Teen Enters Hall of Fame; Iraqi Lawyer Executed

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Credit: Brock G on Flickr, under Creative Commons

(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

Mo’ne Davis’ performance in the Little League World Series has earned her a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame, CBS News reported Sept. 24. The 13-year-old Davis plans to donate the jersey she wore last month when she pitched a two-hit shutout, becoming the first girl to win a game at the LLWS.

Davis was only the fourth American girl to ever make it to the World Series. She regularly shut down hitters with her electric fastball. Davis also became the first Little League player to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

“Probably like a couple of years from now, there’ll be a lot of girls here, and then it won’t be just like all boys, so they’ll have to build like another dorm for girls, so it’ll be a huge impact if more girls start playing,” she said.

More News to Cheer This Week:

In the shadow of the national controversy swirling about athletes and domestic violence, the 14th annual Brides March led Dominican, African American and other women and men of color through the streets of Upper Manhattan to protest the consistently high number of victims in their communities. The march’s composition reflected the change in the city’s leadership. The newly-elected speaker of the City Council, Melissa Mark-Viverito, announced a gift of $6 million to support a program at a major neighborhood hospital that counsels domestic violence victims. She represents East Harlem and the Bronx. Also from the Bronx, the head of the council’s Public Safety Committee, Vanessa L. Gibson, joined the Brides March, as did other prominent city leaders. Adult females account for 80 percent (323 out of 405) of the intimate partner victims, according to a 2013 city report. The march is led by two Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century, Josie Ashton and Rosita Romero, to commemorate the 1999 murder of Gladys Ricart, slain in her wedding dress by an enraged ex-fiancé, a prominent businessman in the Dominican community.

–Rita Henley Jensen

Responding to student pressures for better reporting on campus sex assaults, Columbia University has released the first annual report on such issues. It includes a summary of resources and prevention efforts provided by the school, a new policy statement, faculty and staff training and data for the period July 1, 2013–June 30, 2014. In a Sept. 24 op ed in the Columbia Daily Spectator activists with the Coalition Against Sexual Violence and No Red Tape Columbia demanded more comprehensive reporting in the future. The Ivy League school has been recently in the spotlight because of multiple accusations of mishandled rape complaints. Hundreds of students turned out for a campus rally Sept. 12. Emma Sulkowicz, a junior at the school and one of the students who filed a federal complaint against the school, has been protesting by carrying a mattress around campus for several weeks. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has not yet decided to investigate.

Léa Bouchoucha

The governments of Ethiopia and Finland and UN Women organized a high-level meeting in New York to discuss equal land access and tenure for women, AllAfrica reported Sept. 25. “Women’s Right to Land – the Development Impact” focused on important steps needed to hammer out laws and practices to ensure equal rights to female land owners globally. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Tedros Adhanom said that women’s participation was important for successfully reaching the U.N.’s Millennium Development Goals.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill to prevent the forced sterilization of inmates in California after failure to obtain consent, Reuters reported Sept. 25. The bill prohibits correctional facilities from using sterilization as a form of birth control unless an inmate’s life is in danger. The measure gained steam after reports that female inmates had their fallopian tubes tied even when they had not given informed consent. The bill passed unanimously and is expected to benefit the rights of women in California correctional facilities.

One of more than 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist Boko Haram rebels in Nigeria was freed this week, Reuters reported Sept. 25. Boko Haram gunmen took 270 girls and women, from ages 13 to over 20, from a secondary school in the village near the Cameroon border in April. The 20-year-old woman is receiving medical attention.

The Center on Universal Education at the Brookings Institution has created a group called CHARGE, the Collaborative for Harnessing Ambition and Resources for Girls Education, which has pledged nearly $600 million to reach 14 million girls over the next five years. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced the launch at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative on Sept. 24

Padmini Prakash has become India’s first transgender anchor after she read her first bulletin last month on Lotus TV, based in southern city of Coimbatore, Al Jazeera reported Sept. 23. Padmini dropped out of college after her family abandoned her at the age of 18. Her appearance comes nearly four months after India’s Supreme Court recognized the existence of the “third gender” status for the members of the transgender community, also known as “hijras.”

The actress Emma Watson kicked off the “HeForShe” campaign with a speech on gender equality at the U.N., Yahoo reported Sept. 21. Watson’s campaign urges men to take a stand against gender inequality of all types. Feminism isn’t a “women’s issue,” she argued; it’s everyone’s issue. She spoke about the myriad ways in which girls and women are discriminated against in the world and how men, too, suffer from gender stereotypes.

Britain’s first specialist clinic for child victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) opened in London on Sept. 22 as part of a push to eradicate the illegal ritual in the country, Reuters reported. The University College Hospital clinic, initially to be held once a month while demand is assessed, will offer medical treatment and psychological help to girls up to 18 who have suffered or may be at risk of FGM. The clinic will work closely with police, social work and community groups and will provide evidence and expert witness statements for court cases. It will also help identify and protect girls at risk.

Afghanistan’s new president-elect Ashraf Ghani says he wants Afghan women represented at the highest levels of government, and he pledged to appoint a woman to the Supreme Court, The Associated Press reported Sept. 22.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted that there should be no compromise on the issue of dignity of women, in an interview on CNN. “Dignity of women is our collective responsibility. There should be no compromise in this matter . . .  We have to revive the family culture in which a woman is respected and considered equal, her dignity encouraged,” he said.

Jeers

Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov condemned the public execution of human rights lawyer Sameera Al-Nuaimy in a Sept. 24 statement. Al-Nuaimy, a lawyer known for her work promoting women’s rights, was seized from her home in Iraq by Islamic State fighters and tortured for several days before being executed in public, The New York Times reported Sept. 25.

More News to Jeer This Week:

A nurse has been sentenced to death in Kenya for assisting a young woman with an abortion that turned fatal, ABC News reported Sept. 25. A Kenyan court found the nurse, Jackson Namunya Tali, guilty of murdering Christine Atieno and her unborn child after Atieno bled to death from the botched abortion. Abortions are illegal in Kenya but thousands of women seek them out despite the divisiveness of the issue.

An anonymous law enforcement official says he sent the video of Ray Rice, who played for the Baltimore Ravens until he was recently suspended indefinitely, assaulting his fiancée to the NFL and League Security Chief Jeffrey Miller in April, the Associated Press reported Sept. 26. The NFL claimed that the league had not seen evidence of the violence until TMZ released the video in early September. Miller says he never received the video. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that FBI Director Robert Mueller will lead an investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein warned that members of the Senate may become involved in the NFL’s domestic violence scandal, saying the situation has gone on “too long,” The Washington Times reported Sept. 21.

The mayor of Valladolid, Spain, defended his recent comments about women who make false rape claims as “unfortunate words,” The New York Times reported Sept. 23. Last month, Francisco Javier León de la Riva told a Spanish radio station that he had qualms about sharing an elevator with a woman, because she could “tear off her bra or skirt and get out screaming that you have tried to assault her.” The comments enraged many women in the U.S. and across Spain. Scores of women descended on City Hall to protest, making their point by tying up bras to form a chain around the mayor’s office, and demanding his resignation. Though apologetic, the mayor has refused to step down, and another mass demonstration was planned for Sept. 25.

More than half of all Ebola cases in West Africa have been adult women, Voice of America reported Sept. 22. Aid agencies also say women are the most affected by border closures and travel restrictions, as they carry out most of the commercial cross-border trade. Activists say women’s needs must be considered as authorities attempt to stop the Ebola epidemic. The United Nations’ Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, better known as UN Women, said that women and girls account for more than 55 percent of reported Ebola cases in affected countries.

Only about 31 percent of all speaking characters in popular global films are female, finds a Sept. 22 study commissioned by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. Among other findings, authors also report that sexualization is the standard for female characters globally: girls and women are twice as likely as boys and men to be shown in sexually revealing clothing, partially or fully naked, thin, and five times as likely to be referenced as attractive.

Noted:

The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet announced that the newsroom leadership of the publication would change with the promotion of four senior editors, two of whom are women, The New York Times reported Sept. 24. The leadership change comes at a time when furor is still strong over a Sept. 21 article about TV producer Shonda Rhimes. The article discussed the “angry black woman” stereotype and claimed that Rhimes embraced it in her new series “How to Get Away With Murder,” inciting reader anger and questions about the diversity of the paper’s leadership. The two women appointed to the top positions are both white, and their promotion follows a call for more diverse women in The Times’s editorial staff to combat the greenlighting of “insensitive” stories like the Rhimes one. In a Sept. 24 interview, Baquet, who made history as the first black editor to lead The Times, stressed the importance of diversity among the paper’s staff and criticized the lack of it in certain areas of The Times. He added, however, that grafting in diversity inorganically was not a goal of The Times in a period of staff cutbacks. He also acknowledged the upset over the Rhimes article and said he understood the anger, though explained that the article’s author, Alessandra Stanley, was only trying to make a point about breaking down black female stereotypes.

A group of Syrian female activists, who asked not to be identified for their safety, criticized the U.S airstrikes, Bloomberg reported Sept. 25. Calling for a more inclusive political transition in Syria, the group is on a 10-day visit to New York and Washington and recently met policymakers and U.S top officials.

An unnamed woman captured life in Raqqa, Syria, under the Islamic State, using a hidden camera in her niqab, I24 News reported Sept. 25. The video was released by the French news site France 2, and was filmed in February and April of this year.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was heckled at a New York event over the case of the British woman jailed in Iran for attending a volleyball game, The Telegraph reported Sept. 24. Two protesters held up signs featuring Ghoncheh Ghavami, the 25-year-old dual British and Iranian who was detained three months ago and charged this week with crimes against the Islamic Republic. Rouhani refused to comment directly on the case.

After having mainly reached out to voters through a massive TV ad campaign, the Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for New York governor is set to unleash a digital and door-knocking operation designed to motivate female voters in November, the New York Daily News reported Sept. 22. Campaign volunteers and paid workers will begin this week knocking on “tens of thousands” of doors in the city and the surrounding suburbs to promote Cuomo’s 11-point “women’s equality agenda” and ask for support for the governor and his running mate, former Buffalo Rep. Kathy Hochul, a campaign source said.

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