Sign says: Women Say Free Gaza!

Credit: Kelly Van Pelt, CODEPINK Women For Peace on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0).



India may soon allow abortion services in its 25,000 primary health centers, which are the first points of care for India’s rural population, Times of India reported Nov. 20. The health ministry is also looking to allow “mid-level service providers” like staff nurses and ayurveda doctors, who use traditional Hindu methods, to conduct safe abortions. Currently only doctors with a bachelor of medicine or surgery are allowed to perform an abortion, but there’s a lack of such health practitioners in the country’s rural areas.

India’s media has been quite vocal in expressing shock over Savita Halappanavar’s death in Ireland. However, India has a high death rate due to unsafe abortions or lack of availability of abortion services.

More News to Cheer This Week:

In a 7-1 vote, the Syracuse Common Council amended the Syracuse Fair Practice Law to include the protection of transgender and gender non-conforming people against discrimination, Ms. Magazine reported Nov. 20.

Babatunde Osotimehin, the executive director of U.N. Population Fund, said he wants the agency to reach as many women and girls around the world as possible to get better access to reproductive and educational services, CNN reported Nov. 20.

HIV testing will now be covered under Obamacare as a routine part of a check-up, ThinkProgress reported Nov. 20. The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to cover the preventative services that are recommended by the U.S. Preventative Task Force.

Denny’s restaurants won’t add a 5 percent “Obamacare surcharge” to customers’ bills assured John Miller, the CEO of the chain, after the owner of the Florida franchise, John Metz, made controversial comments on the health care law last week on Fox News, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 20.

Adela Hernandez has become the first known transgender person to hold public office in Cuba after winning an election as a delegate to the municipal government of Caibarien in the central province, Sowetan Live reported Nov. 19.

An Arabic drama series telling the story of three Lebanese women in their 30s is pushing boundaries and challenging its viewers, Al Arabiya reported Nov. 19. “Fasateen” aims to reflect the lives of not only Lebanese women, but women across the Arab world, as the storyline weaves across challenges the three women face.


Women and children are among the major victims of the bombing in Gaza by the Israeli Army, The Electronic Intifada reported Nov. 20. The nurses at al-Shifa hospital in the Gaza Strip said they have seen bombing casualties before, but never on this scale.

So far more than 139 Palestinians, including dozens of women and children, have been killed in the Israeli bombardment, according to Ma’an News, while three Israelis were killed after a rocket was fired from Gaza.

MADRE, an international women’s human rights organization, condemns the growing violence in Gaza and in Israel, reported ENews Park Forest Nov. 16.

More News to Jeer This Week:

The Church of England’s governing body has narrowly blocked a move to permit women to serve as bishops, the Associated Press reported Nov. 20.

Fox News host Brian Kilmeade joked that the network hires its female on-air talent by sifting through the Victoria’s Secret’s catalog, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 19.

A six-year study, published in the journal Environmental Health, strengthens the tie between breast cancer and toxic exposures by showing that women employed in the automotive plastics industry are almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause as women in the control group, the Center for Public Integrity reported Nov. 19.

More than 90 percent of middle school and high school boys lift weights occasionally in order to add muscles, The New York Times reported Nov. 19. In addition, 38 percent use protein supplements and 6 percent use steroids, which stop testosterone production in men, stunting their growth.

Iranian lawmakers are considering proposals that will require single women under 40 to obtain permission from their father or male guardian in order to obtain a passport or travel outside Iran, The Digital Journal reported Nov. 19.

Members of the Ukrainian-based feminist group Femen were pepper-sprayed, hit and kicked by anti-same sex marriage protesters in Paris. The group’s members were disrupting a march against a proposed law to extend marriage and adoption rights to same-sex couples, France 24 reported Nov. 18.

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