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The Obama administration has stopped fighting a court order that insisted minors be able to obtain emergency contraceptive, known as the morning-after pill. The administration dropped its appeal of Brooklyn federal judge Edward Korman‘s order requiring it to be sold over the counter, CNN reported June 11. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services eventually agreed to make the single-pill version of the drug available “without age or point-of-sale restrictions.” But the FDA won’t allow girls to obtain a two-pill version of the drug, saying there is less safety data available on the use of the product by younger adolescents.
More News to Cheer This Week:
In an address at the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, Hillary Clinton focused on increasing opportunities for women, something she called the “great unfinished business of the 21st century,” NBC News reported June 13.
The Supreme Court ruled June 13 that human genes cannot be patented, USA Today reported. The decision will have immediate benefits for some breast and ovarian cancer patients and long-lasting repercussions for biotechnology research.
The lives of women and girls in Colorado have greatly improved in recent decades — if the women are white, according to a report released by The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, The Denver Post reported June 12. Between 1999 and 2010, the state’s gender wage gap between white women and white men narrowed, but the gap between women from other racial and ethnic groups and white men grew larger.
President Obama said June 10 as the Equal Pay Act turned 50: “Until equal pay truly is a reality, we’re also here to recommit ourselves to the work that remains to be done.”
Obama went on to say, “Our journey to equality is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts,” according to the transcript published by Politico. Additionally, the White House launched a website with information about equal pay.
Women may be catching up with men in the race for jobs in the United States, USA Today reported June 9. The Labor Department said June 7 that the economy added 175,000 jobs in May, with nearly half going to women.
Prayers by a liberal Jewish women’s group at a key Jerusalem holy site passed without incident June 9, in contrast to violent scuffles with ultra-Orthodox protesters a month ago, the Associated Press reported.
Women have been at the forefront of Turkish protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Time Magazine reported June 8. Women’s grievances include Erdogan’s repeated call for women to have three children, his attempts to pass abortion restrictions, and turning the ministry responsible for women into the Ministry for Family and Social Policy, while not doing enough to tackle violence against women. Read more in the Women’s eNews story “Turkish Protests Rattle Erdogan’s Female Loyalists.”
The U.S. Air Force announced that it has named a woman to head its troubled Sexual Assault Prevention program, Think Progress reported June 7. Maj. Gen. Margaret H. Woodward is a much higher rank than the former director, who was arrested on charges of sexual assault.
The Supreme Court let stand a court order barring abortion protesters from displaying images of aborted fetuses in places where they might disturb children, The New York Times reported June 10.
A 13-year-old Egyptian teen has died undergoing female genital mutilation in a village near Cairo, Egyptian media reported last weekend, The New York Daily News reported June 11. The police ordered an autopsy of the girl, whose name was Suhair al-Bata’a, and summoned the doctor to find the cause of the young girl’s death.
More News to Jeer This Week:
As Iran held the first round of the presidential election, many women said that their limited gains have been rolled back by the outgoing president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, NPR reported June 12 in a piece featuring the voices of four Iranian women. The women say most candidates are conservative and would be likely to continue adopting policies that target the social and educational advances by women.
The Australian army launched an investigation over the distribution of demeaning emails to or about female members of the defense force, The Guardian reported June 13. The chief of the army, Lt. Gen. David Morrison, said inappropriate and explicit emails containing text and images that demeaned women had been distributed by a group of male defense force members. Three male army personnel have already been suspended.
Aboriginal women are 80 times more likely to be hospitalized for assault and injury, News.com reported June 10. Many of the assaults are perpetrated by the women’s husbands or partners and include rape and murder.
Afghanistan‘s human rights commission accused the police of a significant amount of violence against women, Reuters reported June 10. Nearly 15 percent of so-called honor killings and sexual assaults were committed by police, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said in a report.
Endemic levels of sexual abuse and gender-based violence have made El Salvador one of the most dangerous countries in the world for girls and women, Al Jazeera reported June 7.
A Texas group wants to stop violence against women — by giving away free guns, MNSBC reported June 10. Yet, a recent study conducted by the Harvard Injury Control Research Center suggested women are in fact less safe with guns in the home.
Hillary Clinton has officially joined Twitter, ABC News reported June 10.
Ariel Castro, the Ohio man accused of keeping three kidnapped women captive in his home for a decade, pleaded not guilty today to 329 counts of rape, torture and murder, ABC News reported June 12.
France is bucking the trend with the highest birth rate on the continent, France 24 reported June 11. While birth rates had dropped noticeably across Europe and North America following the financial crisis starting in 2008, fertility in France has remained stable. On average, French women had 2.01 children in 2012, according to the most recent data.
Over half of Americans support same-sex marriage, TIME reported June 7. According to a poll by the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of Americans say that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is inevitable, although only 51 percent actually approve of allowing it.