Credit: Courtesy of King Khalid Charitable Foundation
Saudi Arabia has passed legislation aimed at protecting women, children and domestic staff against domestic abuse, The Guardian reported Aug. 29. The law, which was approved during a cabinet meeting on Aug. 26, came several months after a local charity launched a nationwide campaign to combat violence against women.
Those found guilty of committing psychological or physical abuse could face prison sentences of up to one year and up to 50,000 riyals ($13,331) in fines.
Previously, domestic violence against women, children or workers was treated under a general penal code based on Sharia, Islamic law. Judges were left to decide according to their understanding of Sharia codes, which were seen as permitting mild violence against “disobedient” wives and generally treated domestic violence as a private matter.
More News to Cheer This Week:
The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot deny benefits to the wife of a lesbian military veteran, a U.S. district judge in California said in a ruling that in part cites this summer’s Supreme Court invalidation of a key Defense of Marriage Act section, CNN reported Aug. 30. Also, married same-sex couples will be treated the same as opposite-sex couples for tax purposes regardless of where they live, USA TODAY reported Aug. 29. The Treasury Department announced that gay and lesbian married couples can file joint federal tax returns.
The European Central Bank is to double the number of women in management roles, The Guardian reported Aug. 29. At the central bank only 14 percent of senior managers are female and only two women, Sirkka Hämäläinen and Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, have ever sat on its six-strong executive board.
Clear Channel Communications lifted its ban on radio ads from a Wichita, Kan., abortion clinic, Slate reported Aug. 27. The South Wind Women’s Center placed ads promoting health care services for women, but did not specifically mention abortion. Clear Channel pulled the ads from three local radio stations last month.
The California Senate approved legislation that would broaden the number of abortion providers in the state, U-T San Diego reported Aug. 26. The bill, back to the Assembly to approve amendments before it goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, would allow a nurse practitioner, certified nurse-midwife or physician assistant who completes specialized training to provide a common abortion procedure during the first trimester of pregnancy.
As the United States celebrated Women’s Equality Day this week, New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney called to pass and ratify the amended version of the Equal Rights Amendment. “We need to pass the ERA to ensure that the rights of American women will never be diminished by any future Congress or political trend,” she said in a statement.
A Fox News medical expert argued that President Barack Obama‘s administration was wrong to force gender equality for health insurance rates because men “only have the prostate,” while women “have the breasts, they have the ovaries,” Raw Story reported Aug. 27.
“They [women] go through a lot of preventive screenings, they give birth, they have the whole mammogram, the Pap smear. Guys, we don’t like to go to doctors, right? Seventy percent of health care decisions are made by women. In my own practice, I see it’s the women who bring the guys, who say, go get screened,” Fox News Medical A-Team contributor Dr. David Samadi told the hosts of “Fox and Friends.”
More News to Jeer This Week:
Police say two women were raped in a Wilmington, Del., park by a group of about a dozen juveniles, the Associated Press reported Aug. 30. Authorities say the two women were in the park when they were approached by a group of 10 to 12 boys who assaulted them and then fled.
One-in-five women in the United States say they have been sexually harassed by a superior at work, while 1-in-4 report being harassed by another coworker, according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll, Think Progress reported Aug. 29.
A former Montana high school teacher convicted of raping a 14-year-old female student who later committed suicide will face only 30 days of jail time, The Huffington Post reported Aug. 26.
Women across Afghanistan risk being unable to vote in next year’s presidential elections because of a severe shortage of female members of the security forces, NBC News reported Aug. 28. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission said there were just 2,000 of the required 12,000 women needed to carry out body searches, which are mandatory for voters entering polling stations set aside specially for women.
Fifty-four percent of women said they felt there “was still work to be done” when it came to equality between men and women in Germany, particularly over pay, careers and housework, The Local reported Aug. 28. When it came to equality in education and relationships, those interviewed were a little more positive: 55 percent said they were content with the balance between men and women in these areas.
Over 6,400 incidents of violence against abortion providers have been reported since 1977 in the U.S. and Canada, including eight murders and 17 attempted murders, according to the National Abortion Federation, RH Reality Check reported Aug. 27. Abortion providers and clinics have faced numerous bombings, cases of arson, butyric acid attacks, death threats, kidnappings and more, all from opponents of abortion rights.
Sarah Palin has signed onto the effort to defund Obamacare, calling it a “beast” that must be stopped, Politico reported Aug. 27.
The 16-year-old Muslim who claimed earlier this month she was attacked by two men in Trappes, the French suburb of Paris, survived after jumping out of a fourth-floor window, French media reported Aug. 26. The young woman was admitted to the hospital after attempting suicide three days earlier by taking pills, according to Agence France-Presse.
More than 50 abortion clinics across the country have closed or stopped offering the procedure since a heavy wave of legislative attacks on providers began in 2010, according to the Huffington Post’s nationwide survey of state health departments, abortion clinics and local abortion-focused advocacy groups.
Up to 50,000 women who take maternity leave each year in the United Kingdom are unable to return to the jobs they left behind because of discrimination by employers, The Independent reported Aug. 26. As many as 14 percent of the 340,000 women who take maternity leave every year are told they cannot do their old job part time and are forced into roles with less responsibility while others are effectively dismissed.
Eleven women are suing a Washington state police department over claims that they were inappropriately filmed as they undressed and used a jail cell toilet, the Daily Mail reported Aug. 26. The women claim that when they were booked for DUI, which normally does not require changing into jail clothes, they were directed to change in a jail cell that had a wall-mounted security camera.
Since a controversial video-conferencing system tripled the number of Iowa towns where women could obtain abortions, the annual number of abortions has dropped 30 percent in the state, USA TODAY reported Aug. 27. The system installed in 2008 has allowed doctors in Des Moines to dispense abortion pills to women in clinics around the state. But it did not make abortions more common, state data show. In fact, the numbers have dropped from 6,649 in 2007 to 4,648 in 2012.
Women were more likely to want surgery when they were told they had a type of breast cancer than when the diagnosis was a breast lesion or a group of abnormal cells, even though all three scenarios described the same disease, The Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 26.
African American and Hispanic women are three to five times more likely to start a business than their white counterparts, according to a report by the Center for Women’s Business Research, Forbes reported Aug. 28.
New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner proclaims himself an advocate for women’s rights, the Politicker reported Aug. 26. Weiner touted his maternity and paternity leave plan, which would guarantee three months of fully paid maternity leave and six weeks of fully paid paternity leave to the city’s nearly 300,000 municipal workers “to ensure our city’s newborns get the care they need in those crucial first months.”
The Obama administration has barely improved its gender balance with high-profile nominations but “there’s room for improvement, and we’ve seen some missed opportunities,” said Debbie Walsh, the director for the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Obama has named 13 women to cabinet-level positions, matching the historic high achieved by the Clinton administration, The New York Times reported Aug. 26. He has also put a record number of women in judicial slots, including two on the Supreme Court. Women make up about 42 percent of confirmed judges appointed by Obama, compared with 22 percent appointed by George W. Bush and 29 percent by Bill Clinton.
Muriel Siebert, who became a legend on Wall Street as the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to head one of the exchange’s member firms, died in Manhattan, N.Y., The New York Times reported Aug. 25. She was 80. The cause was complications of cancer, according to one of her friends.
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