In the U.K., hundreds of demonstrators are expected to take to the streets today in rubber gloves, headscarves and full-skirted frocks to protest against government cuts that they say are hitting women disproportionately hard and risk setting the battle for equality back decades, reported The Guardian Nov. 18.

The Fawcett Society, a London-based gender equality advocacy organization, is urging people to turn out in 1950s gear for a march aimed at telling Prime Minister David Cameron not to let austerity measures "turn back time" on women’s rights. Similar rallies in other cities across the U.K. are to culminate in tea parties.

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, low-income women in Maryland can receive free family planning services from the state, including breast and reproductive cancer screenings, pelvic exams, sexually transmitted disease testing, pregnancy counseling and contraception, reported The Washington Post Nov. 16.


  • The African Medical and Research Foundation advised the Kenyan government to invest more in reproductive health care, All Africa reported Nov. 17.


  • Washington, D.C., lawmakers rejected Rep. Darrell Issa’s proposition to limit local funding for abortions, The Hill reported Nov. 16.


  • Jerusalem’s secular mayor, Nir Barkat, stood up against an anti-woman campaign banning photos of women on billboards, led by Ultra-orthodox groups, The Guardian reported Nov. 16.


  • Companies with more women at the top may be better practitioners of corporate social responsibility, according to Catalyst and Harvard Business School’s report Gender and Corporate Social Responsibility: It’s a Matter of Sustainability.


  • First kicked off by Michelle Obama, the Obama campaign launched its 2012 "Women for Obama" initiative, an effort to mobilize this crucial voting bloc for the president’s reelection effort, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 15.



An 84-year-old woman in Seattle has quickly become a face of the national Occupy Wall Street movement after she was hit with pepper spray during a march, reported The Washington Post Nov. 16. A photo of her from the night of Nov. 15 with pepper spray dripping from her chin went viral soon afterward, becoming one of the most striking images from the protests that have taken place in cities across the globe.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • A former detention officer at a Central Texas facility for immigrants has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for groping some detained women, reported The Republic Nov. 18. Investigators say the officer groped women while transporting them between the correctional center and an airport or a bus terminal, pretending to do legitimate searches.


  • There are an estimated 40,000 same-sex couples in the U.S. in which one or both partners is not a U.S. citizen, says a Nov. 18 press release from Windy City Media Group. All of these couples are not eligible for the immigration preferences given to heterosexual spouses.


  • Gen Y women believe that gender is a problem in today’s workplace, says a Nov. 18 press release from the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation. The foundation’s research found that 77 percent of respondents said that gender is a moderate or severe problem in today’s workplace and almost 50 percent said that they had observed or experienced gender discrimination.


  • A young Libyan woman reported that she was raped and sexually exploited by the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, in an interview with the French newspaper, Le Monde, and translated by Women’s eNews. She would like to testify in court but says that in her country, "the woman is automatically guilty."


  • The Egyptian Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice decided that it has the right to stop a women whose eyes seem "tempting" and order her to cover them immediately, the Egyptian website bikyamasr reported Nov. 16.


  • The European Union decided not to release a documentary starring two Afghan women, CBS News reported Nov. 16. Critics accused the EU of abandoning a women’s rights project for fear it could damage its relationship with the Afghan government.


  • The number of women out of work increased by 43,000 to 1.09 million in the United Kingdom, BBC News reported Nov. 16. That is the highest level since February 1988.


  • Bahraini regime forces arrested dozens of female students in the northern village of Samaheej, the Iranian channel Press TV reported Nov. 15.


  • Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain compared Rep. Michele Bachmann to the ice cream flavor "Tutti-frutti," reported The International Business Times Nov. 15. This isn’t the first time Cain has come up with "jokes" offending women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.


  • In a Nov. 14 press conference, Sharon Bialek backed her allegation that Herman Cain "touched her in an inappropriate manner", USA Today reported.


  • A Saudi court has ordered the flogging of a local woman 10 times for driving a car in defiance of a ban in the Kingdom, Emirates 24/7 reported Nov.14. The sentence could be carried out within a month.


  • Maria Corina Machado, a Venezuelan presidential candidate, was attacked during a press conference, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 14.


  • A group of armed men stoned and shot dead a woman and her daughter in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, security officials told the BBC, the U.K. news agency reported Nov. 11. The officials blamed the Taliban, who they said had accused the woman of "moral deviation and adultery."


  • Sixty-eight percent of Moroccan women have experienced domestic violence and 48 percent have been subjected to psychological abuse, according to a recent study by Morocco’s High Commission for Planning, iloubnan.info reported Nov. 14. However over the past 20 years, women’s organizations in Morocco have managed to transform the issue of domestic violence from a private concern to a public and political issue, the commission reported.



  • The U.S. Department of Labor reached an agreement with Nishimoto Trading Co. to settle findings of gender discrimination, says a Nov. 17 press release from the U.S. Department of Labor.


  • Bosnia’s war crimes court sentenced last week a Bosnian Serb to 18 years in jail for the murder and rape of Muslims in a Sarajevo suburb occupied by Serb forces during the 1992-95 war, Associated Press reported Nov. 10.


  • The Food and Drug Administration revoked its approval of Avastin as a breast cancer drug after concluding that the drug has not been shown to be safe and effective for that use, says a Nov. 18 press release.


  • The Australian sex industry is pushing for changes to the country’s immigration system to give migrant sex workers the same visa rights as other professions and trades, reported ABC Nov. 18. Campaigners say a legitimate visa category for sex workers would strike at the heart of trafficking from Southeast Asia, while opponents say the move could contribute to exploitation.


  • Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf appeared at her final campaign rally last week with the man named No. 1 on the government’s list of "most notorious perpetrators" of violence during the country’s civil war, reported the Associated Press Nov. 16. This spurred worries about alliances she made to win support from her opposition.


  • An Egyptian female activist posted nude pictures of herself on her blog to protest limits on free expression, triggering an uproar in Egypt from both conservatives and liberals, reported The Boston Globe Nov. 17.


  • As Michele Bachmann made her case for the Republican presidential nomination at a Nov. 12 debate, her campaign was working behind the scenes to suggest that the media had conspired against the Minnesota congresswoman, The Los Angeles Times reported Nov. 12.


In Memoriam:

Oklahoma State University women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant women’s basketball coach Miranda Serna were killed Nov. 17 in a plane crash in Arkansas, reported CNN Nov. 18.

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