Women increased their presence on the radio dial this week. GreenStone Media, an all-woman commercial talk radio network, was launched in New York by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda, Carol Jenkins and others. The media network has started to offer programming at radio stations in four states and says it will target a market dominated by male hosts and audiences.
Steinem told Reuters the woman-run network is "more about information, about humor, about respect for different points of view and not constant arguing."
In other radio news, poet Maya Angelou joined XM Satellite Radio to host a weekly show as part of Oprah Winfrey’s radio production unit, Oprah and Friends. And National Public Radio announced this week that it had selected political commentator Farai Chideya as the new host of its "News and Notes" program, replacing veteran broadcast journalist Ed Gordon at the helm.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- Women in Pereira, Colombia, have started a sex strike to stop violence, the Guardian newspaper reported Sept. 13. At least two dozen women–all either the wives or girlfriends of gang members–have refused sex to their partners until they lay down their weapons. "We want them to know that violence is not sexy," said Jennifer Bayer, 18.
- Michigan is the first state to consider a bill to require all girls entering the sixth grade to receive the new HPV vaccine, which prevents 70 percent of sexually transmitted cervical cancer cases, the Detroit News reported Sept. 13. A federal advisory committee has recommended the HPV vaccine be given to all 11 and 12-year-old girls.
- The anti-choice group Operation Rescue West, based in Wichita, Kan., has had its tax-exempt status revoked by the Internal Revenue Service, the New York Times reported Sept. 15. The agency determined the group violated prohibitions on electioneering by supporting efforts to defeat Sen. John Kerry’s 2004 presidential bid.
- Women for Women International has won the 2006 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize for helping women in Iraq, Afghanistan and other war zones, reported the San Jose Mercury News Sept. 12. The group provides loans to women to open small businesses and contributes food and medicine to conflict areas.
- The Qatar Foundation for Protection of Children and Women has set up 42 offices all over Qatar to report sexual harassment and violence, reported the Peninsula newspaper Sept. 12. The center will provide hotlines for support and train women to help detect violence against children. The foundation has protected 459 children and 178 women between January 2005 and June 2006.
For more information:
Women’s eNews Spotlight on 2006 Midterm Election Races:
Wikipedia: Ann Richards:
Pakistan has indefinitely delayed proposed reforms to its Hudood Ordinances, which make criminal prosecutions of rapes virtually impossible for women, the Associated Press reported Sept. 14. The laws require that women provide four male eyewitnesses to a rape before a conviction can be reached, otherwise the victim can be charged with fornication or adultery, charges that result in severe prison sentences.
Initially, the government proposed moving rape cases into the nation’s criminal code, eliminating the witness requirement and allowing for other evidence to be considered. But after resistance from clerics, the proposal has been set aside.
Criticizing the government’s delay, Asma Jehangir, chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, told the Associated Press, "They take on these initiatives with great fervor and then chicken out."
More News to Jeer This Week:
- A study analyzing the results of 100,000 SAT scores concludes that men are the smarter sex, reported British newspaper the Mirror in a Sept. 14 story headlined "Are Men Really Cleverer Than Women? Scientists say they can prove it . . . but they are blokes." The study, authored by University of Western Ontario psychologist John Philippe Rushton, concluded that male IQs are 3.63 points higher than female IQs. Rushton said the IQ difference explains the glass ceiling effect facing women rather than sex discrimination. Rushton’s study was slammed by other researchers, but it echoes a similar study from the University of Ulster last year.
- A woman gave birth to a baby boy in a Harris County, Texas, jail cell, Houston TV station KPRC reported Sept. 8. The sheriff’s department refused to release the woman’s name or the reason why she was in jail, but said the case will be investigated. Another prisoner witnessed the birth and told the TV station that the pregnant woman pleaded with guards that the birth was imminent, but they refused to help her and the child was born in the cell without medical assistance. Mother and newborn son were later transferred to a hospital by paramedics.
- The U.S. Agency for International Development has donated $15 million to faith-based religious groups in Uganda, Agence France-Presse reported Sept. 15. The money is for AIDS prevention programs that advocate abstinence instead of condom use, an approach that has been criticized by many health advocates at recent international AIDS conferences. One million Ugandans have died from AIDS in the past quarter-century.
- Every female incumbent who stood in a primary election during the Sept. 5 and Sept. 12 primaries won her bid, although female candidates overall had mixed results. Among the victors were Democrat Carol Shea-Porter, running for a New Hampshire House seat; Democrat Amy Klobuchar, running for Senate in Minnesota; and Republican Martha Rainville, who is seeking to represent Vermont in the Senate.
- Less than two months before the midterm elections, House Democrats are trying to change the debate over abortion politics by introducing a bill that aims to reduce the number of abortions rather than protecting access to the procedure. Democrats who supported the Reducing the Need for Abortions and Supporting Parents Act on Sept. 14 hope it will appeal to voters who have concerns about abortion but do not oppose it. The bill promotes funding for contraceptives and more comprehensive sex education as well as support for adoption and services for new mothers.
The silver-tongued, motorcycle-riding former governor of Texas, Ann Willis Richards, died of esophageal cancer at her Austin, Texas, home Sept. 13 at age 73.
As the first woman elected Texas governor in her own right in 1990, Richards appointed more women and minorities to state offices than any of her predecessors and opened doors for those who followed. She attended college on a debate scholarship and later taught at an Austin junior high school, which she once described as the toughest job she’d ever held. A wife, mother and volunteer for others’ political campaigns, Richards first ran for office when her husband declined a bid but encouraged her to run. She was the first woman elected county commissioner in Travis County in 1976, and broke a 50-year drought of women in statewide offices when she was elected state treasurer in 1982.
Richards, who championed women’s rights and charmed Americans of all political backgrounds, remained popular with the public long after her defeat in her bid for a second-term bid by George W. Bush, then a Texas businessman.
"I did not want my tombstone to read, ‘She kept a really clean house,’" Richards said in 1995 before she left office. "I think I’d like them to remember me by saying, ‘She opened government to everyone.’"
Nouhad Moawad is Women’s eNews Arabic intern; Suzanne Batchelor is our correspondent in Austin, Texas; Allison Stevens is Washington bureau chief; and Jennifer Thurston is associate editor.
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