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Radio-Canada, the Quebec-based French-language service of Canada’s CBC public network, announced that Celine Galipeau will anchor its 10 p.m. news broadcast, the Globe and Mail reported June 17.

The veteran journalist will go head-to-head with another French-speaking female news anchor, Sophie Thibault of the private TVA network. Quebec’s third network, TQS, also had a female anchor–Esther Begin–for its 10 p.m. newscast until the newsroom closed last spring.

Galipeau’s new post makes female anchors commonplace in Quebec, bringing the province’s news culture in line with national counterparts France and Belgium.

More News to Cheer This Week:


  • The majority of people in 17 of 18 countries polled are against criminal penalties for abortion, a June 18 study by World Public Opinion finds. Indonesians are the exception to that. Christians, older people and high-income groups are more liberal in their views while 65 percent of "very religious" people support governmental discouragement of abortion. An average of 52 percent of those polled say abortion is an individual’s choice. Interviews were conducted with 18,465 participants and countries were chosen to represent 59 percent of the world’s population.


  • Norway passed a law on June 17 that allows same-sex marriage and gives same-sex couples the right to adopt and undergo artificial insemination, the Associated Press reported. The law takes effect Jan. 1.


  • In an effort to curb unwanted pregnancies and maternal mortality, India plans to give pregnancy test strips to rural women as they get married, Sify News reported June 15. Around 53 percent of Indian women get married before the age of 18, and 301 women out of 100,000 die during pregnancy or labor.


  • A draft regulation in China forbids local government from forcing married migrant workers of child-bearing age to return home for pregnancy tests, reported Chinaview June 16. Under the regulation, local cities are required to provide free pregnancy tests and basic childbearing health care.


  • A new hotline in Ecuador provides women with information on safe abortions and sexual health. In a publicity stunt, Dutch health care provider Women on Waves and a local group hung a banner to advertise the hotline’s number on the Virgin de Panecillo, a famous statue in Quito of an angel standing on a giant snake, according to a June 18 release by Women on Waves.

For more information:

Big Push for Midwives

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A Honduran Parliament position paper called the "Book of Life," that opposes the legalization of therapeutic abortion, is quickly gaining support in the parliaments of El Salvador and Guatemala, Inter Press Service reported June 16.

Therapeutic abortion applies to abortion performed to save a woman’s life, when the fetus is deformed or when the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape.

Lobbyists with the Catholic Church, evangelical churches and the Yes to Life Foundation are exporting the document from Honduras, where it has been signed by around 100 out of 128 lawmakers. Promoters expect around 150 of Guatemala’s 158 lawmaker to do the same. The vast majority of the 84 members of the legislature in El Salvador have signed the paper.

Last year there were 18 million pregnancies in Latin America and the Caribbean, out of which 52 percent were unplanned and 21 percent ended in abortion, according to the press agency.

More News to Jeer This Week:


  • A Department of Veterans Affairs study finds female veterans receiving unequal medical care at about one-third of the VA’s 139 facilities, the AP reported June 15. Women make up 5 percent of the VA’s patient population, which is expected to double in two years. The VA is planning to create onsite mammography and specialized women’s clinics at most of their medical centers and recruit clinicians with training in female health care.


  • The American Medical Association resolved at its annual meeting last week to lobby Congress to outlaw home births, Citizens for Midwifery reported June 16. With no current law on delivery locations, Big Push for Midwives, a national advocacy group for midwife regulation and licensing, calls the legislation a way of penalizing motherhood.


  • Human trafficking is rising in India, where approximaely 50 girls are forced into prostitution each day and a total of 400,000 Bangladeshi women are engaged in forced prostitution, the United News reported June 17.



  • Last month, Tehran opened a male-free park, Mothers’ Paradise, where the Islamic dress code is not enforced. The park in Iran’s capital city, run by an all-female staff, has attracted many women but has also stirred concerns about further sex segregation. Last week Iranian police started a summer crackdown on clothing stores and hairdressers that don’t abide by Islamic clothing rules.


  • Sen. Barack Obama personally apologized on June 19 to two women from Detroit who were banned from sitting behind him during his June 18 campaign rally because they wore Islamic head scarves, the Associated Press reported June 19. Campaign volunteers didn’t want the women’s headscarves to appear in images of the candidate. A volunteer told one of the women "because of the political climate and what’s going on in the world and what’s going on with Muslim Americans it’s not good for her to be seen on TV or associated with Obama," the AP reported.


  • Women often advance in male-dominated management when companies cut and restructure their work force, according to new research by a sociologist at the University of Illinois. But such advances are short lived. After a year or two, as management jobs are whittled by the effects of the restructuring women lose ground, according to the June 12 study by the American Sociological Association.

Besa Luci, a native of Kosovo, is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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