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Women can help the global economy recover and expand, said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Sept. 16, outlining a comprehensive strategy to achieve economic expansion at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Women and the Economy Summit, held in San Francisco.

"We need to unlock a vital source of growth that can power our economies in the decades to come. That vital source of growth is women," she said.

The women’s conference participants, including Clinton and ministers and delegates from 21 countries in Asia and the Americas, endorsed the San Francisco Declaration, which lays out how to dismantle barriers to women in the workforce. It sets commitments for providing female entrepreneurs with access to capital; for reforming legal and regulatory systems so women can access the full range of financial services; for improving women’s access to markets and for supporting the rise of female leaders in the public and private sectors.

The agreement is a run-up to APEC’s meeting in November in Honolulu.

"Reductions in barriers to female labor force participation would increase America’s GDP by 9 percent, the Euro Zone’s by 13 percent, and Japan’s by 16 percent," Clinton said.

Clinton continued, "Unlocking the potential of women by narrowing the gender gap could lead to a 14-percent rise in per capita income by the year 2020 in several APEC economies including China, Russia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Vietnam and Korea."

— Paola Gianturco


More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The results of the SILCS Diaphragm contraceptive effectiveness study were set to be announced today, said a Sept. 16 press release. The SILCS device was developed to improve reproductive health in low-resource settings, where women have a limited range of contraceptive methods. This new diaphragm may also be important for women who cannot or do not want to use hormonal methods or an IUD.
  • The U.S. Department of Justice will give out $2.7 million in grants to give victims of sexual assault emotional, medical and legal support, reported The Houston Chronicle Sept. 15. Six groups will be awarded a $450,000 grant.
  • On Sept.14 UN Women and the government of the Indian state Karnataka signed a project agreement to empower elected female representatives and promote gender responsive governance, reported Business Standard Sept. 15. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations undersecretary-general in charge of UN Women, talks about the agency’s goals in a video posted by The Washington Post Sept. 16.
  • At the opening of a UN Women Symposium, the vice president of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, called on West African countries to develop strategic action plans to be implemented to achieve some quick gains for women, reported ModernGhana on Sept 15.
  • The U.S. federal Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced on Sept 14 a $45 million initiative to examine the effectiveness of combination approaches to HIV prevention.
  • A study proposing specific strategies to meet the needs of women facing joblessness in the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007–2009 was released by The Institute for Women’s Policy Research this month.
  • In Tunisia, the Ennahda party promised to safeguard religious freedom, the rights of minorities and the status of women, AFP reported Sept. 14.
  • Wal-Mart announced measures Sept. 14 to help female-owned businesses and female workers, Associated Press reported. The world’s largest retailer plans to spend $20 billion over the next five years on goods and services from U.S. businesses owned by women.
  • Vice President Joe Biden called on ending violence against young women at school, ABC News reported Sept. 13. He made the announcement in a video posted Sept. 13.
  • Australia named its first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, the Sydney Morning Herald reported Sept. 13. Career diplomat Penny Williams was appointed to help advocate for the rights of women and girls, eradicate domestic violence, empower women and increase their representation in leadership roles.
  • Former first lady Laura Bush is raising awareness about cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America while working to expand screening and treatment, ABC News reported Sept. 13. Bush and former U.S. ambassador Nancy Brinker are leading Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, a public-private partnership that launched on Sept. 13.
  • Women who use intrauterine devices may not just be preventing pregnancy but may also be protecting themselves from cervical cancer, Medical News Today reported Sept. 13.
  • Samia Yaba Nkrumah became the first woman to chair a major political party in the Republic of Ghana, AllAfrica.com reported Sept. 12.
  • In his new daytime talk show, CNN host Anderson Cooper will take on issues important to women and will offer a fresh perspective on social trends impacting women, TresSugar reported Sept. 7.


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The number of Americans living in poverty increased last year to 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009, according to Census Bureau data released Sept. 13. The data, which looks at poverty in the U.S. in 2010, indicated that women continue to be more affected by poverty, reported the National Women’s Law Center.

Poverty among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010, the highest rate in 17 years, meaning 17.2 million women were living in poverty in 2010, about 800,000 more than in 2009. Nearly 44 percent of poor women (7.5 million) lived in extreme poverty last year, with incomes less than half of the federal poverty level. Around 25 percent of black and Hispanic lived in poverty last year, according to the Census Bureau. The poverty rate for single mothers rose from 38.5 percent in 2009 to 40.7 percent in 2010.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • New rules to regulate abortion clinics cleared a state health panel Sept. 15, the last public step in the approval process before they are to take effect by the start of next year, The Virginian-Pilot reported Sept. 16.
  • A report found that about 4,500 women die giving birth each year in South Africa, reported The Los Angeles Times Sept. 16. The rate of women dying while giving birth has quadrupled since 1998, to 625 per 100,000 live births.
  • The number of new breast cancer cases worldwide has increased from about 641,000 in 1980 to 1.6 million cases last year, reported CBS News on Sept 15. The study from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also found that cervical cancer cases increased from 378,000 in 1980 to about 454,000 cases in 2010, with most of those cases in developing countries.
  • Hollywood has made little progress in hiring women and minorities to work on prime-time television shows, the Los Angeles Times reported Sept. 14.
  • NYC meteorologist, Heidi Jones admitted Sept. 14 that she’d made up claims of being repeatedly attacked by a stranger on the city streets, the Associated Press reported.
  • North Carolina may lose its status as the last state in the Southeast that doesn’t ban same-sex marriage in its Constitution, Reuters reported Sept. 13. The Senate agreed on Sept. 13 to let voters decide during the May primaries whether the state Constitution should ban marriages of same-sex couples.
  • New restrictions on abortion are taking effect Sept. 13 after Planned Parenthood Arizona announced Sept. 12 that it will not appeal a ruling that allows several of the measures to become law, the Arizona Daily Star reported Sept. 13.
  • During the Libyan revolution, women played a significant role, The New York Times reported Sept. 13. However, "women are so far almost invisible in the leadership" in the new emerging Libya, the article reported.
  • Many Iraqi women have been raped by Al Qaeda members and forced into marriage in areas they controlled, such as Diyala province (northeast of Bagdad), CNN reported Sept. 12.
  • Women in the military who are sexually assaulted or harassed face obstacles not seen in the civilian workplace, The New York Times argued in a Sept. 12 editorial. Also in recent years, nearly 20,000 female veterans were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and other war-related mental disorders, ABC 30 reported Sept. 11.
  • Noted:

  • A 24-year-old Libyan woman was behind the fall of Moammar Gadhafi’s rule, Al Arabiya English reported Sept. 12. The woman, who operated under the codename Nomidia, spent months spying on military facilities and passing on the details to the NATO.
  • Stores in Saudi Arabia are beginning to implement a decree issued in July that says only women should be allowed to work in "shops selling women’s accessories," Bloomberg reported Sept. 12.
  • On Sept. 14 Elizabeth Warren announced that she will enter the Democratic primary race for Senate in Massachusetts, reported The Washington Post Sept 14. The Harvard law professor and former Obama administration official is known for her sharp critique of the nation’s financial institutions.
  • A 8.5-hour-long series of audio interviews with Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as transcripts, were released Sept. 14, as a book entitled "Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy," CBS News reported Sept. 14.
  • A bail offer for two American hikers convicted of spying is still under review, Iran’s powerful judiciary said Sept 14. The statement contradicts President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s prediction of their imminent release, the Wall Street Journal reported Sept. 14.
  • Spain has reopened a rape probe against a Saudi prince accused of drugging and sexually assaulting a model, the Associated Press reported Sept. 14. The alleged assault by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, 56, reportedly took place on a yacht on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza on Aug. 13, 2008.
  • The HPV vaccine has become the latest controversial issue to heat up the Republican race, the New York Times reported Sept. 13.
  • Cheerleaders at a San Jose high school won’t be allowed to wear their miniskirt uniforms to class anymore because the new, shorter hemline doesn’t comply with the school’s dress code, The San Jose Mercury News reported Sept. 12.
  • The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered a lower court to recalculate how much a former Texas high school cheerleader should pay in legal fees to the school district that punished her for refusing to root for an athlete she said raped her, the Houston Chronicle reported Sept. 12. Read Women’s eNews story on this case.
  • Research conducted by the Center for Work Life Policy indicates that women of Generation X are so hard-working, that many of them are opting to not have children, The Hufffington Post reported Sept. 13.
  • A Forever 21 shirt with the words "Allergic to Algebra" printed on the front drew criticism for its seemingly anti-education message for girls and teenagers, ABC News reported Sept. 12. Jezebel, the first news outlet to take note of the shirt, called the tee sexist and a "fail."

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