 18, was working. A committee was also tasked to decide if it should be expanded to include women. Now, a number of proposals, including eliminating the draft entirely and making women required to register, are being considered.