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Wisconsin Court of Appeals reinstated a paid sick leave ordinance, according to the Milwaukee-based , in the city of Milwaukee March 24. Women’s Media Center celebrated the decision calling it a "landmark victory" for workers.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis, in a commentary for Women’s eNews entitled "Flexibility is a Win-Win," says these changes are necessary for workers and employers.

"In today’s workplace, flexibility initiatives aren’t niceties; they’re necessities for working families," Solis wrote. "The recent discussion over paid sick leave in Wisconsin not only highlights the challenge of assuring high quality work-life environments, but the long way we still have to go in fostering workplaces that support and acknowledge the realities of workers’ lives.

Flexible options don’t just help employees; there are benefits for employers too. A recent report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors found that when businesses adopt accommodating policies, it adds to the bottom line. And research continues to show that these policies improve productivity, morale, retention and, most importantly, profits. Simply put: workplace flexibility is a win-win.

President Obama gets that. So do I. It’s why we support the Healthy Families Act. And it’s why the President’s budget includes a $23 million State Paid Leave Fund so that more states can create paid leave programs. In these tough times, working families in Wisconsin, and across the country, need support as they juggle success at home and on the job."

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Over the past week the Ladies Professional Golf Association has made a concerted effort to raise money for the disaster in Japan, said a March 24 report by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser .
  • Malalai Joya, a leading Afghan women’s rights activist who colleagues say was wrongly denied entry to the United States, has now been granted a visa, according to a report by AFP . For more on Joya, read other stories from the WeNews archive: 1 , 2 , 3
  • The Ohio House Health Committee delayed a vote yesterday on legislation outlawing abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be medically detected, generally about six or seven weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, according to a March 24 report by The Columbus Dispatch . There is debate over whether it could withstand a legal challenge.
  • USA Today wrote an editorial on the recent fights to restrict abortion that have been popping up all over the nation in recent months, warning March 21 that abortion restrictions can, and do, often take on various disguises.
  • Combining HIV with maternal and child care is having positive results in Kenya, reported Inter Press Service March 20.
  • Jessica Lagunas, one of Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century , interviewed with the Daily Femme in a March 21 post about her work using video performances and art installations to send a strong feminist message.
  • A Tel Aviv district court sentenced former Israeli President Moshe Katsav to seven years behind bars after he was convicted of rape and sexual harassment, according to a March 22 report by All Headline News .
  • Nine Japanese women have been added to the field for next month’s London marathon after the Nagoya marathon was called off following the earthquake and tsunami, according to a March 24 report from USA Today .
  • The 17 women in the U.S. Senate, led by Olympia Snowe of Maine, are calling on leaders in North Africa and the Middle East to include women when it comes to making decisions that affect their lives, according to a March 24 report from .


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    Eighteen women, detained by army officers during the Tahrir Square protests in Cairo, Egypt, told Amnesty International they were beaten, given electric shocks and forced to "virginity tests," among other torments, the organization reported March 23. The women, who were arrested on March 9, were also subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers and threatened with prostitution charges if they did not pass the "virginity tests." Amnesty International is calling on Egyptian authorities to investigate but oppose trials in Egypt’s military courts because they have a record of treating civilians unfairly.

    More News to Jeer This Week:

    • South Dakota became the first state in the country on March 22 to require women seeking an abortion to visit anti-abortion counseling centers, reported The Christian Science Monitor . It also mandates a 72-hour waiting period–the longest in the country–and requires two visits to a physician and a screening for risk factors.
    • Yemen residents informed Women without Borders March 25 that the organization’s Web site has been banned in Yemen.
    • Iowa‘s House Government Oversight Committee has approved a ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, according to a March 24 report by CBS News .
    • The Idaho Senate approved a bill March 23 banning abortions after 20 weeks and prosecuting abortion providers who violate the ban, reported Reuters .
    • Two bills seeking to regulate abortions passed through Florida’s House Health and Human Services Committee March 22, reported the St. Petersburg Times .
    • Women represent less than one-third of the main decision makers at news companies worldwide, according to the International Women’s Media Foundation, says a March 22 report by Bloomberg News .
    • Anti-abortion advocates applaud Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s budget provision that would allow insurance companies to again choose whether to cover birth control, according to a March 22 report from the Wausau Daily Herald .
    • A woman from a rural area in the west of Iran sought a divorce alleging that her husband was violent and abusive and had taken a second wife without her permission, according to her attorney Shadi Sadr, a Women’s eNews 21 Leader 2005, but a Supreme Court ruling by a majority declared that a wife will lose her right to a divorce if she has been disobedient.

    Maine Gov. Paul LePage ordered the removal of a mural depicting laborers, including first female U.S. Labor Secretary, Frances Perkins and "Rosie the Riveter," from the lobby of the state’s Department of Labor in Augusta, according to the New York Times March 24. Former Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, spoke out against LePage’s decision in a March 23 post on his Web site . Learn more about Frances Perkins from previous WeNews articles 1 , 2 , 3



  • A bill making it a felony to perform an abortion on the basis of the fetus’s sex or race passed in the Arizona Senate March 21, reported the Arizona Republic March 23.
  • Two reproductive rights organizations strongly criticized Congressman Chris Smith, R-N.J., on March 23 for his comments in Kenya March 21 condemning the country’s new constitution decriminalizing abortions in emergency situations, reported the Center for Reproductive Rights March 23.
  • Egyptians voted March 19 in a referendum in favor of constitutional amendments to hold elections within the next six months, reported AFP March 21, which critics say will favor the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • A group of 10 female activists detained by Syrian authorities in a protest earlier this week have launched a hunger strike, according to NOW Lebanon.
  • Women are a crucial part of the current dispute in Libya, reported the Democratic Libya Information Bureau March 21. The group said women are playing a significant role in organizing demonstrations, delivering food and treating the wounded.
  • Debate continues in the Montana House Judiciary Committee over an abortion bill backed by the Senate, reported , a Montana broadcasting station, March 24. The bill requires those under 15 to give parents notice 48 hours before an abortion procedure.
  • Fifty-six percent of Montana residents surveyed said they would not support a constitutional amendment to ban abortion by saying life begins at conception and by defining "person" as a member of the human species at any stage of development, reported The Missoulian March 21. The measure discussed–House bill 490–passed the state’s House March 21 and now will go before the Senate.
  • Multiple news sources, including WeNews , covered the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory fire March 25 that claimed the lives of 146 workers, mostly women, in 1911 and its impact today. New York Times offers a summary of their news links commemorating the event that led to national laws improving working conditions.
  • A Wisconsin state appeals panel said March 24 that a case over a new collective bargaining should go directly to the state Supreme Court, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel .
  • A Tanzania minister said the Marriage Act of 1971, which allows girls to marry at 14 or 15 and boys at 18, disrupts and often ends girls’ schooling, reported the Citizen , a Tanzania newspaper, March 21.
  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a 2011 report March 21 finding that while faculty gender gaps in science and engineering had narrowed some women faced unintended consequences of a policy to end discrimination against women.
  • Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a serial killer accused of murdering 10 women in South Los Angeles, was arraigned by a grand jury March 24, reported the Los Angeles Times March 25, accelerating him to trial after an arrest in July.
  • Cambodia’s new law enforces a partial ban on local women marrying foreign men, reported the BBC March 21.

    In Memoriam:

  • Elizabeth Taylor, the Hollywood actress known for her talent and dedication to help those with HIV or AIDS, died March 23 at the age of 79, reported the New York Times .