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US Feminism Resurges; Conn. Teen Athletes Accused

Friday, March 22, 2013

In good news, feminism is spreading among female voters in the United States. Meanwhile, two Connecticut high school football players stand accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.

Subhead: 
In good news, feminism is spreading among female voters in the United States. Meanwhile, two Connecticut high school football players stand accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl.




I Love Feminism

Credit: Jay Morrison on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

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Cheers

There's a palpable resurgence of feminism amongst female voters in the United States, according to a poll commissioned by , the Communications Consortium Media Center and the Feminist Majority Foundation, reported . The number of women who identify as feminists has increased by a full nine points since the last survey was conducted in 2008. As it stands, 55 percent of female voters call themselves feminist, and the number is even greater among younger women.

More News to Cheer This Week:

India's Parliament passed a comprehensive bill on March 21 to impose stronger penalties on men who attack women and to criminalize offenses such as stalking and voyeurism, reported. President Pranab Mukherjee is expected to sign it into law shortly.

On March 21, the ACLU, ACLU-NM, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Albuquerque law firm Sutin, Thayer and Brown filed a lawsuit in district court asserting that the New Mexico constitution and marriage status do not prohibit same-sex couples from marrying, the organizations said in a press statement.

Malala Yousafzai, the teen who was shot in the head by extremists in Pakistan after campaigning for education for girls, has returned to school in Britain after being treated there for her injuries, reported.

President Barack Obama has nominated Catherine Russell, the chief of staff for Jill Biden, spouse of Vice President Joe Biden, to lead U.S. efforts on global women's issues at the U.S. State Department, the reported .

The BBC has created a women's expert database and dedicated a YouTube channel in an attempt to boost the number of female contributors featured on its TV and radio programs, reported .

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton formally announced her support for same-sex marriage in a statement March 18, a move that was widely anticipated after she stepped down from the Obama administration, reported .

The Egyptian Nour Party described the beating of a female activist by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood as "disgraceful" and "unjustified," reported . The Salafist party, which commented on a widely-circulating photo depicting a woman being slapped in the face, described the act as a violation of both Sharia (Islamic law) and chivalry.

Conservative Muslim and Roman Catholic countries and liberal Western nations approved a U.N. blueprint to combat violence against women and girls, ignoring strong objections from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood that it clashed with Islamic principles and sought to destroy the family, the reported . Read more in the Women's eNews story "."

Jeers

Two Torrington High School football players in Connecticut stand accused of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, reported . Four others were suspended in a hazing scandal last fall that is still under investigation. One player, the team's second-highest scorer last fall, was allowed to play even though the team's coach knew he had been charged with felony robbery and assault.

This case eerily parallels the Steubenville, Ohio, trial, including the social media harassment of the victims. CNN, Fox News and MSNBC recently aired the name of the underage victim in the Steubenville rape trial during reports about the case, reported . All three cable news networks aired a clip of one of the defendants, Trent Mays, apologizing to the victim in the courtroom. Mays had addressed the victim by name, which was not censored during CNN and MSNBC's broadcasts March 17 and Fox News' broadcast March 18. Local CBS affiliate WTRF also aired the clip without editing the victim's name out.

Read the Women's eNews roundup of reaction to coverage of the Steubenville case, "."

More News to Jeer This Week:

African American teenage abortion rates are more than twice as high as the national average, according to a study conducted by the Guttmacher Institute, reported . The African American abortion rate is 41 per 1,000 women among 15- to 19-year-olds. The national average abortion rate is 18 per 1,000 women among those 15 to 19 years old.

This week's cover of boasts a new "breed" of feminism: feminists who choose to be housewives. These feminists say they have it all, by choosing to stay home.

The first tablet designed exclusively for women is pink and comes pre-programmed with shopping and grocery list apps, the reported . Consumers are fired up about the sexist ePad Femme.

More than 1-in-4 women who join the military will be sexually assaulted during their careers, according to the Pentagon's own research, reported . About 19,000 sex crimes take place in the military each year, according to the Pentagon's most recent estimate.

The Philippine Supreme Court on March 19 temporarily halted a landmark law that would provide free contraception to poor women, reported .

Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, expressed his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act by calling it a "horrible" bill that helps "men dressed up as women," reported . Stockman attacked the bill specifically because of its protections for the LGBT community.

Female prisoners face social and familial difficulties upon returning to normal life after being released from Israeli jails in Gaza, reported .

A British woman traveling in India jumped out of the third-floor window of her hotel room March 19, telling police she feared a sexual attack after the hotel's owner tried to force his way into the room by offering her a massage, the reported .

Women are more likely than men to be poor during their lifetimes, a recent study conducted by SaveUp.com, an online financial rewards program for saving and paying down debt, found, the reported .

More than 6,800 women and children have been killed in two years of fighting in Syria, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights watchdog, putting the total toll at around 59,000 dead, reported . On March 22, the updated the total toll to more than 70,000.

Ten years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, women have obtained some benefits on paper but the reality is that they have lost far more than they have gained since the war began in 2003, wrote Zainab Salbi, founder of Women for Women International, on March 18.

Three women were paid to falsely claim in videotaped interviews that they had sex for money with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in the Dominican Republic, according to a spokesperson for the police, the reported .

Each year some 47,000 women around the world die as a result of unsafe abortions, wrote in an editorial March 17. Efforts to reduce that toll are severely hampered by the Helms Amendment, which was originally enacted in 1973 and restricts the use of United States foreign aid money to finance abortions overseas, even in places where abortion is legal.

A study finds that women- and minority-owned firms are still being locked out of New York City's multibillion-dollar contracts, the reported . The study was conducted by Manhattan BoroughPresident Scott Stringer.

A Swiss tourist on a cycling tour with her husband was raped by four men on March 15 in Madhya Pradesh, in central in India, reported . The woman, 39, and her husband, were camping in a dense forest about 400 yards from a road near the town of Datia when they were attacked by seven or eight men. Authorities in India have arrested six men suspected of taking part in the gang-rape, reported .

Noted:

Former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who became head of the U.N. superagency promoting women's equality in July 2010, said March 15 that she is giving up the post and returning home, an announcement that comes amid widespread speculation that she plans to run for president again this year, reported .

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