Charles G. Taylor, the former president of Liberia and once a powerful warlord, was convicted by the International Criminal Court of 11 counts of planning, aiding and abetting war crimes committed in Sierra Leone, including the rape and killing of thousands of civilians, during its civil war in the 1990s, reported the New York Times April 26. Read More: Seven Who Topple Tyrannies, Liberian Becomes Africa’s First Elected Female Prez

More News to Cheer This Week:

  • The U.S. Senate voted to pass S. 1925, the Democrat’s version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, 68-31, on April 26. Read more here.
  • The Marine Corps, the most male of the armed services, is taking its first steps toward integrating women into war-fighting units, starting with its infantry officer school at Quantico, Va., and ground combat battalions that had once been closed to women, The New York Times reported April 24.
  • In a departure from most abortion-related state legislation, California is considering a bill that would expand access to abortion, reported CBS San Francisco April 26.
  • A group of Syrian women dressed in layers of clothing and scarves are bringing medical supplies and food from the capital, Damascus, to the besieged city of Homs, reported the Jerusalem Post April 27.
  • New York’s Tribeca Film Festival has spotlighted several foreign-made movies that feature strong women roles, from the Israeli military drama “Room 514” to Mexican border thriller “The Girl,” reported Reuters April 26.
  • A list of the 50 fastest growing women-owned/led companies in North America revealed that average revenue grew from $31.5 million in 2007 to $80.1 million in 2011, reported Business Wire April 26.
  • Betty J. Sapp will be the new chief of the U.S. spy satellite agency, the third woman appointed by the Obama administration to head one of the nation’s top intelligence outfits, The Washington Times reported April 25.
  • Women’s right activists are demanding that Facebook appoint women on its board of directors, Mashable reported April 25.
  • Refusing to hire transgender individuals is by definition sex discrimination under federal law, according to a groundbreaking decision from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces the federal job discrimination laws, reported the AP April 25.
  • Over 1,600 Bohra Muslim women in India have signed an online petition calling for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation in the community, The NY Daily News reported April 24. The small Muslim sub-sect known as the Dawoodi Bohra in India continues to believe that the removal of the clitoris is the will of God.
  • Activists in Mumbai, India, have launched a campaign to demand better public toilet facilities for women, BBC News reported April 23.


Female genital mutilations have been performed on up to 100,000 women in the United Kingdom, with some medics offering to carry out the surgery on girls as young as 10, The Guardian reported April 22. Investigators from the Sunday Times filmed a doctor, dentist and alternative medicine practitioner all agreeing to carry out FGM, although it is illegal and carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Research suggests that every year more than 22,000 girls in the United Kingdom and up to 6,000 in London are at risk of the potentially fatal procedure. Yet in England and Wales, no one has ever been convicted for performing the procedure and only two doctors have been removed from the General Medicine Council, the British organization that registers doctors to practice medicine.

More News to Jeer This Week:

  • Women’s leadership in China remains stunted by social preferences and biases that favor men, a report from the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy and the New York-based organization Asia Society found, The Washington Post reported April 23.
  • A Pennsylvania father and son dispatched prostitutes to New York City, where livery cab drivers helped find customers for trysts that made the men big money but provided the women only a few dollars a night, The New York Daily News reported April 23.
  • A study looking at stress as a risk factor for heart problems found mental stress can be much harder on a woman’s heart compared to a man’s, reported CBS News April 25.
  • A South Carolina Senate panel unanimously approved to eliminate a woman’s ability to get an abortion through the state health plan if she’s a victim of rape and incest, The Associated Press reported April 24.


  • Washington D.C., San Francisco and Boston came out on top as the best three cities to live as a woman, according to a study released on April 26 by Measure of America. Read more here.
  • In the first round of the French presidential election, the far-right National Front Party captured a huge increase in women’s support under the leadership of its female candidate, Marine Le Pen. Read more here.
  • Pennsylvania’s primary on April 24 saw five of six women who were running in congressional races move forward to the general election — though none had any primary challengers — along with two women running for state treasurer and attorney general, according to elections returns from Pennsylvania’s Department of State.
  • Protests organized through social media across the country, called “Unite Against the War on Women,” will take place on April 28. Information about the protests can be found at
  • In order to get more women elected to office, women must increase giving to female candidates, according to the report Vote with Your Purse, released by She Should Run on April 23.
  • The BBC will broadcast on radio a live program from an abortion clinic that will feature interviews with women undergoing terminations, The Telegraph reported April 24.
  • The Secret Service should hire more women to ensure that a scandal like the recent Colombian prostitution incident does not happen again, according to two senior congresswomen, The New York Times reported April 22. In addition, the Secret Service is investigating news reports of other trips in which employees allegedly engaged the services of prostitutes while traveling abroad in advance of the president, an agency official said, reported the AP April 26.
  • A labor coalition will spend $1 million to push for underdog Kathleen Falk in Wisconsin’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, which is on May 7, reported Hotline on Call April 26.
  • In the past few weeks, in an attempt to combat the party’s troublesome relationship with women, Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., planned the first meeting of a Republican women’s caucus and a conservative money group called the YG Network unveiled a new outreach program — complete with a pink logo, reported Politico April 26.
  • Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., who is running for an open Senate seat this election season, may have to worry about former employer and Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pouring millions into the race, reported the Las Vegas Sun April 24.
  • More voters think Mitt Romney and the Republican Party respect women who work outside the home than think President Obama and the Democrats respect women who stay at home, according to The Hill Poll released April 23.

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