Tunisian Coalition Formed; Chinese Law Hurts Divorced

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

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A Tunisian coalition called “Free Women Union” was recently created “to enhance the visibility of women in public life,” reported Business News Sept. 7. It is made up of four feminist associations focused on defending the Arab-Muslim identity of Tunisia, while promoting democracy, an independent justice, press freedom and governmental transparency. The full article is available in Tunisia’s Business News in French.

More News to Cheer This Week:


  • Top companies with female CEOs have more women as board directors, and in executive officer positions, according to a Sept. 9 press release from Corporate Women Directors International.
  • Britain’s House of Commons has rejected a proposal to bar abortion providers from counseling women about their decisions on whether to terminate their pregnancies, the Guardian reported Sept. 7. Conservative legislator Nadine Dorries had proposed the ban, contending that counseling should not be offered by organizations that are paid to perform abortions.
  • On Sept. 9 pro-choice advocates in Alaska took the new parental notification law to court, reported the ACLU blog Sept. 8. The law forbids doctors from providing abortions to young women without notifying their parents.
  • Planned Parenthood is applauding a victory in its ongoing court battle challenging South Dakota’s so-called informed consent law, which dictates what a woman should be told before having an abortion, reported Reuters. On Sept. 2, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a provision that would require the doctor to tell the woman about an increased risk of suicide after an abortion, because the risk was unproven. But a new study linking abortion to poor emotional and mental health was released by The British Journal of Psychiatry this week, reported The Florida Independent Sept. 9.
  • To celebrate the impact of female entrepreneurs on the future of the economy, SmartGirls’ Way  launched the 100×100 Project on Sept. 6, according to a Market Watch press release. The 20-week video series documents female entrepreneurs from over 40 industries across the United States.
  • In a public hearing on Sept. 7, physicians testified against Kansas’s tightened regulations for abortion providers, reported The Houston Chronicle Sept. 7. Two doctors are suing to block the regulations in a federal lawsuit, in which they argue the proposed regulations would harm women’s health by curtailing access to services.
  • France’s First Lady Carla Bruni has condemned Dominique Strauss-Kahn, saying that she “feels solidarity” with women who were allegedly abused by the former International Monetary Fund chief, The Scotsman reported Sept. 5.

Jeers

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The Chinese Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the country’s 1980 Marriage Law, which stipulates that property bought before marriage, either outright or on mortgage, reverts to the buyer upon divorce, came into effect on Aug. 13, the New York Times reported Sept. 7. Previously, the family home had been considered joint property. Experts say the change would mostly affect women, potentially leaving divorced women without a home, since men traditionally provide the family home.

More News to Jeer This Week:


  • South African President Jacob Zuma on Sept. 8 brushed aside criticism from gay rights and women’s groups and appointed a conservative Christian, Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, to head the country’s high court, reported the Los Angeles Times Sept. 9.
  • August marked the 23rd consecutive month that women’s employment remained virtually stagnant, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research Sept. 7. Since the official end of the recession in June 2009, men have continued to outpace women in employment.
  • Many African women are being held in makeshift prisons or refugee camps in Libya awaiting a judicial finding of whether they were mercenaries for pro-Gadhafi forces. The women are reporting rape and abuse by rebel soldiers, reported The Miami Herald Sept. 7.
  • Women are looking like an endangered species in Wall Street’s banks, the New York Times reported Sept. 7. After the departure of Sallie Krawcheck from the management team of Bank of America on Sept. 6, only a handful of women will still report directly to the company’s chief executive. At Goldman Sachs, women make up little more than 12 percent of the partnership.
  • In Egypt, new government figures indicate that unemployment among young people has risen since the revolution, Al Jazeera reported Sept. 3. More than 20 percent of youth have no jobs. For women with university degrees, the figure is more than 55 percent.
  • Women account for 65 percent of Kenya’s annual new HIV/AIDS infections, according to a report released Sept. 6, reported The Nairobi Star. The national gender minister is urging an action plan to curb the epidemic.
  • More than a year after the launch of the Free Health Care Initiative, pregnant women and girls in Sierra Leone continue to face serious challenges in accessing drugs and medical care, Amnesty International reported Sept. 6. Also, many pregnant women and lactating women are unable to afford the medical care they require.

Noted:


  • During the Sept. 7 Republican debate, presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota did not mention that she is the only female in the race, or that she would be the first female U.S. president, reported The Huffington Post Sept. 8. Ed Rollins, the veteran campaign operative for Bachmann, has stepped down from running the day-to-day operations of her presidential campaign, The New York Times reported Sept. 6. Politico reported on Sept. 5 that Rollins’ deputy, David Polyansky, would also be leaving the campaign.
  • The National Health Service watchdog for England is considering giving all women the option to have a Caesarean delivery, BBC reported Sept. 6. The change has been suggested in a draft of a report to be published by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence later this year.
  • After a lengthy debate over gender equality, the Madison Board of Education officials decided to stand by their decision to issue a $225,000 grant to Madison Prep Academy for Young Men, reported The Badger Herald on Sept. 8. The school agreed to provide an equal opportunity for females.
  • In response to a serial sexual assailant who remains at large in Brooklyn, N.Y., area residents wrote a petition to Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez and Community Board 7 for free self-defense classes for women in the area, reported The Village Voice Sept. 8.  The councilwoman’s office announced that it will meet the petition’s requests.
  • Five women who were sexually abused a decade ago by a Montana Boy Scout leader are suing the Boy Scouts of America and the Scouts’ Montana council, reported the Silicon Valley’s Mercury News Sept. 7. Their suit claims that the offender was not properly overseen.
  • The family of a Yale University student murdered by a co-worker in a campus research facility two years ago filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Sept. 6 against the university, the Hartford Court reported. The family of Annie Le is accusing Yale of failing to protect women and tolerating aggressive male behavior.
  • Carol A. Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, was fired Sept. 6, after a two-year tenure in which she tried to revitalize the online media company, the New York Times reported Sept. 6. Her sacking has raised questions on sexism, Forbes said Sept. 7.
  • Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ book, with husband Mark Kelly, is set to be released Nov. 15, announced publisher Scribner Sept. 7. The book, entitled “Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope,” will be an account of their lives together, including the Jan. 8 near-fatal shooting, Politico reported Sept. 7.
  • More seniors, especially women, are living by themselves into their later years, a Sept. 6 AP analysis of U.S. demographic data finds. And planners and developers are figuring out how to accommodate the extra long-term demand for housing.
  • Women who use common painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen early in pregnancy may have an increased risk of miscarriage, a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal Sept. 6 suggested.
  • A study indicates there is no link between menopause and an increased risk of death from heart disease, challenging a long-held medical belief that the rate of cardiovascular death in women spikes after menopause, U.S. News and World Report reported Sept. 6.

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