100 Women in Congress; UK Women Face Growing Wage Gap

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(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

The United States now has 100 women in Congress. Democrat Alma Adams of North Carolina has become the 100th woman to sit in Congress after winning a special election on Tuesday, the Huffington Post reported Nov.5. For the first time in American history, the number of women sitting in Congress will hit triple digits. Before Nov.4, there were 20 female senators and 79 congresswomen (out of a total of 435). A Gallup poll in July found that 63 percent of Americans believe the U.S. would be better governed with more women in office.

More News to Cheer This Week:

The first results of a nationwide survey of 3,000 U.S. domestic violence programs indicate nearly four out of five offer emergency housing. The others provide safety planning, education and assistance in tapping supportive community services, according to new data produced by a partnership between National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Theresa’s Fund, an Arizona-based foundation. Domestic violence organizations in Wyoming, Alaska, Rhode Island, Virginia and Nebraska were listed as having the most comprehensive emergency services.

Simmons College has officially implemented policies allowing students who identify as transgender to enroll in their school, the Boston Globe reported Nov. 7. Undergraduate applicants will not be required to provide proof of their gender identity. Simmons is now the third women’s college in the U.S to allow transgender students.

The Department of Education has ruled that Princeton University is not enforcing consistent sexual misconduct and harassment policies, New York Daily News reported Nov. 5. Princeton was found to be violating Title IX, an amendment that protects students from gender discrimination in an education program. After investigating the claims of three students, federal officials said the school did not properly respond to sexual assault complaints. Princeton later acknowledged the need to update its policies to be in compliance with Title IX.

Jeers

Women in the UK might as well stop working Nov. 4, as the gender wage gap means they basically stop earning at this point in the year relative to men’s year-round wages, Telegraph reported Nov. 4. The pay difference is £5,200 ($8,200 U.S.) a year between the genders and women earn only 81p ($1.3 U.S.) to a man’s £1( $1.6 U.S.) The pay gap isn’t narrowing either; in 2013 the difference between men’s and women’s pay widened for the first time in five years.

More News to Jeer This Week:

While Connecticut women rank fourth nationally and second in the region in a composite index of employment and earnings, they still lag behind men in all career categories but one, according to a report released Nov. 6 by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. "As the new data in this report clearly shows, systemic gender discrimination continues to plague women in the form of the wage gap. And for women of color, this discriminatory practice is even worse," said PCSW Executive Director Carolyn Treiss.

Forty-six of the 100 top Massachusetts corporations still have no women executive officers, according to the 12th annual report released Nov.6 by the Boston Club. "There are no valid excuses left for operating with an all-male board, yet 24 of the largest 100 do," said Bentley University Professor Patricia Flynn, co-author of the report through a press release. While there is a steady increase in the number of companies with two female directors, only 7.4 percent of the top-paid executives are women, according to the club’s report.

In a little noticed outcome of Tuesday’s election, the Tennessee passed an amendment to the state’s constitution to increase power of state officials to regulate and restrict abortion, The Atlantic reported Nov. 5. The state’s constitution will now include: The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data indicating that although cervical cancer screenings have been proven to save lives, about 8 million women ages 21 to 65 have not been screened in the past five years, Planned Parenthood reported Nov.5 through a press release. "This report shows that routine cervical cancer screenings are absolutely vital to helping women prevent cervical cancer, and to catching it early when it is most treatable," said Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president of external medical affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Namibia’s Supreme Court ruled that health workers sterilized HIV-positive women without their consent, according to a human rights group, ABC News reported Nov. 3. The Southern Africa Litigation Center said the decision upheld a 2012 judgment that health workers compeled three HIV-positive women sign sterilization consent forms they didn’t understand. The ruling could protect HIV-positive women in Namibia and throughout Africa who are at risk of forced sterilization. More than 10 percent of Namibia’s population lives with HIV.

Author and self-proclaimed dating expert Steve Santagati claimed that women enjoyed being catcalled and that those who don’t should "act like a strong woman" and tell men to back off during a Nov. 2 appearance on CNN, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 2. The segment hosted by Fredricka Whitfield was discussing anti-street harassment organization Hollaback’s recent catcalling video that went viral last week. Santagati, has been dubbed a "mansplainer" for making excuses for men, said that women wouldn’t care about catcalling if the men doing it were "hot." He added: "They would be bolstering your self-esteem bolstering your ego. There is nothing more that a woman loves to hear than how pretty she is," Santagati said. When told that women feel unsafe, Santagati simply suggested they carry a gun.

ISIS took on a family friendly image to lure in women and children in new online recruitment efforts, NBC News reported Nov. 3. FBI Director James Comey said the social media efforts encouraged women to journey to the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate and support ISIS, as the violent organization is often called. The organization is particularly focused on recruiting spouses of prospective foreign-fighters to establish family units among the militants. Women’s eNews first reported of ISIS recruiting a young French Muslim woman through Facebook back in June.

A British-Iranian woman held in Iran after trying to watch a men’s volleyball match is on hunger strike for the second time, BBC reported Nov. 3. Ghoncheh Ghavami’s lawyer Alivadeh Tabatabaie said he saw court documents showing she had been sentenced to a year in prison. Iran banned women from volleyball games in 2012, extending a long-standing ban on football matches.

Noted:

France’s Socialist government has opened an investigation into claims that women are being charged more than men for a range of products and services including razors, haircuts and dry cleaning, France24 reported Nov.5. While some differences in price may appear minimal, the group known as Georgette Sand argued that they add up to an "unjustifiable injustice".

Following the release of Lena Dunham’s memoir/essay collection hybrid "Not That Kind of Girl," a few outlets pointed to passages from the book in which they say that the author, director, and actress admits to committing sexual abuse when she was a child, Entertainment Weekly reported Nov. 3. Dunham–in a self-described "rage spiral"–has taken to Twitter to refute the claims.

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