Casualties Replace Gaza’s Maternity Ward Patients

In one Gaza hospital the maternity ward curtails normal operations and mothers of neonates hover over incubators threatened by power disruptions. The World Health Organization says all of Gaza’s 56 primary health care clinics face fuel shortages.

Women Give More to a World That Lets Them Die

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersWomen are on track to triple their political giving in 2008 compared to 2000, a jump spurred by three decades’ of income gains, which have fattened their pay checks by 60 percent, the Women’s Campaign Forum Foundation reported Sept. 23.So far women have given $109 million in political contributions over $200. Women have donated $75 million to Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama and $34 million to his GOP opponent Sen. John McCain.Women also donated $120 million to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic nomination.With all that, women still represent just 27 percent of all campaign contributions. But in other categories of civic generosity–philanthropy and donations–women have surpassed men for the first time, U.S. News and World Report reported Sept. 23, citing federal tax data from 2005 that pegged women’s gifts at $21.7 billion and men’s at $16.8 billion.More News to Cheer This Week:Diane Schroer won her sex discrimination case against the Library of Congress, the Advocate reported Sept.

Rwanda Women Gain Seats; World Leaders Fall Short

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersRwanda is the first nation in the world where women outnumber men in parliament after legislative elections Sept. 18. Women now account for at least 55 percent of the lower chamber in Rwanda, according to provisional results. Previously, they held 48 percent of seats.”The role of the elected females is double: They must on the one hand concern themselves with the implementation of government decisions, and on the other be a voice for the grassroots,” said Bellancilla Nyonawankusi, a Kigali election official.Female lawmakers earned 20 seats in direct elections, Reuters reported. Another 24 were already secured in an indirect vote.

Women Earn Another Penny; GOP Seeks Abortion Ban

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U.S. women now face the smallest wage gap in history, the Census Bureau announced Aug. 26 in an analysis of 2007 data, narrowing the gap by one penny over the previous year. Women now earn 78 cents for every dollar a man earns for equal work. In 1980, women earned 60 percent of men’s pay.

N.Y. Accepts Gay Marriage; Turkey Dress Code Bid

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New York Gov. David A. Paterson instructed all state agencies to revise policies and regulations to recognize same-sex marriages from other jurisdictions, the Associated Press reported May 29. Such issues include family health care plans, joint tax filing, stronger adoption rights and property inheritance. Same-sex marriages have been recognized by courts in California and Massachusetts.

Congress Acts Pro-Woman; VA Services Fall Short

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On May 21, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., to reduce maternal deaths at home and abroad, her office announced. The resolution makes the United States part of the U.N. Population Fund’s initiative to reduce women’s deaths from pregnancy and childbirth. Since 2002, the Bush administration has withheld funding from the agency because it says it supports coerced abortions in China.

California Moves Ahead; Maryland Lags Behind

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The California Supreme Court ruled that lesbian and gay couples have a right to marry under the state’s constitution on May 15, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Same-sex couples will have the right to marry and "form a family relationship" in 30 days. The 4-3 court decision strikes down a 1977 law banning same-sex marriages.

Spain Goes Pink; Pregnant Women Scammed in Texas

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersSpanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero has invited nine female ministers to join his 17-member cabinet during his second term, forming the first female-majority cabinet in the nation’s history. Currently, more than 36 percent of Spain’s lawmakers are women, and party electoral lists must be 40 percent female.”The most unfair domination is that of one half of humanity over the other,” Zapatero told the Earth Times on April 14. “The more equality women will have, the more civilized and tolerant society will be.”In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi was re-elected prime minister on April 16, and said Zapatero’s government was “too pink,” contending that Italy lacked enough qualified women in government to serve at top levels. He pledged to have four female ministers.In Kenya, women cracked the political glass ceiling, with President Mwai Kibaki appointing seven women to his cabinet, a national record. Kibaki promised to reserve 30 percent of all public appointments and elective positions for women, Nairobi’s The Nation reported April 14.Across the world, women now comprise just under 19 percent of members in national legislative bodies, the Geneva-based International Parliamentary Union said in an April 16 report, up from 11 percent in 1975.

New High for Political Women; Katrina Hardship Lingers

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The number of women in Congress reached a new record with the April 8 election of Jackie Speier, a Democrat from Hillsborough, Calif., to fill a vacancy. Eighty-seven women now serve in Congress: 16 in the Senate and 71 in the House, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Of these, 20–or 23 percent–are women of color.