March 10, 2012

Scarf Ban Gone; Texas Rejects Planned Parenthood

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

girl soccer playersMuslim female soccer players will be allowed to wear specially designed head coverings during games after the International Football Association Board lifted the ban,The Huffington Post reported March 5. The new attire will be tested for four months. Soccer’s international governing body, known as FIFA, has prohibited headscarves since 2007, citing safety concerns. The new headscarves will be fastened with Velcro rather than pins.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Government programs that aim to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies save taxpayers between $2 to $6 for every $1 spent, according to a new study conducted by the Center for Children and Families, reported Ms. Magazine March 9. Media campaigns for safe sex can also save money. The greatest returns, according to the study, come from access to family planning through Medicaid, which can save $1.32 billion with an investment of $235 million.
     
  • Hundreds of women marched through Cairo on International Women’s Day, March 8, demanding the right to co-draft the country’s new constitution. Since the Arab Spring uprisings, Egyptian women have expressed deep concern about the future of their as Islamists reap the fruits of the revolt.
  • The average net worth of the world’s wealthiest women rose to $11.8 billion, from $11.6 billion last year, Forbes reported March 7. The number of female billionaires is also on the rise; there are currently 104, up from 36 in 2002.
  • New York state warned health insurers that they would lose state contracts if women on Medicaid are denied their choice of higher-cost, brand-name contraceptives unless the patients had first tried cheaper, generic methods that failed, Fox News reported March 5.
     
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America has raised $3 million, since the Susan G. Komen furor began in early February, according to Lisa David, the organization’s chief operating officer.
     
  • A controversial measure requiring women to wait 24 hours before undergoing an abortion stalled in the Florida Senate, Reuters reported March 5. The failure virtually ended the possibility of the passage of the bill before lawmakers adjourn later this week.
     
  • VoteVets, a coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, released a letter from a group of female veterans calling on the American Forces Network to drop Rush Limbaugh from its programming, Think Progress reported March 5.
  • The European Union is moving closer to introducing mandatory quotas for the number of women on company boards after businesses failed to make sufficient progress in gender equality over the past year, ABC News reported March 5.
     
  • Nearly 400 chief executives worldwide have publicly declared their commitment to implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles during the next two years, UN Women announced March 6 in a press statement.
  • The Calvert Foundation has announced the launch of the Women INvesting in Women INitiative (which it calls WIN-WIN), which will invest at least $20 million in high-impact organizations and projects worldwide that create opportunities for women lacking access to traditional credit and funding sources.

Jeers

planned parenthood protest

Texas is on the verge of eliminating its state-run Women’s Health Program,The Daily Beast-Newsweek reported March 5. The state program provides reproductive-health care for more than 130,000 poor women annually who don’t meet Texas’s Medicaid eligibility requirements. Because federal law won’t permit Texas to bar Planned Parenthood (or any other qualified provider) from the program, the state is poised to discontinue it, refusing $35 million from Washington. While Gov. Rick Perry has told state officials to find funds for the program to prevent its elimination, according to the AP, he has not specified where the money will come from.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • The HIV rate among black women living in some U.S. cities is the same rate as that of some African countries, according to a new study, reported ABC News March 9. Within one year of joining the study, 0.24 percent of the women tested positive for the disease, five times higher than the CDC’s previous estimate of HIV rates in African American women. The study focused on African American and Latina women from six cities: Baltimore, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Washington, D.C., Newark and New York City.
  • About 1,000 women die around the world every day in child birth or from pregnancy-related complications, according to a report from Doctors Without Borders March 7. The majority of deaths occur just before, during, or just after delivery. Though often from unforeseeable complications, access to emergency care can prevent most of these deaths.
  • Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh attacked a reporter and author who published a book about low-income food industry employees. Limbaugh said of Tracie McMillan, "What is it with all of these young single white women, overeducated—doesn’t mean intelligent," according to the show’s official transcript.He twice called her an "authorette" and also referred to her as "this babe." Last week, Limbaugh called Georgetown student Sandra Flukea "slut" and a "prostitute" in the midst of a national conversation on birth control.
  • Afghanistan’s president Hamid Karzai, endorsed a "code of conduct" issued by an influential council of clerics that activists say represents a giant step backward for women’s rights in the country, CBS News reported March 6. The code includes segregation of men and women at work and school, travel restrictions for women and support for wife beatings, based on a husband providing "Shariah-compliant reason."
  • Tens of thousands of low-income women and teenagers across the United States have lost access to subsidized birth control as states slash and restructure family planning funds, Reuters reported March 5.

Noted:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of New Mexico filed a lawsuit on behalf of a 15-year-old Navajo Shantelle Hicks. She charges that she was kicked out of a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school and then humiliated because she was pregnant, according to a press statement released March 6.
  • U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree became the second big-name Democrat to decide against running for a U.S. Senate seat that’s being vacated by Republican Olympia Snowe, reported the Washington Post March 8. Pingree will instead defend her House seat.
  • Incumbent Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) lost her primary, reported the Washington Post on March 6. She was defeated by political newcomer and Army Reserve Major Brad Wenstrup.
  • Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) won a close contest for Ohio’s 9th district, reported the Washington Times March 7. In November, she will face Samuel Wurzenbacher, better known as "Joe the Plumber," who confronted President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.
  • The gender gap between the two major political parties is growing, reported the Wall Street Journal March 7.
  • Native American leaders say they want support from two more Republican senators for the Violence Against Women Act, which includes measures to specifically help American Indian and Alaska Native victims, reported the Associated Press March 7.
  • Eight current and former U.S. military service members alleged in a lawsuit filed they were raped, assaulted or sexually harassed while in the military and were retaliated against when they complained,The New York Times reported March 6.

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