Cheers and Jeers

Portland OKs Sick Days; Contraception Needs Unmet

Saturday, March 16, 2013




Birth Control Pills

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

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Cheers

City Council members of Portland, Ore., voted in a unanimous decision to pass the Earned Sick Time policy on March 13, said Family Values at Work in a press statement. Portland becomes the fourth city in the country to adopt such a law. The bill will enable more than 120,000 workers in Portland to earn up to five sick days a year.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Queen Elizabeth II made history March 10 when she signed a new charter taking a stand against discrimination, promoting gender equality and what it may imply for gay rights, reported.

A U.S. District Court judge has issued a permanent injunction that will prevent Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's administration from cutting off 14,000 Tennesseans from HIV and syphilis prevention programs provided by Planned Parenthood, the organization said in a press statement March 14.

Jon O'Brien, president of Catholics for Choice called on Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio in a March 13, elected the Roman Catholic Church's new pope, to recognize that he is now the head of a very diverse church, one that includes Catholics who use contraception, who have or provide abortions, who seek fertility treatments, who engage in sexual relationships outside of marriage or with people of the same sex, as well as people who are living with HIV and AIDS. He called on him to take responsibility and affirm rather than deny these truths. Meanwhile, protesters demanding a greater role for women in the Roman Catholic Church set off a pink smoke flare on a hill above the Vatican March 12 as the men-only conclave gathered to choose the next pope, reported.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered his economic adviser Elvira Nabiullina the post of governor of the Bank of Russia, to replace departing chief Sergei Ignatyev, reported . She will be the first female central bank chief in a Group of Eight nation.

Ezras Nashim, a women-only crew of Orthodox emergency medical technicians, has received New York State approval to begin work as an emergency medical service, reported .

Saudi authorities have drafted a law to curb child marriages, reported . The Ministry of Justice has drafted the long-awaited legislation, which only restricts such marriages but does not totally ban them as it will give the bride's father the final decision and does not include penalties for offenders.

Jeers

Two hundred and thirty-three million women will be in need of contraception by 2015, according to new data published by the United Nations Population division in The Lancet, and will not have the means to access it, reported . Although worldwide access to all forms of birth control has generally increased since 1990, needs are not being met.

More News to Jeer This Week:

The North Dakota legislature passed a bill March 15 that bans most abortions in the state, the ACLU said in a statement. Should this bill be signed into law by the governor, North Dakota will become the first state in the nation to ban most abortions. In addition to the bill passed March 15, the North Dakota legislature is also poised to pass several other bills, including those that would ban all abortions, prohibit in vitro fertilization and force abortion providers in the state to close. These bills have passed one chamber of the legislature.

Attorneys for a high school football player facing rape accusations in Steubenville, Ohio, are asking a judge to dismiss the case against him because they say the "unavailability of material witnesses" denies him his right to a fair trial, the reported . Read more on the trial, "" Women's eNews reported .

Earlier this week, North Korea blamed South Korea's President Park Geun-hye's "venomous swish of skirt" for tensions on the Korean Peninsula, reported . "Swish of skirt" has long been an insult in Korean culture, directed at women deemed too aggressive, rather than the traditional ideal of docile and coy.

Rep. Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin unveiled a spending-and-tax plan March 12 that relies on the same unpopular proposals of his 2012 campaign to balance the federal budget in 10 years in ways that would take an enormous toll on women, reported.

Women suffer more than men from crisis-driven budget and social spending cuts, which must be offset by investing in job training and female entrepreneurship, say members of the European Parliament in a non-binding resolution adopted March 12, reported.


Two-thirds of women with ovarian cancer receive inadequate care and miss out on treatments that could add a year or more to their lives, according to Dr. Robert E. Bristow, the director of gynecologic oncology at the University of California, Irvine, and lead author of a study that analyzed the medical records of 13,321 women with ovarian cancer diagnosed from 1999 to 2006 in California, reported .

Habib Ellouz, a Tunisian Enahdha member of the National Constituent Assembly, recently stated in a newspaper interview that female genital mutilation is "an aesthetic surgery," prompting popular concerns that he expressed support for the procedure, reported . Read more in the story, "" reported by Women's eNews, .

The practice of female genital mutilation, once considered primarily a problem in the developing world, is a growing threat to girls and women in the United States, according to a new , reported .

Far-right extremists are responsible for more than half of all attacks on Muslims in the United Kingdom, with women increasingly targeted in more than half of all Islamophobic hatred, a survey has found, reported .

Noted:

Former first lady Laura Bush said in an interview that some Republican candidates in 2012 "frightened" women, reported . However the former first lady doesn't think the party should rethink its emphasis on social issues.

's book, "Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead," is facing criticism that she's too successful and rich to lead a movement, the reported . But Sandberg says her focus remains on spurring action and progress among women. With "Lean In," Sandberg aims to arm women with the tools and guidance they need to keep moving forward in the work force.

One of the larger women's political organizations, The National Federation of Republican Women, is urging political leaders to reform the U.S. immigration system in a way that will tighten border security but also offer a pathway to legalization to immigrants who meet strict criteria, reported .

Progressive grassroots organizations are calling for the resignation of Celeste Greig, president of the California Republican Assembly, after she stated earlier this month that pregnancies from rape are rare, reported .

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