Dream Act Set to Pass; Haiti Recovery Omits Women

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

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The California legislature plans to pass the California Dream Act, a law that would allow undocumented immigrants to receive state-financed aid for college, reported The New York Times Aug. 31. The law would not affect the students’ citizenship status, but would provide them with more educational benefits than undocumented immigrants have in any other state.

Read WeNews‘ personal account of two undocumented women who fought for a similar bill’s passage in New York.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Luis Mijangos will spend six years in jail for hacking into women’s computers and blackmailing women and teens with the explicit pictures or videos he found, demanding the victims send more graphic shots or videos, reported the Daily News Sept. 1.
  • JC Penny stopped selling a T-shirt meant for young women that read "I don’t do my homework because I’m too pretty" on the front, in response to an online campaign against the sexist message it sent, according to an Aug. 31 press release from Change.org. JC Penny’s brand manager issued an apology statement the same day the campaign was launched.

Jeers

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A Human Rights Watch report shows that nearly 20 months after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, women and girls are badly neglected in recovery efforts, subjected to sexual violence and left without access to obstetric care even as they give birth to scores of babies in squalid tent cities, reported the Los Angeles Times Aug. 31.

The report, titled "Nobody Remembers Us," says serious gaps exist in health care for women and girls. It also documented widespread sexual violence and "transactional sex," in which women trade sex for food or other survival needs.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Mexican authorities are investigating the murder of two female journalists whose bodies were found in a park in the south of Mexico City, reported Reuters Sept. 2. Dozens of journalists have been killed in drug-related violence in Mexico in the past five years. The attorney general’s office in the capital said the motive for the killings was unclear.
  • Male workers in the U.K. are paid more than £10,000 (roughly $16,200 U.S.) a year more than their female counterparts, and it will almost take 100 years to close the gap, according to a report by the Chartered Management Institute. The study of 35,000 executives shows a gender gap of £10,546, around £500 more than last year, although at junior level women earned marginally more than men.
  • Black and Hispanic female teens lost far more jobs during the economic recovery (the period between June 2009 to June 2011 in this analysis) than they did during the recession, according to an Aug. 30 report by the National Women’s Law Center.
  • A federal appeals court has ruled it is legal for doctors in South Dakota to tell a woman seeking an abortion that she has a relationship with the fetus and that the relationship enjoys legal protection, reported Forbes Sept. 2. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge Karen Schreier’s was incorrect when she ruled it was unconstitutional for doctors to tell patients they had a relationship.

Noted:

  • Women who get married before the age of 18 are 41 percent more likely to develop psychiatric disorders, such as panic disorder, bipolar disorder and depression, according to a Canadian study based on the American population. The study also shows a higher risk of nicotine dependence later in the life, reported Canada.com Sept. 2.
  • Thousands of women gathered in Martyrs’ Square in the Libyan capital of Tripoli to add their voices to the chorus of celebrations marking an end to the rule of Moammar Gaddafi, AlJazeera English reported Sept. 2. The gathering took place after Gadhafi released an audio message warning that: "We will not surrender, we are not women and we are going to keep on fighting."
  • An eastern Idaho woman has filed what is believed to be the first lawsuit in the nation to directly challenge the constitutionality of a so-called "fetal pain" abortion ban, the AP reported Aug. 31.
  • Maria Abakumova of Russia won the women’s javelin at the world championships for track and field in South Korea with a world record throw of 71.99 meters, the AP reported Sept. 2. The previous record at the worlds was 71.70, set by Olisdeilys Menendez of Cuba at the 2005 competition in Helsinki, Finland.
  • One day after withdrawing from the US Open, due to the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome, Venus Williams says she plans to return to tennis later this month, reported The New York Times Sept 1. The disease causes joint pain and fatigue. As many as four million Americans are living with the disease, and 9 of 10 of those affected are women.
  • A top government health official with the Food and Drug Administration says despite the associated risks, he believes silicone breast implants are not a threat to women’s health, reported The New York Times Aug. 31.
  • A scuffle broke out at an amusement park in Westchester County, N.Y., on Aug. 30 when a group of Muslims there to celebrate the end of Ramadan were told that women could not wear their head coverings on certain rides, park officials and witnesses said, reported The New York Times Aug. 30.
  • Republican groups have spent approximately $800,000 on the special election in Nevada’s second district, to be held Sept. 13, to retain Republican control of the seat formerly held by Dean Heller, who will replace former U.S. Sen. John Ensign, reported Ms. magazine Aug. 29.

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  • Vanessa.M

    Transactional sex. I can’t believe that there aer people who actually demand this.