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International Women’s Day March 8 inspired rallies and protests across the globe. Here are just a few:

Egypt‘s women took to the streets in a "Million Woman March" aimed at reminding the nation that they should have a voice in its future, reported The Christian Science Monitor March 8.

Palestinian women took to the streets to call for unity and an end to the Israeli occupation in a series of rallies called to mark International Women’s Day, according to the AFP March 8. In Gaza City, approximately 500 women waving Palestinian flags marched through the city center.

Air India and Air France were among the airlines flying "100 percent female-operated" flights March 8, efforts meant to commemorate International Women’s Day, according to a USA Today report.

A crowd gathered in City Hall Park in New York City that day also to celebrate International Women’s Day. See exclusive photographs of the event on the WeNews’ Flickr page.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • In South Dakota, Planned Parenthood will sue the state if Gov. Dennis Daugaard signs a controversial abortion bill, reported Argus Leader, in Sioux Falls, S.D., March 11.
  • The bill in Congress with an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood and other women’s programs was rejected by the Senate March 9, reported MSNBC. Read the full Women’s eNews report here.
  • A Wyoming bill requiring women to wait 24 hours before abortion procedures and having doctors inform them of ultrasounds to view the fetus was defeated in the Senate March 7, reported the Trib.com, Wyoming’s online news source.
  • Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. government will not back away from supporting women’s rights in Afghanistan, despite the removal of some gender-equity provisions from two, large U.S. Agency for International Development programs in the war-torn nation, reported the Washington Post March 10.
  • Eve Ensler’s "Swimming Upstream," a theater production telling the stories of women living through Hurricane Katrina, will start another tour this month, V-Day –a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls–reported March 11.




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In the Ivory Coast, International Women’s Day ended in mourning when at least one woman and three men were killed March 8 during protests against President Laurent Gbagbo, reported Voices of America. Security forces opened fire in Treichville, where several hundred women had marched earlier in the day protesting the president. Security forces were also involved in the deaths last week of seven women gunned down during a demonstration in the same area.

Since a disputed Ivory Coast presidential election in late November, some 400 people have been killed and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes, many of them in the past two weeks, reported The Economist March 10. Alassane Ouattara, the former opposition leader, won the election but Gbagbo is still clinging grimly to power.

Alcide Djedje, Gbagbo’s foreign minister, told reporters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that Gbagbo will not step down, according to Reuters March 10.

Liberian Women’s Rights Activist Leymah R. Gbowee, co-founder of the Women in Peacebuilding Network, noted parallels between the current movement in Cote d’Ivoire and that which stabilized Liberia at great cost following that country’s 14 years of civil war and the ousting of dictator Charles Taylor.

"Gbagbo and his killers failed to realize just one thing –the women of Cote d’Ivoire are not alone," Gbowee said in a released statement following the March 8 shooting. "They belong to a wider, more determined army of women peace activists in West Africa and across the World. The time is now to rid yet another West African country of a tyrant and a psychopathic leadership."

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Georgia‘s Senate Rules Committee approved an abortion bill March 10 that may force abortion clinics to shut down, reported the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Check out WeNews’ story last week on an anti-abortion protest in Georgia and the continuing struggle for abortion rights.
  • A bill requiring abortion clinics to be inspected twice a year passed the Utah Senate late March 9. The cost of the inspections would be covered by the clinics’ licensing fees, according to a March 10 report by The Salt Lake News.
  • A Minnesota bill banning abortions after 20 weeks was introduced in the state’s House and Senate this week, reported Pioneer Press in Saint Paul, Minn., March 8.
  • Anti-abortion groups took a break from bringing bills to the Oregon legislature in recent years when Democrats held supermajority control, but now that the House is split 50-50, abortion-related bills are back, according to a March 10 report from The Oregonian.
  • Insufficient resources are being devoted to tackle the epidemic of gender-based violence in Lebanon, stated four United Nations’ studies released March 10, reported the Daily Star in Lebanon March 11.
  • Chechnyan President Ramzan Kadyrov has imposed an Islamic dress code on women. His feared security forces have used paintball guns, threats and insults against those refusing to obey, the Associated Press reported March 10.
  • The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top, needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, which is a barrier for women getting into the highest ranks, an independent report by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission for Congress said March 7, the Associated Press reported.
  • The number of women in the U.K. over age 60 who are diagnosed with lung cancer has doubled since the 1970s, reported the BBC March 7, from 88 per 100,000 in 1975 to 190 per 100,000 in 2008.


  • In the last month, 18 young men and male teens have been charged with gang raping an 11-year-old girl in November in Cleveland, Texas, reported the New York Times March 8. In response to the New York Times comments from Cleveland residents on the girl’s clothing and behavior, Change.org wrote a petition calling for the newspaper to apologize for blaming the victim.
  • A South Side Chicago barber accused of raping a woman he met on Facebook last month has been charged with sexually assaulting another alleged victim he befriended on the social network two years ago, according to a March 10 report from the Chicago-Sun Times.
  • The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced March 8 that 21 priests accused of inappropriate behavior with minors, including sexual abuse, are being placed on leave, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Tunisia’s newly legalized Islamist movement said March 8 it supported the country’s ban on polygamy but urged the government to lift one on wearing headscarves in schools and universities, according to an AFP report.
  • The women’s basketball team at Middle Tennessee State University wore purple shirts with the No. 20 on them at a game March 5 in honor of teammate Tina Stewart. She was fatally stabbed March 2 during a dispute with her roommate, reported the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn. March 6.
  • An interview with Kim Balin, Sianne Garlick and Laura Minnear, named Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2011, was posted March 7 on the Daily Femme.
  • For $1,000 a month some women are purchasing hGC, a pregnancy hormone derived from the urine of pregnant women, and injecting themselves with it daily in hopes of losing weight, CNN reported March 10.
  • Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus, founder of micro-credit organization Grameen Bank, lost an appeal March 8 to regain his position as the bank’s managing director, reported Forbes Magazine. Grameen Bank is a micro-credit organization that strives to fight poverty via small loans to impoverished Bangladeshi populations and the vast majority of its loans go to women.

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