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More women are slated to take the reins of Fortune 500 companies than ever before, USA Today reported Oct. 26. If no woman steps down before the start of the New Year, there will be 18 women running Fortune 500 companies in 2012. Previously, there haven’t been more than 16 females running Fortune 500 firms at the same time.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Women’s rights campaigners targeted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Sydney, Australia, on Oct. 28 as part of the annual Reclaim the Night event, reported ninemsn Oct. 28. Also, an advocate from ActionAid Uganda asked Australia’s prime minister to commit an extra $50 million to help poor female farmers, reported ABC Oct. 28.
  • In the Middle East, women’s rights activists are adopting the tools of successful female social entrepreneurs–community-based women’s project opportunities, social media and global partnerships–reported AltMuslimah, a Princeton, N.J.-based site that covers gender in Islam, Oct. 28.
  • The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights announced Oct. 27 that it will sue over revised regulations for abortion providers in Kansas, the AP reported Oct. 27.
  • On Oct. 27, the plaintiffs in a massive class-action lawsuit who claimed they were discriminated against by Wal-Mart stores filed an amended lawsuit that narrows the class to those in the retailer’ California regions, reported The New York Times Oct. 27. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a class-action claim against all of Wal-Mart.
  • A pan-European project that aims to investigate two specific difficult-to-treat subtypes of breast cancer is now well under way, according to an Oct. 27 press release from CORDIS, a London-based research and development service.
  • Women who take birth control pills for 10 years nearly halve their risk of developing ovarian cancer, according to a large study that followed about 300,000 European women for an average of nine years, reported ABC Oct. 27.
  • The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women called on the government of Bahrain to adopt urgent measures to end serious discrimination and violence against women in a press release issued by the FIDH on Oct. 26.
  • Asmaa Mahfouz, an Egyptian blogger and activist, addressed the demonstrators in Zucotti Park in New York on Oct. 24 and called on the crowd to pursue their mobilization, reported WeNews correspondent Hajer Naili. She also told Women’ eNews that in order to make a revolution successful, women and men should stand together with "no difference." Watch the video.
  • A federal judge has blocked a portion of North Carolina’s new abortion restrictions that would create new requirements for medical providers who perform ultrasounds on pregnant women, The Republic reported Oct. 25.
  • President Christina Kirchner was re-elected in the first round of Argentina’s elections Oct. 23, The New York Times reported. She is Argentina’s first elected female president.


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A major United Nations report has set out the challenges facing humanity a few days before the world’s population is expected to reach seven billion, BBC News reported Oct. 26. The report points out that more than 200 million women still have no access to family planning advice and calls for better reproductive education for young women.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Two unlicensed workers pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to third-degree murder in deaths that occurred at a Philadelphia abortion clinic that were described as "macabre," reported The Washington Post. Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who ran the clinic, has been charged with performing illegal late-term abortions and is free on bail.
  • The "personhood" amendment on the Mississippi ballot on Nov. 8 not only bans all abortions, it would also likely outlaw several types of birth control and possibly make all forms of hormonal contraception illegal in the state, reported Mother Jones Oct. 26.
  • In Afghanistan, U.S female soldiers who serve as a bridge between the Army and Afghan women face more dangers as they serve on front lines, the Associated Press reported Oct. 25.
  • At least 2,600 Kenyan women die in public hospitals each year after having botched backstreet abortions, Reuters reported Oct. 25. Many more die at home without seeking medical care and another 21,000 are admitted for treatment of abortion-related complications.
  • Women make up a growing number of homeless veterans, The Los Angeles Times reported Oct. 23. Homelessness among female veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has increased every year for the last six years — from 150 in 2006 to 1,700 this year — according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • The plight of women in North Sudan is raising the concern of a coalition of civil society organizations and women’ groups, The Sudan Tribune reported Oct. 24.


  • The U.N. Security Council held an open debate on Oct. 28 on the theme of "Women’ Participation and Role in Conflict Resolution and Mediation," according to an Oct. 28 press release from UN Women.
  • In Minnesota, a female prisoner is on hunger strike in protest over the Shelburne County Jail’s rule that she is not allowed to wear a Muslim head covering, reported TwinCities.com Oct. 27.
  • The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) vice president announced that he will propose that FIFA agree on universal "general principles" for the use of Islamic headscarves, reported ESPN Oct. 25.
  • Hundreds of Yemeni women have set fire to a pile of traditional female veils to protest the government’s brutal crackdown against the country’s popular uprising, ABC News reported Oct. 26.
  • The National Women’ Political Caucus is supporting Susan Bysiewicz in her bid to become Connecticut’ next U.S. Senator, NWPC announced Oct. 24 in a press release.
  • The announcement that Islamic Sharia will be the basis of legislation in newly liberated Libya has raised concerns, especially among women, despite Islamists insisting moderation will prevail, The National Post reported Oct. 24.
  • European companies may soon be looking for hundreds of female directors to fill quotas, prompting American executives to send their resumes across the Atlantic, The San Francisco Chronicle reported Oct. 24. At least 10 European countries, including Norway, France and Spain, have approved quotas or corporate-governance codes for women representation on boards, or are considering them. That may require more than 1,000 new female directors in the next three to five years, based on a 2010 report from the executive recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

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