Anti-Violence Gets Big Bucks; Young Moms Drop School

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced Nov. 20 an unprecedented $18 million investment in programs to promote healthy teen relationships and curb intimate violence.

In another related safety effort, leading companies, including Macy’s, Verizon Wireless and Gap Inc. announced Nov. 18 a national plan to improve the ways they help their employees handle and overcome domestic violence.

More News to Cheer This Week:


  • Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Patty Murray of Washington introduced a bill Nov. 20 to block the Bush administration’s proposed "conscience rule" that says health care providers can refuse any type of service or treatment to which they have moral objections. "For eight years this administration has worked to undermine women’s health but they won’t get away with it on their way out the door," Murphy said in a press statement.


  • Eri Yoshida, 16-year-old Japanese athlete, will be the first woman to play professional baseball alongside men, the Associated Press reported Nov. 17. Yoshida was drafted by Kobe 9 Cruise, an independent professional team that starts its first season in April. Some saw the nomination as a marketing ploy by the new team.


  • In England, ignorance is no longer an acceptable defense for men facing prosecution for paying for sex with trafficked women or pimping exploited women, according to a prostitution law implemented Nov. 20, the Guardian reported.


  • Army Gen. Ann Dunwoody was named the military’s first female four-star general on Nov. 14. The Women in the Military Project of the Women’s Research and Education Institute has lobbied for more women in the Pentagon for a decade, Politico reported Nov. 18. Military women serve in 14 percent of Pentagon posts; women comprise 21 percent of the civilian work force in the Pentagon.


  • Now that Barack Obama is president elect, some abortion foes will de-emphasize legal challenges to abortion and step up promotion of social support programs for pregnant women, the Washington Post reported Nov. 18.


  • Sen. Hillary Clinton is on track for secretary of state and reportedly agreed to accept the position. And Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is Obama’s choice for secretary of homeland security, the Wall Street Journal reported.


  • Women in Sierra Leone will be able to pay delivery fees after childbirth instead of before under a new U.N.-backed initiative to cut mortality rates, the Freetown-based Concord Times reported Nov. 17. Women who cannot afford clinic fees and face complications are a large portion of the country’s 1,800 deaths per every 100,000 live births.




The so-called welfare reforms of the 1990s decreased the probability of young adult women attending high school or college by 20 to 25 percent, according to a study in the November 2008 National Bureau of Economic Research Bulletin on Aging and Health.

Researchers from Bentley University, Rider University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey looked at the education levels of women who receive public assistance and found that, despite increases in employment after the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996, "robust and convincing" evidence showed the women had less access to education and decreased earnings over the long term.

One major aspect of the 1996 law was to restrict school attendance to meet work requirements and increase paid employment.

"The more heavily the women are working, and the more women are living in states that require a lot of work and don’t count education as work, the less likely they are to be in school," co-author Hope Corman, professor of economics at Rider, told Inside Higher Ed Nov. 14. "They can’t seem to do both, so ‘work first’ comes at the expense of education."

More News to Jeer This Week:


  • Maternal death rates in Pacific communities are climbing dramatically, the Australian ABC network reported Nov. 15. In the Solomon Islands, deaths rose 69 percent in the past year. "Too many women have the birth of their children without qualified attendants," said Australian aid official Bob McMullan.


  • Half of California’s 400 public corporations have no female executives and the sector has only 13 female chief executives, according to a Nov. 17 University of California, Los Angeles, study, the Sacramento Bee reported. "It’s equally as bad when you look across the U.S.," said Wendy Beecham, chief executive officer of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and Executives.



  • In Papua New Guinea, women are selling sex to men on credit, the Pacific Island News Source reported Nov. 19, deferring payment until the men’s paydays. A government official blamed the "dinau" practice for contributing to an increase in HIV infections.


  • Parents in England are increasingly sending daughters to private schools to prolong the "wholesomeness of childhood," the London Times reported Nov. 17. Private school attendance has risen 14.5 percent in the last 10 years, compared to a rise of just 4 percent for boys, according to the Independent Schools Council.


  • The newly formed Australian Sex Party–its slogan is "We Are Serious About Sex"–has a good chance to win seats in state and federal parliament in the next election in 2010, the Australian reported Nov. 17. The Sex Party opposes the government’s proposed Internet filter to stop child pornography, demands a national sex education curriculum and supports same-sex marriage, the Sydney Daily Telegraph reported Nov.17

    Iulia Anghelescu, Allison Stevens, Dominique Soguel and Jennifer Thurston contributed to this report.

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