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Egyptians Demand Rights; Rape Conviction Reversed

Saturday, October 6, 2012




Egypt women protest

Credit: Joseph Hill/nebedaay on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Cheers

A coalition of 33 women's rights organizations marched in Cairo, Egypt, on Oct. 4 to present President Mohamed Morsi with a list of rights--including a law criminalizing sexual harassment –that they want enshrined in the new constitution, reported Ahram Online Oct. 4.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Women-owned companies grew at twice the rate (44 percent compared to 22 percent) of male-owned enterprises from 1997 to 2007, showed a 2010 report by the Economics and Statistics Administration, reported Reuters Oct. 3. According to the latest Census, 7.8 million companies in 2007 were owned by women; 90 percent of which were small businesses.

The Supreme Court has shut the door on a Nebraska anti-choice group that sought to require health screenings for women seeking abortions, reported the Associated Press

Oct. 1. Previous court decisions had ruled against the law.

Representatives for Swedish furniture giant IKEA apologized for removing women from some of the photos in catalogs shipped to Saudi Arabia. A company spokesperson said the blame lies squarely with them, not the local franchisee, The Wall Street Journal reported, Oct. 1.

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that makes California the first state to ban a controversial form of psychotherapy that's aimed at "converting" gay teenagers to heterosexuals, reported the Associated Press Oct. 1.

Jeers

The Connecticut State Supreme Court overturned the sexual assault conviction of a man who had sex with a woman with severe cerebral palsy and extreme intellectual deficiency, reported Think Progress Oct. 3. The court held that, because Connecticut statutes define physical incapacity for the purpose of sexual assault as "unconscious or for any other reason. . . physically unable to communicate unwillingness to an act," the defendant could not be convicted if there was any chance that the victim could have communicated her lack of consent. The court ruled that the victim's capacities--of "biting, kicking, scratching, screeching, groaning or gesturing"-- could have communicated lack of consent.

More News to Jeer This Week:

A Dutch "abortion ship" was escorted out of the Moroccan port of Smir after the government initially blocked the harbor and prevented residents from accessing the vessel, reported CNN Oct. 4. The ship is run by Women on Waves, founded in 1999 by a Dutch doctor to provide abortions to women in countries where the practice is illegal. The ship will stay near Morocco, and Women on Waves will strategize their next move. Read Women's eNews' coverage of this story.

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed legislation that would have provided overtime pay, meal breaks and other labor protections to an estimated 200,000 caregivers, nannies and house cleaners in California, The Washington Post reported Oct. 1.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed the need for women's rights groups in the country on Oct. 2, saying equality has been given "from the start," reported The Malaysian Insider.

Noted:

Three Tennessee women, and long-time employees of Wal-Mart, filed a class action against the discount retailer, claiming they and other female employees in the region were denied promotions because of their gender and were paid less than male counterparts, reported the New York Daily News Oct. 2.

A Russian court on Oct. 1 postponed the appeal of three members of jailed rock band Pussy Riot until Oct. 10 after one group member fired her lawyers, reported the Associated Press. Prosecutors condemned the move as a delaying tactic.

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