Canada and Mexico are confronting domestic violence with centralized agencies and stronger databases for perpetrators and survivors.
Canada pledged $1.1 million toward a centralized family violence center that will serve as a support system for over 3,000 people, particularly Aboriginal women and girls, in Edmonton, the Edmonton Journal reported March 8.
Violent crimes occur in Nunavut, Canada’s Arctic, 10 times as frequently as the national average, according to Canada’s 2006 crime figures. And Aboriginal women are three times more likely to experience spousal violence than non-Aboriginal women.
Edmonton’s family violence center–which will centralize legal, financial, social and psychological service–is scheduled to begin in the fall and stands to be replicated nationwide.
Mexico announced the creation of a national database–the Information Network for Violence Against Women–that will track domestic violence survivors and assist in the prosecution of aggressors, Mexico City’s El Universal reported March 13.
Over 6,000 girls, teens and women were murdered for gender-related reasons between 1999 and 2005, according to the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information Technology.
Martha Lucia Micher, director of the Women’s Institute in Mexico City, called on Mexican states to harmonize their penal codes with the federal law on women’s access to a life free of violence. In many Mexican states, domestic violence is not considered a crime.
More News to Cheer This Week:
- The majority of men are happy to share the breadwinning role, with only 12 percent of men expressing a problem if their wives bring home the bigger paycheck, MSNBC reported March 6. The Elle Magazine and MSNBC joint survey, which evaluated nearly 74,000 men and women, found most couples believed the breadwinner shouldn’t have primary say in financial decisions.
- The Global Health Workforce Alliance called on the international community to address health care work force shortages in Africa and Asia at a March conference in Kampala, Uganda. The alliance estimated that 4.25 million health workers are needed to meet medical staff shortages in 57 critical countries. Sub-Saharan Africa has 3 percent of the world’s health force yet shoulders 24 percent of the global disease burden, including 47 percent of the world’s maternal mortality rates, according to the United Nations.
- Japanese women are increasingly turning to police to report domestic violence, with 15 percent more cases documented in 2007 than 2006, Reuters reported March 13. "An increasing number of cases concern women who had previously suffered in silence but have decided to come out to seek advice or support from police," one agency official told Kyoto news agency. Japan enacted its first domestic violence law in 2001 and expanded its reach in 2004 to include former spouses and children.
- Tae Kwondo fighter Sara Khoshjamal, age 20, became the first Iranian woman to earn a spot at the Olympics, ABC News reported March 13. And South Korea named a female engineer to be its first astronaut, joining a Russian scientific team in a voyage to the International Space Station next month. Russia rejected the previous Korean nominee for breaking the rules at a space training center.
For more information:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Brochures for STDS:
Miss Money Bags Reversal of Fortune:
250 Murders Prompt Mexico’s Anti-Violence Campaign:
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A March study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 1 in 4 U.S. female teens have a sexually transmitted disease. The 2008 study evaluated 838 teens. Of those who admitted to having sex 40 percent had an STD.
The teens were tested for four infections: human papillomavirus, or HPV, which can cause cervical cancer and affected 18 percent of teens studied; chlamydia, which affected 4 percent; trichomoniasis, 2.5 percent; and genital herpes, 2 percent. Doctors attribute these results to abstinence-only sex education and teen insecurity.
Black female teens were hit the hardest. Nearly half who were tested had at least one STD compared to 20 percent of white and Mexican American teens. Health experts believe that the emphasis on abstinence-only sex education in the United States is contributing to the growing STD rates and that simple messages encouraging teens to use condoms can help with prevention.
Teens need to hear the dual message that STDs can be prevented by abstinence and condoms, said Dr. Ellen Kruger, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. She told NPR "you’ve got to hammer at them" with appropriate information at each stage of teen development to make sure it sinks in.
More News to Jeer This Week:
- At least 3,000 young women in Britain are the victims of forced marriages each year, according to a Home Office study. The government’s three-year-old forced marriage unit only handles 300 cases a year. But the report concluded that at least 10 times as many cases occur nationwide each year below the radar of law enforcement agencies, the Guardian reported.
- "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis pleaded no contest to charges of filming underage girls for his DVD and was set free, Reuters reported March 12. Francis, who has spent the last 11 months in a Nevada jail, has earned millions by filming topless and sometimes naked college-age women, usually under the influence of alcohol. He says that the 17-year-old girls lied about their ages and he doesn’t plan to change how he operates his video empire.
- The Michigan State Senate passed a bill to make it more difficult for teens to obtain an abortion without their parents’ consent, the Associated Press reported March 11. The proposed law provides an escape route for the state rule that teens must have parental consent for an abortion. The proposal would permit a judge to waive the parental consent requirement if he or she considers that to be in the best interests of the teen. However, if a judge refuses to do so, the bill would bar any other judge from overriding that decision. The bill was passed on a 25-12 vote.
Shanelle Matthews is Women’s eNews editorial intern and a recent graduate of the Manship School of Mass Communications at Louisiana State University. Dominique Soguel is Women’s eNews Arabic editor.
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