Cheers and Jeers

US May Save Moms' Jobs; Wages Biased in 50 States

Saturday, September 22, 2012




pregnant woman

Credit: il-young ko on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act was introduced in the Senate on Sept. 19, according to a press statement by The National Partnership for Women and Families. The act promotes equality for pregnant workers by ensuring the same workplace protections for women with pregnancy-related limitations as the protections already in place for workers with similar temporary disabilities. It would also prevent employers from forcing pregnant women out of the workplace and help ensure that they provide reasonable accommodations to such women who want to continue working.

The act is championed by Sens. Robert Casey, Pa., and Jeanne Shaheen, N.H., and is already supported by 108 legislators of the U.S. House of Representatives.

More News to Cheer This Week:

V-Day announced that they will escalate their global One Billion Rising campaign to demand an end to violence against women starting Sept. 24, according to a Sept. 21 press statement from the organization.

Provoked by voting law changes in various states, Columbus-based Ohio Unity Coalition, an affiliate of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, decided to help voters navigate the system, a fitting role, they say, given that black women had the highest turnout of any group of voters in 2008, reported Businessweek Sept. 21. About 69 percent of eligible black female voters went to the polls in the last presidential election, an increase of 5.1 percentage points over 2004.

Dr. Pierre Foldes, a French urologist, claims to have discovered a way to reconstruct the clitoris after it has undergone female genital mutilation, reported Time Sept. 20.

On the 2012 list of Forbes' 400 Richest Americans, a total of 45 women account for 11 percent of the list, reported Forbes Sept. 19. The top 20 richest women alone control an estimated $160 billion--more than the entire GDP of New Zealand.

This November, there are four states with same-sex marriage ballot measures: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, reported The Guardian Sept. 19. These have the potential to be the biggest ballot victories to date for proponents of same-sex marriage.

The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film's annual breakdown of gender in prime-time TV showed the behind-the-scenes gender gap isn't nearly as wide as it used to be, but the change is still small, reported Jezebel Sept. 19. There is a 1 percent rise from last season.

Christie Vilsack spoke directly and firmly on Sept. 18 about abortion and later about same-sex marriage, reported the Des Moines Register. Vilsack, who is challenging U.S. Rep. Steve King, said abortion is a hard choice but it is guaranteed under Roe v. Wade. She also said she endorses the April 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

Washington, D.C.'s groundbreaking new "Transgender and Gender Identity Respect" ad campaign is set to appear throughout the city this fall, reported The Huffington Post Sept. 19. The campaign is aimed at promoting respect for the city's gender-non-conforming community.

Female soldiers from Fort Campbell, along the Kentucky-Tennessee border, deploying to Afghanistan will field test the first Army body armor that is shorter and better tailored specifically to fit women's physiques, reported CBS Sept. 19.

Two more women in Sweden may be able to have children after doctors performed what they say are the first mother-to-daughter uterus transplants, reported the Associated Press Sept. 18.

Hundreds of prominent women working in the sciences will join an online mentoring program targeting young women in college, reported the New York Times Sept. 17.

After Teen Vogue said it would not stop using altered images of women, a group of young teen activists are asking Neutrogena, Clean and Clear and Tampax to stop advertising in the magazine. Almost 10,000 have signed their petition on Change.org.

Jeers

An analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data released Sept. 20 shows that the gender-based wage gap affects women in nearly every corner of the country, according to a press statement by The National Partnership for Women and Families. In 97 percent of congressional districts, 423 out of 435 districts, the median yearly pay for women is less than the median yearly pay for men.

This is the first-ever analysis of these data by congressional district. The findings span all 50 states and all 435 congressional districts.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Recent mortality data show that life expectancy in the U.S. has fallen by four years since 1990 for the country's least-educated whites, reported The New York Times Sept. 21. The steepest decline was among white women without high school diplomas, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008; their current life expectancy is 73.5.

The New Hampshire anti-choice group, Cornerstone Action Group, has unveiled its plans to push a heartbeat ban that could potentially limit abortion before many women are certain that they are pregnant, reported RH Reality Check Sept. 20.

India is considering a law that would jail entire families of women who are forced to have an abortion, targeting the growing gender imbalance caused by a preference for male children, reported The Daily Telegraph Sept. 18.

A blog post from the National Women's Law Center on Sept. 20 examines the 80/20 rule and the impact it could have on women if a bill is passed that largely guts this rule. The rule requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on paying for health care and no more than 20 percent on administrative costs.

Women's involvement is significantly absent from peace agreements, shows a report by the Institute of Development Studies, ActionAid and Womankind Worldwide, reported The Guardian Sept. 20. Over the past 25 years only 1-in-40 peace treaty signatories have been women, according to a report by UNIFEM.

Australian lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected a bill Sept. 19 that would have legalized same-sex marriage, and similar legislation looked unlikely to pass despite public support, reported The Huffington Post Sept. 19.

A large number of women are confused about contraceptive usage and are misinformed about their fertility or sexual activity, showed a Contraception in America survey, reported Boston.com Sept. 19. It polled 201 physicians and 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 49.

Noted:

Two girls clobbered a cleric in a small town in Iran when he admonished one of them to cover herself more completely, reported CNN Sept. 20. The cleric said he did not file a complaint against the girls, but he doesn't mind the local prosecutor's investigation into the matter either "as long as the case helps the cause of Islamic hijab."

Male babies who heavily use pacifiers may become emotionally stunted later in life, according to a team of University of Wisconsin researchers, reported Science Daily Sept. 19. There was no correlation for girls.

Final decisions and votes on bills related to a high-profile abortion bill pending in the Republican-led Michigan legislature likely will wait until after the November election, reported MLive Sept. 19.

An ad created by the group Women for Akin, which Talking Points Memo reported featured female supporters of Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., has been removed from YouTube. The first woman in the video, called "We Think for Ourselves," said that she was a rape survivor and that "he's a candidate I can proudly cast my vote for."

The Chicago teachers strike is over as the union voted to suspend the walkout after discussing a potential contract settlement that addresses union concerns, although the labor group says it is not perfect, reported the Associated Press Sept. 19.

Elizabeth Warren, who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown for his Massachusetts's Senate seat, is leading in at least three recent polls, reported Politico.

Father-daughter dances and mother-son baseball games are now banned in Rhode Island after the superintendent said the events violated state gender discrimination laws, the Associated Press reported Sept. 18.

The Ukrainian feminist organization FEMEN, famous for its bare-chested protests, celebrated the set-up of its new training camp in Paris on Sept. 17, reported The Huffington Post Sept 18. The training camp will become the group's new European headquarters.

The number of abortions in Arizona reportedly jumped 25 percent between 2010 and 2011, but there are questions regarding whether that's due to an actual spike or improved reporting, reported the Arizona Daily Sun Sept. 18. A law that took effect in the state in 2010 requiring electronic reporting could be contributing to more accurate results.

Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who could become the first openly gay U.S. senator if she wins her race, is in a dead heat with Republican Tommy Thompson in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, reported the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Sept. 19.

Obama leads Romney among Latina voters, 74 percent to 21 percent, putting the president up by 53 points, according to polling data from impreMedia/Latino Decisions Sept. 16. The president leads among Latino men by a smaller, but still substantial, 29 points.

Anti-domestic violence campaigners put stickers on copies of R and B musician Chris Brown's new album in a London record store that pointed to his history of violence towards women, reported the Huffington Post Sept. 15.

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