Clinton Opens Doors; Push to Cut Sex from Sex Ed

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

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New York Sen. Hillary Clinton ended her bid for the U.S. presidency but her campaign has resulted in changed attitudes and beliefs about who can run for president, according to a June 3 CBS News poll.

Clinton’s status as the first strong female candidate for the Democratic nomination is seen as a historic turn that has opened the way for women to run for the nation’s highest office in the future, according to 60 percent of men and 76 percent of women surveyed. Sixty-three percent of voters would like to see a female president in their lifetime, and 69 percent believe it is likely to happen.

Clinton is the first woman to have won a primary election from either major political party, winning a total of 20 states plus Puerto Rico. Although Clinton won fewer states than rival Sen. Barack Obama, she won more votes in the popular count. She is expected to endorse Obama today.

"From the unprecedented level of energy and engagement she has generated with women voters, to the stereotypes she confronted and conquered, Hillary’s positive mark on the political landscape will be enduring," said Ellen R. Malcolm, president of EMILY’s List, a political action committee that supports pro-choice female Democrats.

More News to Cheer This Week:

     

  • Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared a "public health emergency" due to domestic violence June 5, and has instructed health and safety officials to analyze three years’ worth of violence data, the Boston Herald reported. So far in 2008 there have been 19 domestic violence homicides and five suicides in the state. The governor wants to strengthen the training of police officers on domestic violence and sex crimes.
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  • The Food and Drug Administration will modify drug labels to provide better information to pregnant and breastfeeding women, the Wall Street Journal reported May 29. Currently, the labeling is categorized by five levels of overall risk but will now provide more specific information about risk to a fetus, the drug’s effects on a woman if taken before she is pregnant, and the data about the drug available through studies.
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  • Five Nepali women have climbed the world’s highest peak, Mt. Qomolangma, also called Mt. Everest, on May 22, Xinhua News reported. The success of the First Inclusive Women’s Mt. Qomolangma Expedition-2008 was greeted with joy by women in Katmandu because far fewer Nepali women have climbed the peak than men. The summiting came a month after Nepali women secured 33 percent representation in the national parliament following April elections that established the nation’s first quota for women in government.
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  • A committee launched by the Lagos state government in Nigeria will look at ways to reduce high maternal mortality rates. Nigeria has the second highest maternal death rate in the world with 10,000 and 15,000 deaths annually, reported Nigerian paper This Day May 29. The country already provides free pretnatal care for pregnant women and a free program to prevent HIV transmission from mothers to their newborns.
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  • A new online Pakistani magazine, Chay, is hoping to stir up discussion about sex and sexuality and break down local taboos, In the Fray magazine reported June 2. Chay is run by two female editors who post stories and ask for submissions on the politics of sex, marriage and promiscuity.
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  • The deans of the five leading U.S. women’s colleges–Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley–have begun recruiting in the Middle East this spring, visiting Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times reported June 3. The initiative has raised questions on how the women, coming from more socially conservative backgrounds, would fit in U.S. academic environments that push debates on political action and gender identity.
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  • In Australia, the number of younger women becoming "jillaroos," who muster sheep and cattle on ranches, is constantly increasing as more men are joining the mining industry, the British newspaper Telegraph reported June 3.
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Jeers

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The National Abstinence Education Association has embarked on a nationwide campaign to encourage abstinence instruction in sex education programs. The group plans to recruit 1 million parents and to elect local, state and national officials that support abstinence education, the Washington Post reported June 1.

The Washington-based advocacy group is promoting the Parents for Truth campaign through its e-mails; last week it sent e-mails to about 30,000 supporters, practitioners and parents and plans to e-mail 100,000 this week as part of it $1 million campaign.

The federal government has spent $1.3 billion on abstinence programs in the past 11 years even though a 2007 study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found them to be ineffective. In December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded an increase in teen pregnancy rates for the first time in over a decade.

More News to Jeer This Week:

     

  • Turkey’s highest court overturned a law that allowed women to wear religious head scarves at universities, the Guardian reported June 5. The law sparked protests last year from some Turks worried about the encroachment of religious influence in secular arenas, but the law was supported by the ruling party as a question of religious freedom. About two-thirds of Turkish women wear the scarf.
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  • Women who have had Caesarean sections may find obtaining health insurance more difficult, the New York Times reported June 1. Caesareans can lead to higher premiums for individual policies because a woman is more likely to have a second C-section birth. More than 1.2 million Caesareans were performed in the United States in 2006, an all-time high representing 31 percent of live births.
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  • The National Women’s History Museum is losing financial resources as a result of the Smithsonian Institution’s decision to withdraw public bids to use its Arts and Industries Building, the museum announced on May 27. The Women’s History Museum has been seeking a permanent home and spent $100,000 preparing a proposal to move to the Smithsonian site and is petitioning Congress for a reimbursement.
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  • The founder of a Manhattan law firm that has represented women in harassment cases against the city is being sued by its former office manager for sexual harassment, the New York Daily News reported Jun 5. The lawsuit from Lisa Brockington accuses Jack Tuckner of being "a chauvinist pig with pierced genitals who wore a bondage collar at work." Tuckner has denied the charges.
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  • The Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York’s Central Park will pay $2.2 million to settle a sexual and racial discrimination suit brought, ABC News reported June 3. Around 50 former and current employees will be eligible for compensation. Until the complaint was made public, many women’s organizations, including Women’s eNews, staged events at the famous woman-owned restaurant.
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  • Amir Yaghoub, a 21-year-old activist, is the first Iranian man to be sentenced to a year in prison for campaigning to change discriminatory laws against women, the Associated Press reported June 2.
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Besa Luci is originally from Kosovo and a recent graduate from University of Missouri, Graduate School of Journalism.

Women’s eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at editors@womensenews.org.

 


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