By Lew and Moawad
Saturday, September 30, 2006
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and instead of touting the wide array of commercial products that claim to raise funds for breast cancer, many organizations around the country have initiated campaigns to make breast cancer treatment and detection more affordable and to fund new technology and research for breast cancer patients. Of U.S. girls born today, 13.2 percent will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
Pretty in Pink, a nonprofit based in Raleigh, N.C., is helping low-income and uninsured breast cancer patients get free or discounted treatment, including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, reported the Raleigh News and Observer Sept. 25.
Tokyo-based Fujifilm partnered with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to create a Web site, Images of Health: Mammograms for a Million Moms, which encourages women to pledge to get a mammogram and fund screening programs for those in need. The Web site also explores digital mammography, which uses new detection technologies and computers to record, store and enhance the breast images.
Breast Cancer Action has also launched the fifth year of its Think Before You Pink campaign, which urges consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon products and promotions before they participate in them. This year, the campaign is focusing on the amount of money being donated to breast cancer compared to the amount being spent on marketing and what companies are doing to ensure that its products are not contributing to the breast cancer epidemic.
"By empowering consumers, we can work together to hold companies accountable to people affected by breast cancer," said Barbara Brenner, executive director of Breast Cancer Action. "If shopping could prevent or cure breast cancer, we'd have done it by now. There are so many ways for people who care about this disease to get involved."
"Senate Bans Out-of-State Travel for Teen Abortions":
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month:
Domestic Violence Awareness Month:
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When asked to define what actions comprise domestic violence and abuse, 2 in 5 Americans did not mention hitting, slapping and punching, a Sept. 21 study commissioned by Liz Claiborne Inc. found. Over 90 percent failed to define repeated emotional and verbal abuse, sexual abuse or controlling behaviors as patterns of domestic violence.
As National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is recognized in October in the United States, gender-based violence continues to be a health problem around the world. In a landmark study of violence against women in 2005, the World Health Organization found that domestic and sexual violence is widespread and presents profound implications for global health.
Tens of thousands of women in the Republic of Georgia are subjected to domestic violence on a regular basis while perpetrators usually go unpunished, London-based Amnesty International reported Sept. 24. Many stay with their partners because they have nowhere else to go; currently there are only two shelters in Georgia, both run by nongovernmental organizations.
Police in Kyrgyzstan are failing to take action on domestic violence and the abductions of female brides, reported United News of Bangladesh Sept. 27. New York-based Human Rights Watch reports that Kirghiz women often go to authorities after being kicked, strangled, beaten, stabbed and sexually assaulted by their husbands. Instead of treating these crimes seriously, the police often encourage women to reconcile with their abusers.
"The Bush administration's new foreign assistance framework must address the human rights of women and, in particular, create a global plan to combat domestic violence and hold individual governments accountable," said Amnesty's Maureen Greenwood-Basken.
Irene Lew is the editorial intern at Women's eNews. Nouhad Moawad is the Arabic site intern and Allison Stevens is Washington bureau chief.
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