No rape

Credit: Alan Wilfahrt on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).



Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani teen shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, has been released from a British hospital to live with her family, The Associated Press reported Jan. 4. Malala will live with her parents and two brothers in the United Kingdom while she continues to receive treatment. She will be admitted again in the next month for another round of surgery to rebuild her skull.

More News to Cheer This Week:

A panel of Illinois lawmakers voted on Jan. 3 to send legislation legalizing same-sex marriage to the floor of the state senate, setting up a possible vote on the issue next week, Reuters reported Jan. 4.

The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights applauds a new Obama administration immigration policy that allows undocumented immigrants who are applying for permanent residency to file a “hardship waiver” demonstrating that separation from their families would cause extreme hardship.

Five men accused of raping a university student for hours on a bus as it drove through India’s capital were charged Jan. 3 with murder, rape and other crimes that could bring them the death penalty, CBS News reported . Read the WeNews press summary here. Meanwhile United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, called on the Indian government to take urgent action to protect women following the death the student in Delhi, The Guardian reported .

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., plans to reintroduce the Violence Against Women Act to extend domestic violence protections to 30 million LGBT inspaniduals, undocumented immigrants and Native American women, reported The Huffington Post .

From the U.N. passing the first-ever resolution on female genital mutilation to the first International Day of the Girl Child, see the roundup of women’s rights milestones in 2012 on a visual timeline from UN Women here.

British women born without a womb will be given fresh hope when scientists attempt to help the woman who had the world’s first successful womb transplant to conceive a baby, The Independent reported .

Spain‘s Interior Ministry has arrested 17 people on suspicion of smuggling Nigerian women into Spain and forcing them into prostitution, Fox News reported . The smugglers were using threats including claims they would cast Voodoo spells on the women if they didn’t comply.


Football teammates Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, who attend Ohio‘s Steubenville High School, were charged with rape in an assault taking place in August of last year on a 16-year-old classmate. Right before their trial, Feb. 13, hacking group Anonymous released a video of some of Mays’ and Richmond’s football teammates cracking jokes about the incident, The Frisky reported . At the fore of the video is Michael Nodianos cracking jokes about the state of the unnamed girl. He repeatedly refers to her as “dead” and says that she’s as “dead” as “Andy Reid’s son” and explains that you “don’t need any foreplay on a dead girl. If it ain’t wet now it ain’t never gonna be wet.”

The writer reminds viewers that to many, some women are deemed appropriate “rapeable” victims due to “questionable” behavior. For more context read the WeNews article about “slut-shaming” in recent media.

More News to Jeer This Week

Over the course of 2012, 42 states and the District of Columbia enacted 122 provisions related to reproductive health and rights. One-third of these new provisions sought to restrict access to abortion services, the second highest number of new abortion restrictions passed in a year. Read the Guttmacher annual roundup on abortion news in 2012.

A Texas judge ruled that the state can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood‘s family planning programs for poor women, New York Daily News reported .

Gunmen in northwest Pakistan killed five female teachers and two aid workers from a nongovernmental organization on Jan. 1 as they were driving home from work, the Associated Press reported . The group’s director said they may have been targeted for their anti-polio work.


In conclusion to the high-stakes federal budget negotiations, 10 states raised the minimum wage and there is an extension of the earned income tax credit for low-wage workers. The fiscal deal is particularly pertinent to women because the Economic Policy Institute reports that women are 59 percent of low-wage workers.

Hispanic women in the United States, who have generally had the highest fertility rates in the country, are choosing to have fewer children, The New York Times reported . Both immigrant and native-born Latinas had steeper birthrate declines from 2007 to 2010 than other groups.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, CNN reported . Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker laments the character assassination of Clinton during her treatment. She was discharged from the hospital Jan. 2 and is expected back in her office next week, NPR reported .

In Memoriam:

Historian Gerda Lerner, a pioneer in the creation of women’s studies as an academic discipline, died Jan. 2 at 92, NPR reported . A prolific feminist author, Lerner wrote texts that traced the history of patriarchy going back thousands of years to more modern topics, such as African American women’s history. Her many books included a two volume work called “Women in History,” the first of which examined the history of patriarchy and the second dealt with the start of feminist consciousness.

Beate Sirota Gordon, who at 22 almost single-handedly wrote women’s rights into the Constitution of modern Japan, died on Dec. 25 at 89, The New York Times reported . Gordon was the last living member of the American team that wrote Japan’s postwar Constitution. Her work — drafting language that gave women a set of legal rights pertaining to marriage, spanorce, property and inheritance that they had long been without in Japan’s feudal society — had an effect on their status that endures to this day.

Catherine O’Neill, a social worker turned political activist and advocate for refugee women, died of cancer Dec. 28 at the UCLA-Reagan Medical Center, The Los Angeles Times reported . She was 70. O’Neill started the organization originally called the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children with actress Liv Ullmann and others in 1989, after observing conditions in refugee camps in Pakistan and other hot spots as a board member of the humanitarian International Rescue Committee.

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