The Mozambique parliament in Africa passed the first draft of a bill against domestic violence on June 29, reported the nation’s official press agency. The bill imposes harsher penalties for crimes of domestic violence; currently domestic violence is treated as a simple assault case. If passed, the bill would be the first time these types of crimes are included in Mozambique’s state statute.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- A Delhi High Court ruled on July 2 that homosexuality is not a crime in the Indian capital of New Delhi, the Associated Press reported. The decision is the first of its kind in the country and it is hoped to lead to more freedom for gays and lesbians. The court stated that “treating consensual gay sex as a crime is a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution.” Prior to this ruling, sex between people of the same gender was illegal under a law dating back to the British colonial era. The “crime” was punishable with up to 10 years in jail and was a source of harassment for gays and lesbians, the article reported.
- Police officials from across Asia met in Australia on June 27 to organize a joint operation to combat the growing sex trafficking problem throughout the Asian continent, reported Voice of America. The sex trafficking industry is far more organized than officials first thought, Voice of America reported, which has motivated officials from across Australia, China and Indonesia to join forces and crack down on the industry.
- With the upcoming Indonesian presidential election on July 8, women’s rights activists are pushing candidates to take a stance on women’s issues, reported the Inter Press Service. Over 70 women’s rights advocates met with writers and academics last week and drafted a list of demands, which they distributed to each candidate. Up until now, all three candidates had made no mention of women’s issues, focusing only on the economy, health and education.
- The Chinese government donated $300,000 worth of medical equipment to Uganda on June 30, Xinhua General News Service reported. The equipment is directed to help the country’s efforts to improve reproductive and maternal health. This is in addition to China’s recent donations, including a 100 bed general hospital, reported the article.
- The U.N. has begun a six-month-long investigation into the 2007 assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, reported the BBC. The investigation is being headed by Chile’s ambassador to the U.N., Heraldo Munoz, and will examine the “facts and circumstances” of Bhutto’s assassination as she left a rally of her Pakistan People’s Party supporters in Rawalpindi. It’s hoped that the identity of the assassin and his or her motives will be uncovered through the investigation.
- Merck Serono, a global pharmaceutical and chemical company based in Darmstadt, Germany, announced the launch of the Global Fertility Academy on July 1, reported PR Newswire. The academy will be the first of its kind: a professional educational program for physicians specializing in infertility. It will be run by worldwide leading experts in this field.
A new report has found that 40 percent of ethnic minority women in the United Kingdom live in poverty. The study, conducted by the Fawcett Society and Oxfam and released on June 30, also found that ethnic minority women currently living in poverty will be trapped at this income level for the “foreseeable future.” It predicted that even more of these women will be subjected to poverty in the future.
The Fawcett Society is the leading campaigning organization for women’s rights in the United Kingdom and Oxfam is a worldwide organization of nongovernmental groups fighting against poverty and injustice.
More News to Jeer This Week:
- Pakistani provincial Population Welfare Minister Neelam Jabbar Chaudhry said on June 28 that as many as 15,000 women die in Pakistan from pregnancy complications each year, reported the Business Recorder in Pakistan. These deaths are the result of poverty and a lack of basic health care facilities, she said. At a seminar of doctors and health care officials in Pakistan on June 30, it was estimated that the country will not meet the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals four and five, which are to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health, the International News in Pakistan reported.
- Metabolic syndrome, also known as insulin resistance syndrome, can double your risk of post-menopausal breast cancer, found a study released on June 30. Women with high blood pressure and elevated glucose levels are also at a higher risk. The study also showed that high diastolic blood pressure can double your chances of getting this type of cancer after menopause. The study, conducted by the National Institutes of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative, included 4,888 women ages 50 to 79.
- Regulations on abortions were tightened in China on June 30 under a revision to the Mother and Child Health Law. Abortions, permitted in China when one parent suffers from a hereditary disease, when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the pregnancy would damage the mother’s health severely, will now only be allowed within the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, reported the Korea Herald. Before this ruling, women were permitted to get abortions until the 28th week of pregnancy. The other conditions for abortion remain the same for now; the only other major change was the elimination of seven health conditions from the list of diseases that permit a woman to have an abortion, including hemophilia and schizophrenia.
Kayla Hutzler, a journalism major at Manhattan College, is an editorial intern with Women’s eNews.
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