Three Share Peace Prize; GOP Targets Health Gains

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

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Three women in Africa and the Middle East were named winners of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, an award that recognized the Arab Spring with a pointed emphasis on women’s rights in the region, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 7.

The prize was given to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni rights campaigner Tawakkul Karman. The Norwegian Nobel Committee recognized them for their "nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work."

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The Nigerian Executive Secretary, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, advised parents to take the primary responsibility of educating their children on reproductive health, reported The Nigerian Tribune Oct. 7.
  • In San Francisco, District Attorney George Gascon reached out to members of the ethnic media on Oct. 5 to announce his office’s launch of a program that seeks to help victims of domestic violence within immigrant communities, reported New American Media Oct. 6.
  • In Tanzania, young women are enhancing their awareness and knowledge on adolescent sexual reproductive health issues through a new program run by the German Foundation for World Population, reported All Africa Oct. 5.
  • 2020 Women on Boards launched its New York chapter on Oct. 4. The nonprofit organization aims to increase the percentage of women on corporate boards in the U.S. to 20 percent or greater by the year 2020.
  • Nearly 300 Peruvian women have been rescued from sexual exploitation in a raid in the country’s Amazon region, BBC News reported Oct. 4. Among those rescued from about 50 brothels were at least 10 minors – the youngest was a 13-year-old girl.
  • In Sydney, Australia, a taskforce of police and immigration inspectors have raided brothels in the past month as part of a wide investigation into Asian women being trafficked into the sex industry, reported the Sydney Morning Herald Oct. 8.
  • The Irish government was called to account for Ireland’s almost total ban on abortion laws at the U.N. on Oct. 6, reported The Irish Central.

Jeers

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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told abortion rights advocates that Republicans want to roll back 50 years worth of women’s health gains, ABC News reported Oct. 5. Sebelius, who spoke Oct. 5 at a NARAL Pro-Choice America luncheon in Chicago, said Republicans are not only working to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, they also want to take away benefits in Medicare, cut back Medicaid and eliminate health services provided by Planned Parenthood.

Sebelius said women have suffered discrimination by insurance companies that considered Viagra an essential medication but birth control a lifestyle choice. She added the Obama administration supports making family planning an essential benefit that insurers must cover.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • The economic recovery has yet to begin for American women, reported the Institute for Women’s Policy Research Sept. 7. In the past two-plus years since the recession was officially declared over, women lost jobs while men regained some of the jobs they lost.
  • U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann filed the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act this week, which would require women undergoing an abortion to listen to the fetus’ heartbeat on a monitor, reported the Minnesota Independent Oct. 7.
  • The House Foreign Affairs Committee approved a bill Oct. 5 that zeroes out U.S. aid to the United Nations Population Fund, reported The Huffington Post Oct. 5.
  • Heartbeat International, one of the largest networks of crisis pregnancy centers in the country, invited infants to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6, as part of a political campaign demonstrating support for the centers, reported the Washington Independent Oct. 5.
  • The Women’s Museum at Fair Park in Dallas is set to close at the end of this month due to the economic downturn, after a history of financial struggles, Statesman.com reported Oct. 5.
  • Around 10 million girls a year are married before the age of 18 across the world, BBC News reported Oct. 3, quoting a recent report from the United Nations Children Fund. In a documentary, "The Truth About Child Brides," broadcasted on BBC Three, the presenter Nel Hedayat spoke with former child brides in India and Bangladesh. View the program via iPlayer.
  • More professional women are coming under attack physically and emotionally because of the financial downturn, The Telegraph reported Oct. 4. In the United States as well, economic strains have brought violence into professional households, News Channel 18 reported Oct.4.
  • The most popular contraceptive for women in eastern and southern Africa appears to double the risk that the women will become infected with HIV, The New York Times reported Oct. 3.
  • Poor women face a greater risk of dying from breast cancer than wealthier patients in the United States, The U.S News and World Report reported Oct. 4, quoting an American Cancer Society study.

Noted:

  • Amanda Knox arrived in her hometown Seattle on Oct. 4, for the first time after four years in jail in Italy, CNN reported Oct. 5. An Italian appeals court on Oct. 3 overturned Knox’s murder conviction in the 2007 death of her roommate, British student Meredith Kercher.
  • Barbara Sheehan, a Queens, N.Y., woman who killed her husband, a former police sergeant, in 2008 was found not guilty on Oct. 6 of second-degree murder, reported the New York Times. She was found guilty of a lesser gun charge.
  • On Oct. 6 an attorney from the Center for Reproductive Rights said that a proposed Oklahoma law that restricts how physicians prescribe and treat women with abortion-inducing drugs is a "clear attack" on women’s health that prevents doctors from using their best medical judgment, reported CNBC Oct. 6.
  • Older women taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, reported Reuters Oct. 6.
  • Sarah Palin will not run for president, ABC News reported Oct. 5. She made the announcement in a letter to supporters on Oct. 5.
  • Conservative women are now supporting Herman Cain’s presidential bid, even over Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, The Daily Caller reported Oct. 5, quoting a survey from the group Concerned Women for America.

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