Pope Supports Equal Pay; Baltimore Video Goes Viral

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Baltimore protests

Credit: Stephen Melkisethian on Flickr, under Creative Commons

(WOMENSENEWS)–

Cheers

Pope Francis called continued inequality in pay for women who do the same work as men a "pure scandal," reported . "Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?" he asked, according to the report. "No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."

More News to Cheer This Week:

Ten men were jailed for 25 years each for their involvement in the 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls education, reported . None of the men were in the team who shot the Pakistani education activist in the head but had been part of a wider group of plotters involved in the planning and execution of the attack, according to a security official.

The state of Florida confirmed that a bill aimed to punish anyone who uses a public bathroom that doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth is no longer on the table, reported .

The National Domestic Workers Alliance issued a April 29 calling attention to the violence and poverty plaguing the country and cities including Baltimore. "Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was brutally and senselessly beaten by six officers of the Baltimore Police Department," the statement begins. " In this context of popular anger, Baltimore prosecutors unexpectedly announced May 1 that they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against police officers in the death of Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.

Jeers

In the wake of the Baltimore riots this week following the death of Freddie Gray, a of a black mother confronting her son for participating in the protests went viral. The footage captures her slapping her son in the face and directing him away from the crowd, presumably home, blogged on April 28. Some condemned the black mother for putting her hands on her son, while others celebrated her "parenting."

A few weeks ago, , a black trans woman, was killed by the same police department.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Five years after its introduction the requirements of the Affordable Care Act are not being enforced, according to three new studies. Health insurance plans around the country are failing to provide many of those legally mandated services, including birth control and cancer screenings, reported . Two by the National Women’s Law Center looked at health plan coverage documents and consumer complaints in 15 states. One of the studies focused on contraception, while the other looked at a range of women’s health issues, including maternity care, breastfeeding support and other services. A Kaiser Family Foundation came to similar conclusions, looking at compliance in 12 different states and 20 different insurance carriers.

A young woman traveling in Punjab, India, on April 29 was killed after she and her mother were molested and thrown from a private bus by a group of men, reported. Four men were arrested the following day: the driver and conductor of the bus and two other employees of the bus line. They are facing several charges, including murder and violation of a law relating to crimes committed against members of India’s lower castes, to which the two women belonged.

Far too many women undergo sterilization procedures in inadequate environments in Bihar, India, a study by the found. Many health facilities, both public and private, are underprepared to perform such procedures.

Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill deeming abortions to be illegal in Florida at any point in a woman’s pregnancy, reported . Under the new law, abortion will only be possible if a doctor confirms the fetus is not viable. Current law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk.

French President Francois Hollande said there would be grave consequences if allegations that French soldiers sexually abused children in the Central African Republic are true, reported . A full investigation is underway after up to 10 boys said they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the French peacekeepers between December 2013 and June 2014.

Noted:

Nigerian troops rescued 200 girls and 93 women in the Sambisa Forest, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account, reported . On April 29, that those rescued did not include the girls kidnapped in April 2014 from the northeastern Nigerian village of Chibok.

Lawyers for and against same-sex marriage faced off before the Supreme Court as the nine justices grappled with what many see as a generational-defining social question in the United States, reported . The court is schedule to issue its decision in June.

Jimmy Carter has drawn up a list of 23 gender-based issues he wants addressed, from child marriage to "honor" killings and sex-selective abortions, reported . "I would say the one that concerns me the most is the murder of little baby girls, the aborting of them when they’re found to be female."

Idaho’s governor called for a special legislative session to pass a bill that would bring the state’s child support program into compliance with U.S. law, despite lawmakers’ fears of federal overreach, reported .

Female peacemakers are urging the international community to halt the transfer of arms to Yemen, calling the human cost of the conflict "incalculable," reported . This week, delegates from the Women’s Power to Stop War conference called for an immediate end to fighting, for safe access for humanitarian aid agencies to deliver vital goods and services and safe passage for the thousands of people who have been displaced by the fighting.

UN Women released 10 recommendations for strengthening women’s financial security. that globally, on average, women are paid 24 percent less than men and women are clustered into a limited set of under-valued occupations. Authors call for the global economy to be redesigned with "the needs of women in mind."

Paul Nungesser, who has been accused of raping Emma Sulkowicz, also known "Mattress Girl," has sued Columbia University, reported . Nungesser claims the university did not protect him against any gender-based harassment or defamation that occurred as a result of Sulkowicz’s actions regarding the rape.

In Memoriam:

Mary Doyle Keefe died on April 21, the reported . Keefe posed for the "Rosie the Riveter," painting, the iconic image of a red-haired, red-lipped bruiser of a woman with a rivet gun in the lap of her overalls and her heavy foot atop a copy of Hitler’s manifesto "Mein Kampf."

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