Army Judge Halts High-Profile Sex Assault Trial
A U.S. Army judge has hit the brakes on the prosecution of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair on sexual assault charges, saying improper political considerations may have prevented the accused from being allowed to offer a plea deal, Time reported March 11. Sinclair is described as one of the highest-ranking officers ever charged with the crime.
Women 'Dramatically Under-Represented' in Hollywood
Female characters were "dramatically under-represented" in the biggest films of 2013, according to a new US study
, BBC reported March 12. The study found that women made up just 15 percent of lead characters, 29 percent of major characters and 30 percent of all speaking characters on film. The research, from the Centre for the Study of Women in Television and Film in San Diego, also found only 13 percent of the top 100 movies had equal numbers of major female and male characters.
Iraqi Women Protest Against Law Rolling Back Their Rights
About two dozen Iraqi women demonstrated March 8 in Baghdad against a draft law approved by the Iraqi cabinet that would permit the marriage of nine-year-old girls and automatically give child custody to fathers, Reuters reported March 10.
Senate Ends 'Good Soldier' Sex-Assault Defense
The military tradition of citing a “good soldier” defense—meaning a sergeant could cite his or her fine military record as a defense if charged with sexual assault—is now set to become history, Time reported March 11. That’s one of the key changes approved by the Senate on Monday, in a wide-ranging bill to combat sexual assault in the ranks. It’s expected to also pass the House.
Girls' Advocates Part Ways on Banning Bossy
Sheryl Sandberg and the Girl Scouts launched a campaign this week to encourage girls' leadership by banning the word "bossy." Here, a Washington Post columnist joins others in applauding the idea of closing the "confidence gap" but questioning the tactic.
Egypt's Male Students Demand Release of Female Classmates
In Egypt, a group of male students at Azhar University started an initiative to exchange 18 of their female classmates who are being held political prisoner with 54 male students, the Arabic-language daily Shorouk news
reported March 9. To demonstrate their objections to the mistreatment of the female prisoners, the students issued a mock press statement saying that eight of their male colleagues had a virginity test, 35 had pregnancy tests and many were threatened with rape by the Egyptian authorities. In a related development, Egyptian women launched a campaign in New York City of giving away white flowers to passersby on the streets to raise awareness of their imprisoned sisters, the Arabic-language Felesteen Online
reported March 9. The New York activists also raised photos of the prisoners and ousted President Mohamed Morsi, now detained and facing a court trial, and spoke out against the return of military rule.
March 10 Awareness Days: Abortion Providers, Girls' HIV-AIDS
March 10 is National Abortion Provider Appreciation Day and groups like Voice of Choice
and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
have been using the Twitter hashtag Thx2AbProviders
to tweet their appreciation for the doctors who enable reproductive freedom. Think Progress
also published a story about the harrassment that doctors face for performing abortions or working at abortion clinics. In honor of HIV-AIDS Awareness Day for Girls, Think Progress
compiled a list that highlights the problems of U.S. women and girls in getting the information they need to be able to get help amid the stigma surronding the diseases carry.
Lebanese Activists Demand Domestic Violence Law
Four thousand women, men, and children marched together on International Women's Day demanding the approval of Lebanon's first law against domestic violence, Al Jazeera
reported March 8. Following the deaths of two women, activists began to push for the adoption of a bill that would criminalize abuse. Many took to social media to condemn the seven-month delay in passing the domestic violence law.
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