Cheers and Jeers

Millions Pledged in NYC; Louisiana's Score Is Lousy

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Governments pledged millions to reduce infant and maternal mortality this week in U.N.-related meetings. But Louisiana has ranked as being a lousy state for women.




Mom and kids in Malawi.

Credit: Lindsay Mgbor/Department for International Development on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

Strong financial commitments to women's issues and a nod to women's rights were part of many events taking place this week in New York City as the United Nations General Assembly met.

The World Bank Group, UNICEF, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the government of Norway announced Sept. 23 a collective amount of $1.15 billion in funding over the next three years to hasten the progress toward Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 (the two related to childhood mortality and maternal health) and to ensure essential services and medicines reach women and children who need them in developing countries, according to a press release from the U.N.

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Sept. 25 at the United Nations that $203.55 million will go towards nine projects to help improve the health of women and children in developing countries, Canada's reported. The announcement was made during an event focused on women's and children's health. The money is part of the $1.1 billion that Canada committed to the $7 billion Muskoka Initiative in 2010 to improve maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries.

Adding to the contribution, during her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for a "full and clear-eyed look" at how far women's rights have come since her landmark Beijing speech, as well as the work that remains to be done, reported. Clinton also said she is gathering a group of actors to offer a progress report on whether the rhetoric matches the on-the-ground reality facing women in the world, and, if not, how best to band together to fill the gaps that remain.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Some House Republicans attempted but failed to include a ban on late-term abortions in a bill to authorize a one-year increase of the debt ceiling, reported . The House of Representatives already passed a ban in June, but the Democratic-controlled Senate did not take up the measure and the White House threatened to deny it.

More than a dozen abortion providers filed a lawsuit Sept. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas challenging two key aspects of a controversial Texas antiabortion law, which limits access to both surgical and medication abortions in the state, reported.

The School of Leadership Afghanistan in Kabul has been secretly schooling and giving scholarships to Afghanistan's girls, hoping to cement the next generation's educational gains, reported .

Women who want the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to lift a ban that prohibits them from driving have launched an online campaign urging Saudi females to drive cars on Oct. 26, reported .

Florida appeals court is ordering a new trial for Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she fired a warning shot in a wall during a dispute with her husband in 2010, reported . The 1st District Court of Appeal ruled that a judge did not properly instruct the jury handling the case.

YWCA Rhode Island honored 11 women, including the state's First Lady Stephanie Chafee, an Air National Guard officer and the Central Falls school board chairwoman for its ninth annual "Women of Achievement" ceremony in Lincoln Sept. 26, reported.

This month, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom is promoting the prevention of conflicts by investing in equality and peace rather than militarized inequality and violence, reported .

There were 105 women occupying 144 roles in the boardrooms of the 100 largest companies on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2012, reported .

"On the Banks of the Old Raritan," Rutgers University's alma mater song, underwent a change in its lyrics to be gender neutral, reported .

Tata Consultancy Services, India's leading software developer, is starting a business processing outsourcing center that only employs women in Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, reported .

Pat Storey, a married mother of two, was appointed bishop of Meath and Kildare in Ireland, reported . She is the first woman to be named a bishop of the Anglican Church of England. Rev. Storey has pushed the church to appoint female bishops.

Jeers

Louisiana is ranked as the least favorable state for women for economic robustness, health welfare and occupancy of leadership positions, reported . Employed women earn 67 percent of what men are paid and 1-in-5 women live in poverty. Louisiana also is one of the top 10 states with high maternal mortality rates.

These findings were part of a 50-state analysis by the that assesses how women are faring across the country. The report, "The State of Women in America," uses 36 different health, economic and leadership factors to measure disparities among states and rank the best and worst states for women.

More News to Jeer This Week:

At a public meeting held this week in Washington, D.C., by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to discuss reform proposals, it was revealed that the Department of Defense's own recommendations on an important issue involving sexual assault trials won't be released until after a Senate vote on the matter has already been held, reported .

Breast cancer incidence rates increased slightly among African American women from 2006 to 2010, bringing those rates closer to the historically higher rates among white women, according to an analysis by researchers. The is published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

In an interview with an ultraconservative Catholic newspaper, Cardinal Ray Burke, a Vatican official, said that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi should be denied communion because of her pro-choice views, according to a press statement released by Sept. 25.

Female tennis pros still get less prize money, reported . The head of the Women's Tennis Association said that female players are "ready, willing and able" to play five-set matches for equal pay.

Female employees of Qatar Airways are mandated to notify the airline of pregnancy for which they are subject to being fired, as well as obtain permission to get married, reported .

The 183rd Semiannual General Conference for appointment of the all-male Mormon priesthood, to take place on Oct. 5, will not allow women of the Church of Latter Day Saints to attend, reported .

Over the past 40 years, the proportion of British women working traditionally female-occupied positions that are also lower paid remains unchanged, despite the more than two-thirds of women who are now part of the work force, reported .

An unnamed woman was forced to resign as a teacher from Al-Madinah School in England for not following the Islamic dress code, reported .

An unnamed resident of Massachusetts who was raped and impregnated at age 14 is suing the Commonwealth for enabling rapist, Jamie Melendez, from gaining custody rights over their daughter, reported .

Noted:

A demand by 8,000 Nigerian women for help to get married will be considered, the Zamfara state government said, after a group of women marched through Gusau city to hand in their petition to the religious police in the state which is partly governed by Islamic law, reported .

Stacey Rambold, former Montana high school teacher, was released Sept. 26 after his 30-day sentence for raping his 14-year-old student, reported.

A10-year-old ban on a toxic flame retardant that decreases fertility, lowers IQs among youth and causes thyroid issues was found to significantly reduce the chemical found in pregnant women's blood, reported .

In a released , the Center for Responsive Politics found that more than 44 percent of President Barack Obama's campaign cash in 2012 came from female donors.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, an imprisoned member of Pussy Riot, the band that satirized Russian President Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral last year, went on a hunger strike to protest the prison's treatment of female convicts, reported .

A government survey indicated that 1-in-3 young Japanese women aims to get married and be a full-time housewife, reported . The poll, which quizzed more than 3,000 people aged 15 to 39, found 34 percent of unmarried women expressed a desire not to work outside the home after they wed.

An online campaign initiated by Ugandans is calling for the resignation of Youth Affairs Minister Ronald Kibuule using the hashtag #KibuuleMustGo, reported . Kibuule's commentary placing the blame for rape on women was published by the Daily Monitor newspaper.

Indian film actress Kalki Koechlin and model Juhi Pande starred in comedy group All India Bakchod's recent satirical video entitled "It's Your Fault," reported . The video uses dark humor to expose the recent response to rapes in India and the idea that rape is the woman's fault.

Angela Merkel is set to serve her third term as German chancellor after her party, Christian Democratic Union, won the majority of votes in the federal election, digital business news outlet, reported .

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