By Amusa and Moawad
Saturday, August 19, 2006
A U.S. federal appeals court has ruled that the Michigan High School Athletic Association was in violation of Title IX--a measure to ensure gender equity at schools that receive federal funds--by scheduling female sports during "disadvantaged" seasons, the Detroit Free Press reported Aug. 16.
"Michigan High School Athletic Association must stop forcing these girls to play second string and instead ensure that they have the athletic opportunities they deserve," said Marcia D. Greenberger of the National Women's Law Center, attorney for the plaintiff in the case.
The discrimination suit focused on how female high school athletes are scheduled to compete in basketball and volleyball during the fall and winter seasons--not the seasons when other states schedule the sports--and therefore limiting the athletes' opportunities to play in front of college recruiters and compete for athletic scholarships.
Health activists concluded that the Bush administration is limiting the reach of the U.S. government's ability to fight the global AIDS epidemic during this week's International AIDS Conference in Toronto because of its pro-abstinence policies, the Gay City News reported Aug. 17.
Sixty percent of Bush's $15 billion plan to combat the disease worldwide is earmarked for abstinence and fidelity programs, the Center for Health and Gender Equality, in Takoma Park, Md., reported at the conference. This is spreading the notion that condoms don't work in Tanzania, for example, and worsening the epidemic in Rwanda, activists said.
Referring to the administration's emphasis on abstinence, philanthropist Melinda Gates said, "If you oppose the distribution of condoms, something is more important to you than saving lives." Bill and Melinda Gates kicked off the conference with speeches emphasizing the importance of developing HIV-blocking microbicide gels for women and campaigning for condom usage.
"You have to put the power in the hands of women," Gates said. "That is going to be the way to change this epidemic." The couple announced last week their gift of $500 million toward the eradication of AIDS. Other conference sessions focused on cervical cancer and HIV prevention among sex workers.
Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright attacked the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, saying the United Nations committee that oversees the CEDAW treaty is imposing radical feminism on the world, reported the Washington Times Aug. 11. During a conference at the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank, Wright called CEDAW "the Equal Rights Amendment on steroids" and said it was a weapon to coerce nations into signing agreements to control population and support civil rights for gays and lesbians.
The Washington-based women's group and other anti-choice organizations also urged President Bush to withdraw the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach to lead the Food and Drug Administration, the Houston Chronicle reported Aug. 17. The groups are concerned that von Eschenbach will allow the agency to approve over-the-counter distribution of emergency contraception.
Malena Amusa, from St. Louis, is an editorial intern at Women's eNews. Nouhad Moawad is the Arabic site intern at Women's eNews.
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