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Michèle Flournoy Drops out of Race for Secretary of Defense

Former Undersecretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy, who was widely thought to be among President Obama’s top candidates to be the next secretary of defense, has indicated that she’s not interested in the job, CBS reports Nov. 26. "Last night I spoke with President Obama and removed myself from consideration due to family concerns," she wrote. "After much agonizing, we decided that now was not the right time for me to reenter government."Other candidates being considered include Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who previously served as the Pentagon's general counsel.


U.N. Marks International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women
The United Nations marked the International Day for Eliminating Violence against Women with the color orange, IPS reported Nov. 25. New York City buildings, including the United Nations headquarters and the Empire State Building were last night illuminated in orange. The campaign aims to bring attention to what U.N. Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka described as a “massive and pervasive human rights violation.”
Turkish President Declares Women Are not Equal to Men
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has set off a new controversy, declaring that women are not equal to men and accusing feminists of not understanding the special status that Islam attributes to mothers, HurriyetDailyNews reported Nov. 24. During a summit in Istanbul on justice for women, he said biological differences meant women and men could not serve the same functions, adding that manual work was unsuitable for the “delicate nature” of women, The Guardian reported Nov. 24.
“You cannot bring women and men into equal positions; that is against nature because their nature is different, ” Erdogan said.   His comments ignited a firestorm of controversy on Twitter and one well-known female TV news anchor even took the unusual step of condemning the remarks during a bulletin.
Women's Labor Groups Join Outcry at Ferguson Decision
Women's advocacy groups and labor representatives are speaking out against the Ferguson decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting of  unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown. Make It Work, a nonprofit campaign that works to advance economic security for women, men and families, said in a press release that it was "saddened and outraged by this betrayal of justice and disrespect for families of color in Ferguson and nationwide." George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU United Health Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the nation, also called the decision a "travesty of justice". "Once again, an unarmed person of color has been killed without any consequences, like so many countless others," Gresham said in a press release statement. He mentioned two members of 1199SEIU, both mothers of unarmed black men killed by the police, to emphasize the widespread implications and impact of the Ferguson shooting and decision. The Missouri town has been a battleground of anger and fear over racially-charged police misconduct since Brown's death and the grand jury's Nov. 24 decision is rousing protest all around the United States.
Rape Report Rocks The University of Virginia 
A rape report shook The University of Virginia and unleashed claims of years of mishandled sexual assaults, The New York Times reported Nov. 25. The reported frat house rape of a female student happened two years ago and the university has taken fire for its unsteady response to the issue. In a recent video, a dean acknowledged that even students that admitted to sexual assault escaped explusion and that no one had been expelled for sexual assault in at least seven years. Protestors have been gathering outside of the frat house where the rape took place since Saturday and the administration is struggling to respond to an issue that threatens to rock its prestigious and long-respected reputation. The Board of Visitors that governs the university will hold a special meeting to discuss the handling of sexual assaults on Nov. 25. 
Uterine Surgery Device Can Spread Cancer, FDA Warns
The FDA issued a warning over a uterine surgery device that risks spreading cancer, The New York Times reported Nov. 25.  The device, a laparoscopic power morcellator, is used in at least 50,000 women a year in the United States. The tools are widely used to remove tumors from the uterus by cutting tissue into pieces to easier extract. If a woman has undiagnosed cancer, it risks spreading malignant cells around the abdomen. The FDA did not ban the use of the tools but warned doctors against using them in certain surgeries
Sex Assault Charges in Oklahoma School Ignite Bullying Protests
Hundreds of students, parents and advocates lined Main Street on Monday in front of Norman High School in Norman, Okla., to protest the school’s handling of bullying related to allegations of sexual assaults of three students, the Oklahoman reported Nov. 24. The case is being closely followed and publicizd on Twitter with the hashtag #YesAllDaughters.
English Health Service Workers Stage 4-Hour Pay Strike
In England, National Helath Service workers, including nurses, midwives and ambulance staff, staged a four-hour strike in England as part of a pay dispute, BBC News reported Nov. 24. They were protesting about the decision not to implement a 1 percent rise for all staff recommended by a pay review body.
Pakistani Christian Woman Appeals Her Blasphemy Death Sentence 
A Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy has filed an appeal in the country’s top court, her final legal recourse after being found guilty of insulting the prophet Muhammad four years ago, The Guardian reported Nov. 24.
Abortion Clinics in Jackson, Miss., and Cincinatti Stay Open  
Two embattled abortion clinics received crucial reprieves last week, Bustle's Laura Barbato wrote Nov. 23 in a roundup piece. In the South, the last remaining abortion clinic in Jackson, Miss., is staying open after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to rehear a case that struck down the constitutionality of a 2012 TRAP law designed to close the clinic for good. Meanwhile, the lone abortion clinic in the Cincinnati area was granted an exemption by the state health department, allowing the clinic to go about its business as usual. If both clinics were to close in their respective areas, it would have left thousands of women without safe access to abortion.  
Woman Jailed in Iran for Watching Men's Volleyball Freed on Bail
British-Iranian Ghoncheh Ghavami, who was detained after attempting to watch a men's volleyball match in Iran, has been freed on bail, her family says, citing health reasons, BBC reported Nov 23.
Nancy Teeter, First Woman on Federal Reserve, Dies at 84
Nancy Teeters, who in 1978 became the first woman on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, then continued to stand out by opposing former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s anti-inflation campaign, has died, Bloomberg News reported Nov. 23. She was 84.
Georgia O'Keeffe Gets Top Auction Price for a Female Artist 
The woman best known for her flower paintings set a new auction record for the most expensive work of art by a woman, reported Nov. 21. “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1″ sold for $44.4 million at Sotheby’s last week, almost triple the auction house’s high estimate.
Obama's Immigration Overhaul Applauded by Immigrants 
President Obama's  Nov. 20 executive order to overhaul immigration is celebratd and supported by immigrants around the country. The order will prevent the deportation of millions of immigrants and outlines an easier path to American legal working status. Four million people will be eligible for a new legal status that defers deportations and lets them legally work, as long as they pass background checks and pay taxes. Another million will be protected in other ways within the plan. The many immigrant members of 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, the largest U.S. healthcare union, say the president's actions are a step towards keeping families together and strengthening the economy. They have vowed to continue the fight and support Obama's choice to legislate on behalf of immigrants. The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health also commended Obama's decision and said the next step was to lift bans on health coverage for immigrants, particularly Latina women. By allowing immigrants a chance to avoid deportation and work legally, many say that the economy will benefit and families can stay together in a more economically secure environment.
Violence Against Women an 'Epidemic', New Global Study Says
Violence against women is a worldwide epidemic according to a five-part series of studies in the medical journal The Lancet, Time reported Nov. 21. Though awareness of the violence is growing, countries must make policy and financial changes to make a real difference. The series, called "Violence Against Women and Girls", details worldwide statistics that illuminate the hardships of women around the world. 100-140 million women have undergone female genital mutilation and an estimated 30% of women have experienced partner violence. The series aims to bring attention to these issues and declare that inreased global attention and awareness alone isn't enough to make real change. 
Women Break the Silence on Abortion for the 1 in 3 Campaign.
Women who have had abortions are sharing their stories to support the 1 in 3 Campaign to end the silence on abortion, The Daily Beast reported Nov. 20. One in three women has had an abortion in the United States and the 1 in 3 Campaign aims to end the shaming and silencing of women who make the decision. The first to share her story was Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the Daily show and a women's rights advocates. Following her lead, women came out with their personal stories in a speakout event on Nov. 20 and on the campaign's site.
Walmart Employees Strike Against Hunger Issues Before Black Friday
Walmart worker across Ohio are on strike to protest wages so low that many can't feed their families, according to a new report. The severe hunger issues are another sign of questionable management at Walmart and poor treatment of its lower-level employees. Most workers are paid under $9 an hour, a wage that the report says is worsening the hunger crisis in America. The workers are calling for increased wages to $15 an hour and the strike is a prelude to nationwide planned strikes on Black Friday next week.
Top Women Face Depression More Often, Study Finds
Women with the ability to hire, fire and influence pay seem more prone to depression symptoms, NBC News reported Nov.20. Women in authority positions are evaluated more stringently compared to women without job authority and male co-workers. Higher-status women are often exposed to overt and subtle gender discrimination and harassment. This contributes to chronic stress,” said Tetyana Pudrovska, lead author and an assistant sociology professor University of Texas. Researchers drew their conclusions from a longitudinal study of 1,300 men and 1,500 women in Wisconsin who were surveyed repeatedly between 1957 and 2004
Anti-Barbie, With Acne and Stretch Marks, Debuts 
An "average-looking" doll, complete with acne and stretch marks, has gone on sale after a successful crowdfunding campaign, The Daily Mail reported Nov. 20. The doll's proportions are based on CDC data, according to Artist Nickolay Lamm, 26, from Pittsburgh, Pa. "I think a realistic sized doll is important because, when I look at current dolls on the market, I can’t help but notice how disproportionate they are," Lamm said during an interview with Saloon.Com .
Read our related story here

100 Arrests in Kenya After Second Woman Forcibly Stripped

About 100 people were arrested in Nairobi, Kenya after a second woman was forcibly stripped of her clothing for "dressing indecently", BBC News reported Nov. 18. The woman's clothes were torn off and she was paraded along a road. Around 200 people rallied in Nairobi to protest the violent treatment of women for what they choose to wear. The Nairobi police carried out a mass arrest to catch  those responsible, a common method when the police force is under public pressure.
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