Breaking News 

 
Head of UNFPA Tells World Leaders Women, Girls Are Not Commodities 
 
Women and girls are not commodities and must be treated as human beings with equal rights to men, Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of the UN population fund, UNFPA, told politicians from across the world at a conference in Stockholm, The Guardian reported April 23.  Osotimehin told delegates hat they had a duty to raise the status of women in their countries and to remind their heads of state of the commitments they made to improve the lives of women and girls.
 
 
Foreign Female Workers Exploited, Sexually Abused in Qatar
 
Thousands of women migrant domestic workers in Qatar are being severely exploited and sexually abused in 'utterly miserable conditions', according to a new report by Amnesty International. The report titled 'My sleep is my break: Exploitation of domestic workers in Qatar' has uncovered the appalling conditions women - primarily from the Philippines, Indonesia and Sri Lanka - face on a daily basis, The Daily Mail reported April 23. In the report, women are said to be lured to Qatar on the basis of false promises over salaries and working conditions - only to be made to work extreme hours and seven-day weeks.
 
 
'Abortion Risks' Pamphlet by Abortion Opponents May Become Requirement
 
Louisiana lawmakers are advancing a measure that would require abortion providers to distribute a pamphlet that includes information about the “alleged psychological effects of abortion” and lists names of mental health resources for women who are seeking assistance, Think Progress reported April 22. The pamphlet will be created by a 14-member task force that includes state lawmakers, psychologists, and people who counsel women against having an abortion. Supporters argue that it advises women about the risks of mental health issues, when research has found that 90 percent of women report feeling relief. 
 
 
Unemployment Rate Among Saudi Women Hits 34 Percent
 
The rate of unemployment amongst Saudi women in 2013 has been pegged at 34 percent, up 2 percent from the previous year, according to recent statistics issued by the Central Department of Statistics and Information (CDSI). “I don’t think it is the lack of jobs but the introduction of women in new sectors is a real challenge,” said Khalid Al-Khudair, CEO of Glowork, an online platform for female employment based in Riyadh, Arab News reported April 23. “Saudi women are entering many new industries, such as the tourist industry, but gradually.”
 
 
Saudi Woman Becomes First Female Pilot in Kingdom
 
A Saudi woman has become the first licensed female pilot in the Kingdom, Arab News reported April 21. Thirty-five-year-old Hanadi Al-Hindi, who had battled kidney problems, acquired licensing from the Jeddah-based General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to fly planes in Saudi Arabia. Al-Hindi, who wears a headscarf, has begun flying small and wide-bodied luxury planes belonging to a fleet from the Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).
 
 
More U.S. Women Freeze Their Eggs to Pursue Career  
 
More and more women are choosing to put off having a baby to pursue their career or to find the right partner, CBS News reported April 22. Thus, women opt to freeze their eggs and at a younger age.
 
 
Majority of Americans Support Coverage of Women's Healthcare by Employers
 
Seventy percent Americans support an Obama administration rule requiring employers to provide health insurance coverage that includes contraception, according to a poll published April 22 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “This poll shows that Americans support ensuring women’s access to birth control,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union in a press statement. “They understand that employers should not have the right to discriminate against their employees by denying this care. Contrary to the claims of those challenging this rule, religious freedom doesn’t give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others.” The Supreme Court is expected to rule in June on a challenge to the rule by two for-profit companies seeking to deny contraception coverage to employees based on the business owner’s personal beliefs. The rule already includes exemptions for faith-based institutions.
 
 
San Jose's First Female Mayor Dies at 87
 
Janet Gray Hayes, who became San Jose's first female mayor 40 years ago and sparked a late-20th-century women's movement in elective politics, died April 21 about 4:30 p.m. at the Saratoga Retirement Community where she had been living, Mercury News reported April 21. Hayes was 87.
 
 
More Italian Women Say No to Motherhood
 
A trend toward childlessness is gaining momentum in Italy, The Wall Street Journal reported April 22. Italy's birthrate has been far below replacement rate for years. But now more couples with precarious jobs, low salaries and a late start together are opting to have no children at all. A quarter of Italian women end their childbearing years without children, compared with 14 percent in the U.S. and 10 percent in France.
 
 
UN Official Calls Afghan Women to Remain Involved in Political Life
 
With the results still being counted from Afghanistan's recent presidential election, the top United Nations official in the country urged efforts to ensure that women remain meaningfully engaged in the political process and improve political life there, UN News Center reported April 21. Speaking after a meeting with female parliamentarians in the capital Kabul, Jan Kubiš, congratulated Afghan women on their participation in the elections – as voters, electoral workers, observers and candidates.
 
 
NY Archbishop Supports Hobby Lobby for Denying Women's Healthcare
 
Women don’t need insurance coverage for birth control because they can purchase it at “any shop on the street,” including a gas station like 7-11, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York, Think Progress reported April 21.  Dolan appeared on CBS’ Face the Nation over the weekend to defend for-profit companies’ right to deny birth control coverage to their workers, an issue that’s at the heart of a pending Supreme Court case. The archbishop argued that the most prominent plaintiff in that suit, Hobby Lobby, should have the right to refuse contraceptive coverage to thousands of its employees based on the owners’ religious beliefs. 
 
 
British Study Shows that Even in Retirement Women Make Less Money Than Men
 
A fifth of women have no pensions savings within five years of retirement and will rely solely on the state pension in Great Britain, a report warns. A total of 30 percent of women aged over 50 expect to work longer than previously anticipated compared to a quarter of men (23 percent), The Telegraph reported April 21. the report’s findings indicate that the gender pay divide that most women experience in the workplace continues into retirement.
 
 
More Women Favor Hiking Minimum Wage
 
More women favor hiking the minimum wage to $15 dollars, according to a new survey.
Roughly 60 percent of women support raising the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour, compared to just 45 percent of men, across all income levels, MSNBC reported April 21. 
 
 
Women's Campaign Fund Adds Game Changers
 
Women’s Campaign Fund added six new women to its Game Changer program, bringing the total to 18 on April 21, according to the Women’s Campaign Fund. In honor of WCF’s 40th anniversary, 40 women will be named Game Changers for the initiative, which lays out WCF’s vision for a more representative government that includes more women, minorities, and others from outside the traditional world of politics. Each week, the WCF will add more women to the list, leading up to the organization’s 40th anniversary celebration at the Parties of Your Choice Gala in New York City on May 15th
 
 
254 Indian Women Die in U.S. Funded Clinical Trial
 
The death of 254 women in India from modest backgrounds in the course of a 15-year US-funded clinical trial has triggered a raging debate about its ethicality, The Times of India reported April 21. The trial was for a cervical cancer screening method and the women who died were part of a control group kept without screening to study death rates in unscreened populations. 
 
 
Iran's President Urges Equal Rights for Women
 
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani admitted that women in his country still face discrimination and cultural barriers but he insisted they are not universally treated as second-class citizens. In a speech marking Women’s Day in Iran, Rouhani, Mr Rouhani criticised "those who consider women's presence society as a threat" and said Iran still had "a long way to go" to ensure gender equality, BBC News reported April 21. The remarks were followed by confirmation that the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had agreed to pardon or commute the sentences of some women prisoners.
 
 
 
Maine's Shelter for Women, Children Gets $20 000 Donation from State
 
A transitional home in Maine for women and children who are homeless is getting a boost from the state with a $20,000 donation, the Associated Press reported April 20. The home for women between the ages of 16 and 21 offers job training, parenting classes and other resources. The home can support up to four women with one or two children each for as long as 18 months. Most of the women who seek shelter at the home have experienced hardships such as child abuse and domestic violence.
 
 
 

Dallas Hospital Facing Lawsuit for Revoking Doctors’ Privileges
 
Two doctors filed suit against University General Hospital in Dallas after the hospital revoked their admitting privileges because they provide abortions on their own time, off site, the American Civil Liberties Union reported April 17. The law prohibits hospitals from discriminating against doctors because they provide abortions. They do not need admitting privileges because abortion is a safe procedure, and major medical groups oppose admitting privileges because they do nothing to further patient safety. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
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