Cheers and Jeers

Seattle Ups Min Wage; Barbarous Attacks in India

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Seattle's City Council has approved an increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. Also this week, more horrific assaults against women and girls in India.

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Minimum wage rally
A rally in New York City to raise the minimum wage

Credit: on Flickr, under Creative Commons

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(WOMENSENEWS)--

Cheers

Seattle's City Council unanimously approved an increase in the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour, making it the highest in the United States, reported . Fast-food workers, the majority of whom are female, called the increase a victory for workers and vowed to continue a fight for $15 that has now spread across the country, according to a press statement. President Barack Obama is pushing for a national $10.10 minimum wage hike, and most recently followed through in his January executive order to raise wages for federally contracted employees. In March, Connecticut promised to do the same by 2017. Washington, paying its workers at least $9.32 an hour, currently boasts the highest state-wide minimum wage.

More News to Cheer This Week:

A coalition of Pakistani religious leaders has condemned "honor" killings as un-Islamic, reported . The All Pakistan Ulema Council is organizing a summit to discuss crimes in which girls and women are killed for behavior that family members deem disreputable. This announcement came after a 25-year-old woman, Farzana Parveen, was stoned to death while pregnant for marrying a man against her family's wishes.

Transgender individuals no longer need to undergo gender-confirming surgery to update their birth certificates in New York, the reported . To correct a birth certificate, a transgendered person will only have to provide an affidavit from a licensed medical professional citing "appropriate clinical treatment."

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a request to halt same-sex marriage in Oregon state, the reported . The National Organization for Marriage spearheaded the emergency appeal in hopes of overturning the district's recent ruling that declared the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional.

Former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords announced her gun violence prevention super PAC will channel millions of dollars to support seven Senate and four House races, reported . The super PAC said the funds are for television advertisements of a selected nine Democrats and two Republicans across the country.

The strictest rules on the use of abortion drugs in the United States are likely to be struck down and will continue to be blocked while a lawsuit against them plays out, a federal appeals court ruled June 3, reported. In that context, a unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Arizona regulations of abortion drugs appear to be an unconstitutional "undue burden on a woman's right to abortion" and kept in place its injunction on them.

Nigerian police say peaceful rallies to demand the release of more than 200 schoolgirls seized by Boko Haram will be allowed, after previously banning them, the reported . reported that the government is gathering a special task force to open channels of negotiation with the militants.

Chimes for Change, the nonprofit run by Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Gucci's Creative Director Frida Giannini, donated $500,000 to sponsor four projects benefitting women and girls, said in a press statement June 4.

Sallie L. Krawcheck, a former big bank executive, announced that her organization would team up with Pax World Management, a fund management company, to offer an index fund focused on companies where women make up a significant portion of officers and directors, reported .

MomsRising, an online and grassroots advocacy group for women and families, launched a Spanish website on June 3 called . "We are stronger when everyone in our communities has a voice and is involved in shaping the policies that impact our lives," said Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeinrer.

Jeers

A woman in northern India was strangled to death and then her face was mutilated with acid, the reported . Police, who are still trying to identify the woman, found the 22-year-old in a field in Aithpura, close to the city of Bareilly. "[We believe] the acid was poured on her to conceal her identity," said Supt Ravindra Gaur, the senior investigating officer. Initial reports alleged she had been raped, but post-mortem examinations determined she had not. The crime occurred just 60 miles from the gang-raping and hanging of two girls, reported . The shocking attack on the young women -- two cousins aged 14 and 16 -- sparked outrage in the village of Katra Sadatganj and beyond. The mother of one of the victims was beaten after she refused to withdraw her complaint, according to an official, the reported. To further squash protests, police used water cannons to disperse the hundreds angered at authorities for failing to adequately react to the crimes, reported . The demonstrators, members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, were outside the headquarters of the administration of Uttar Pradesh state, where numerous rapes and attacks occurred.

More News to Jeer this Week:

The Anderson Graduate School of Management at University of California, Los Angeles, is "inhospitable to women faculty," finds a group of university professors and outside business-school deans, reported . Judy Olian, the top-ranked institution's first female dean, has met with heads of other elite business schools at the White House to discuss improving work places for women and working families.

An Ohio bill would prevent insurance companies from helping to pay for abortions even in cases of sexual assault, incest or a threat to the child bearer, the reported . The bill would also ban coverage of certain birth control methods for public employees and those on Medicaid. An ectopic pregnancy is the only exception that would still be covered.

Twitter prevented a condom company from advertising on its site, reported . Twitter's advertising policy of prohibiting "adult sexual products," which includes contraceptives, set off a storm of virtual protests. RH Reality Check launched an online petition demanding Twitter to allow "advertisers to speak plainly about sex" on its website.

Hurricanes with female names are less likely to inspire fear, making the consequences more deadly, reported . Female-named storms have historically higher death tolls because people fail to take them seriously, according to the study. A backlash against the study has charged the finding with being far-fetched, reported .

State bans on sex-selective abortions in the United States advance an anti-abortion agenda and perpetrate myths about this practice that stigmatizes Asian American and Pacific Islanders, finds by a consortium of research and advocacy groups. "We've long thought of this type of legislation as 'wolves in sheep's clothing,'" said Miriam Yeung, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum." This research lays bare the disguise, and what remains is legislation that promotes racial stereotyping and is deeply offensive to Asian American families."

Gov. Mike Pence has told U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that Indiana will not comply with 2003 federal standards designed to reduce prison rape and sexual assault because they are too costly, reported . Indiana Department of Justice spokesperson Doug Garrison said that implementing the law would cost the state $15 million to $20 million.

Noted:

The second annual , released June 2, finds that the United States, Australia and Sweden are the best countries for female entrepreneurship. This marks the second year that the United States has received the highest ranking. The lowest scoring countries were Uganda, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

More than 60 women have signed up for combat roles in the Australian military, such as in the infantry and as tank crews, since gender restrictions were lifted in January 2013 from the most dangerous defense jobs, the chief of the defense force said, reported . Yet women opting for direct combat roles still make up a tiny proportion of the 8,000 women in the defense force. Women account for 14 percent of Australia's military.

Kansas House member Jan Pauls announced she was leaving the Democratic Party to seek re-election as a Republican, citing what she calls Democratic hostility to her opposition to abortion and gay rights, reported .

In Memoriam:

Grace Garcia, the 59-year-old executive director of a pro-choice fundraising group, died in a car crash, a local affiliate reported . Garcia, who served as an adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, took over Annie's List, which bolsters pro-choice Democratic candidates, last year.

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