Ebola Hits Mostly Women
Women are most affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to a UN
press release on July 31. Laurent Duviller, the UN regional communication specialist in the region, said it is because most healthcare workers currently on the ground are women and because women are more likely to look after family members suffering from the disease.
School Choice Positively Impacts Women, IWF Says
Sabrina Schaeffer and Vicki Alger from the Independent Women’s Forum argued for the benefits of school choice, the ability to send children to any type of school with tax credits and vouchers, for women and girls in a press call
on July 31. “The growing variety of schools … helps make the teaching profession more attractive,” said Alger who says almost three-fourths of all elementary and secondary school fulltime teachers are women. “Schools offering different curricula, philosophies, and schedules increase the likelihood of the best possible fit between them and teachers, which helps improve job satisfaction and teaching performance.” The Independent Women’s Forum is a D.C.-based non-profit research and educational body focused on garnering more women to support the conservative agenda.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg Admits 5 Male Justices Have 'Blind Spot' on Women's Issues
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said in an interview on Yahoo News
that five men on the court have a "blind spot" when it comes to discrimination against women, The Huffington Post
reported July 31. Ginsburg was asked by Katie Couric whether the five male justices fully understood the ramifications of their decision to side with Hobby Lobby Stores and allow for-profit corporations to refuse for religious reasons to cover contraception in their health insurance plans, Ginsburg replied, "I would have to say no."
Massachusetts Gov. Signs Abortion Buffer Zone Bill
Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that tightens security regulations regarding protests and demonstrations at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, Boston.com
reported July 30. The bill, titled an Act to Promote Public Safety and Protect Access to Reproductive Health Care Facilities
, ensures safe access for those seeking reproductive health care services and will go into effect immediately. The bill is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling against the state’s “buffer zone” law, a 2007 law that banned protests within a 35-foot radius of abortion clinics.
After Laughing Women, Turkish Deputy's PM Turns to Pole-Dancing
The Turkish deputy prime minister, who was ridiculed when he told women not to laugh in public, has walked into a second social media storm - this time for lashing out at women who "can't wait to climb poles when they see one," NBC News
reported July 31. Bülent Arınç was attempting to explain his first comments, but appeared to make matters worse by suggesting women could not resist pole-dancing while on holiday with their extramarital lovers. His original remark about laughter eralier this week prompted thousands of women to post defiant, smiling selfies.
On Monday, Arinc, who is also the spokesperson for the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), said women needed to be “morally upright,” “not laugh out loud in public,” and to “remain descent” at all times. The conservative Turkish politician also said a woman needed to be able to discriminate effectively between what was decent and what was not.
California Democrats Propose Additional Bill to Tackle Campus Sex Assault
Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Susan Davis, both California Democrats, proposed new legislation to address campus sexual assault, The Huffington Post
reported July 30. The new text was submitted just hours after a broader bipartisan package on the same topic was unveiled. The Survivor Outreach and Support Campus Act
, or SOS Campus Act, would require the designation of a survivor advocate who acts independently of a university and must report to "someone outside the university’s sexual assault adjudication chain of command," according to Boxer's office.
Female Suicide Bomber Targets College Campus
A female suicide bomber blew herself up on a college campus in Kano, the biggest city in northern Nigeria, killing six and injuring six who were looking at a notice for national youth service, Al Jazeera English
reported July 30. She was the fourth female suicide attack in Kano this week. A 10-year-old girl, suspected to be a member of Boko Haram, was also arrested today with explosives attached to her.
Colorado Supreme Court Orders End to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
The Colorado Supreme Court ordered a county clerk to stop issuing same-se marriage licenses on July 29, ThinkProgress.org
reported. Boulder Country Clerk Hillary Hall has issued over 200 licenses to same-sex couples since the state's ban was overturned in June. The state and federal court decisions that overturned Colorado's ban on same-sex marriage have been stayed, keeping the ban in place.
ESPN Suspends Commentator for Assault Comments
EPSN suspended commentator Stephen A. Smith for a week for suggesting that women should avoid provoking men into assaulting them, The New York Times
reported July 29. Smith made the comments during a discussion on NFL player Ray Rice's suspension. Rice is accused of physically assaulting his fiancee in a casino elevator. Smith issued an apology saying that he had not intended to say that domestic violence was a woman's fault.
Rice has been suspended for two games and fined $58,000. Over 48,000 people have signed a petition that calls for the NFL to implement harsher punishments for players involved in violence against women, ThinkProgress.org
reported July 28.
Mississippi's Only Abortion Clinic Will Stay Open
The last abortion clinic open in Mississippi will keep providing services to women. A federal appeals court panel has ruled that the law that would close the state's only abortion clinic is unconstitutional, The Associated Press
reported July 29.
For First Time, Barack Obama Speaks Against FGM in Africa
Barack Obama criticized gender oppression in Africa that he said is "crippling" development in some countries, Yahoo News
reported July 28. It was the first time that the U.S. president spoke out publicly against female genital mutilation while encouraging young leaders from the continent to empower women.
Labor Board Rules McDonald's Responsible for Franchises
McDonalds shares responsibility with its franchises in regards to working conditions, according to the National Labor Relations Board, the Chicago Tribune
reported July 29. The announcement came just days after 1,300 fast-food workers voted to strike and engage in civil disobedience in demand for a $15 minimum wage and a union. "The fight for $15 and a union is the civil rights struggle of today. We're prepared to do whatever it takes," said McDonald's employee Laquita Jackson in a press statement.
The fast-food chain has argued that it is not responsible for the site-specific policies, including wages that franchise owners create, but the NLRB said otherwise. "The reality is that McDonald's requires franchisees to adhere to such regimented rules and regulations that there's no doubt who's really in charge," said Micah Wissinger, an attorney at Levy Ratner who brought the case on behalf of McDonald's workers in New York, in a press statement.
Discrimination at Work Goes Impunished in UK as Women Cannot Afford to Sue
Discrimination at work goes impunished in U.K. since court charges were introduced last summer, according to figures which show the number of sex discrimination claims brought by women against employers have fallen 80 percent, The Independent
reported July 29. Employees who have been harassed, bullied or sacked as a result of their sex or gender now have to pay £1,200 for their claim to be heard in an employment tribunal. For those trying to recover unpaid wages or holiday pay, the fees are up to £390. Experts say the charges are putting people off from making claims.
Young African American Women at Higher Risk of Heart Attack
Younger African American women who are hospitalized with a heart attack fare worse than younger men, a Journal of the American College of Cardiology study
released on July 29 has found. Approximately 25.9 percent of heart attack patients, aged 30 to 54, were women and 19.7 percent were African American women. "Younger women need to take preventative measures to protect their heart health and improve their prognosis in the event of a heart attack," said Lisa M. Tate, chief executive officer at WomenHeart, in a press statement.
NBPA Elects First Female Union Chief
Attorney Michele Roberts has been voted as the new executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, ESPN
reported July 29. Roberts is the first women to be head of a major North American sports union. "Even though she's a female, she's very relatable to a lot of out players. I think that's what really hit home for not only myself but some of these other guys as well," said Los Angeles Clippers player Chris Paul.
Workers in Calif., Ore. Awarded Paid Sick Days
Workers in San Diego
and Eugene, Ore.
will now have access to paid sick days. City councils in both cities passed legislation on July 28 weeks after the White House Summit on Working Families was held. Full-time workers in San Diego will now have up to five paid sick days per year while an additional 25,000 workers in Eugene will have have an additional hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
Court Rules Virginia's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Unconstitutional
A federal appeals court ruled that Virginia's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, NBC News
reported July 28. The three-judge panel voted 2-1 against the ban. Virginia becomes the 19th state to allow same-sex marriage.
UK Politician to Stand Down Amid Domestic Abuse Scandal
Member of Parliament David Ruffley announced he will not seek reelection after it was revealed that he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, The Guardian
reported July 28. Ruffley has come under public pressure to resign and is facing an investigation by government officials. More than 35,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org calling for Ruffley to resign.
Bathroom Cameras May Have Filmed Hundreds of Women
State officials say hundreds of women may have been secretly videotaped from hidden cameras found in bathrooms at the University of Delaware, ABC News
reported July 27. Authorities arrested a graduate student after cameras were found in women's bathrooms on campus. Javier Mendiola-Soto, a 38-year-old doctoral student from Mexico, has been charged with 21 counts of felony violation of privacy.
Florida Hospital Demands Woman Undergo Forced C-Section
A Florida hospital threatened to force a pregnant patient to undergo a cesarian surgery against her will, RH Reality Check
reported July 25. If the patient refuses the surgery the hospital will report her to child welfare authorities. Jennifer Goodall was informed in a letter from the chief financial officer of Bayfront Health Port Charlotte that the hospital intends on seeking a court order to perform the surgery.