Female Billionaires Up; Indian Rapist Blames Victim

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Delhi rape protest

Credit: Ramesh Lalwani on Flickr, under Creative Commons

New Delhi residents march to pay homage to a gang rape victim who passed away in 2012.

(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

More women are making their appearance in the new Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, the business publication reported. Of a total 1,826 billionaires, 197 are women, up from 172 in 2014. Although it is a nice gain, women still account for just a small percentage of the list, making up 11 percent of the richest people.

Christy Walton, who inherited a stake in retailer Wal-Mart, retains the title of world’s richest woman. The widow of John Walton has held that spot for five out of the past six years. Forbes pegs her net worth at $41.7 billion, up from $36.7 billion a year ago.

More News to Cheer This Week:

The White House launched March 3 the initiative "Let Girls Learn" to increase efforts to help young girls across the world attend and complete school, Bustle reported. The program will empower local leaders to put lasting solutions in place and to reduce barriers that prevent adolescent girls from completing their education.

Eighteen months after the fatal beating of a transgendered woman in Harlem, N.Y., James Dixon was charged with manslaughter and assault, The New York Daily News reported March 3. Dixon was accused of beating Islan Nettles in August 2013 after catcalling Nettles and her friends, which turned into violence.

The South African branch of the Salvation Army is using #TheDress to spread the message about domestic violence, Jezebel reported March 6. The image is part of a two-ad campaign addressing the issue, using #StopAbuseAgainstWomen. The ad campaign not only aims to bring attention to domestic violence, but donate to charities that work to end it and operate shelters, like the Salvation Army and Women’s Aid, a British organization.

Wellesley College will now accept transgender students, The Huffington Post reported March 5. In a letter, President H. Kim Bottomly wrote, "Wellesley will consider for admission any applicant who lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman." The article reports the policy is expected to go into effect beginning with admitting undergraduates for the class of 2020.

Jeers

In a soon-to-be-released documentary by a British filmmaker, one of the six men who raped and murdered a young woman on a bus in India’s capital in 2012 blames the attack on his victim and her male companion. "You can’t clap with one hand–it takes two hands. A decent girl won’t roam around at nine o’clock at night," Mukesh Singh says in the film, according to a statement by the British Broadcasting Corp., which will air the film on BBC Four next week.

In the film, called "India’s Daughter," Singh says women are more responsible for rape than men, women should not travel late at night, nor should they go to discos and bars or wear the "wrong clothes." Speaking about the appalling attack, which he refers to as "an accident," Singh suggested the rape and beatings were to teach the victim and her friend a lesson that they should not have been out late at night. In the interview, he also criticizes the woman for having fought back against her attackers saying: "When being raped, she shouldn’t fight back. She should just be silent and allow the rape. Then they’d have dropped her off after ‘doing her,’ and only hit the boy."

Singh claims that his execution will make life more dangerous for future rape victims.

The documentary has been banned by an Indian court because the excerpts "appear to encourage and incite violence against women," CNN reported March 5.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Hundreds of Lebanese people took to the streets to demand that officials recognize civil marriage in the country, Al Jazeera reported. Activists say the government has stalled the legalization of marriage. Lebanon’s Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk said in early February there will be no recognition until procedures are implemented to regulate marriage contracts. His comment sparked a new wave of protests, with activists calling for secularism and civil marriage.

A 13-year-old victim of sexual abuse, who was raped by a local mullah in northern Takhar province in Afghanistan eight months ago, is now pregnant, Tolo News reported March 3. The 35-year-old mullah who raped the teen threatened to kill her and her family if they speak up. The victim is currently in the care of a child protection center.

Women are being forced out of the workplace because employers are ignoring the impact of menopause, a campaigner for older workers has warned in the United Kingdom. Ros Altmann, who advises the government on how to keep over-50s in the workforce, said that while other life-changing events are recognized by businesses, menopause is still taboo, the Daily Mail reported March 2. As a result, older women are being failed by employers.

Nearly 100,000 of the poorest children in the U.K. went hungry last year because their parents’ benefits were stopped or cut, according to a report by a coalition of churches, the Independent reported. A total of more than a million benefit sanctions were imposed last year, sometimes simply because people were late for an appointment at the job center.

A study led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that 21 percent of girls in high school have been either physically or sexually assaulted by someone they dated, USA Today reported March 2. Many teens reported being assaulted multiple times.

Another woman has accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault, The Huffington Post reported March 3. A woman, only going by Patricia, who was an anonymous witness in the 2005 sexual assault lawsuit against Cosby, is now openly telling her story.

Noted:

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, who has served in Congress longer than any woman in history, announced that she will retire from the Senate after five terms in office, the Washington Post reported.

Hillary Clinton set up an email server to send and receive emails from a private account to conduct official business while she was secretary of state, The Guardian reported March 4. This leads to the question of whether or not Clinton violated a federal record keeping law.

The Supreme Court seemed to be divided after hearing a challenge to the Obamacare tax subsidies, Fox News reported March 4. King v. Burwell asks whether the law makes residents of all 50 states eligible for federal tax subsidies, or only those who live in states that created their own health insurance exchange.

Candice Miller, R-Mich., has announced she will not run for re-election in 2016, The Huffington Post reported March 5. Miller, who has been in Congress since 2003, is the only woman to chair a House committee. She chairs the administration committee.

In Memoriam:

Deedee Corradini, the former mayor of Salt Lake City who fought tirelessly to get women’s ski jumping included in the Winter Olympics, died March 1 at her home in Park City, USA Today reported. She was 70. Corradini died after a six-month battle with lung cancer, the non-smoking type, according to a statement released by her family. Corradini was a Women’s eNews 21 Leader for the 21st Century in 2012.

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