Federal workers protest the government shutdown.
Federal workers protest the government shutdown.

Credit: cool revolution on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)



Democratic House minority leader Nancy Pelosi said at an Oct. 4 women’s conference in New York City that she supported the federal immigration reform law in part because of the impact immigration laws have on women. She encouraged the audience to participate in local rallies over the weekend and at the national rally for immigration reform on Oct. 8.

The anti-immigrant laws have resulted in many immigrant women struggling, between supporting their families and raising their children, and have left them more vulnerable to domestic violence and deportation.

Pelosi was joined by House members Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y. The three also called for support for the Equal Rights Amendment, the Pay Equity Act, the New York State Family Leave Insurance Bill and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
–Darina Naidu

More News to Cheer This Week:

Attorneys for Alicia Beltranarrested for taking painkillers while pregnant–announced that they have filed a petition in federal court seeking her immediate release from state custody, National Advocates for Pregnant Women said in a press statement Oct. 2.

The New York City Council unanimously passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, reported . The bill extends current protections against employer discrimination to pregnant workers and expands the city’s Human Rights Law to include pregnant workers.

A rally outside the Ohio Statehouse decried legislative changes to laws affecting reproductive women’s health, reported .

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is spearheading a campaign to raise self-esteem among girls, reported .

Efforts to reduce maternal mortality by using mobile phone technology, available in places that lack even the most basic of needs, are increasing, reported .

Dawn Dekle, former provost of the American University of Afghanistan, was appointed as the first female president at a 6-year-old Iraqi university located in the Kurdish region, reported .

As part of a plan to integrate women into combat positions by 2016, the first female Marines participated in infantry training this week, the reported .

Breast cancer will become a rare occurrence in which there is a 100 percent survival rate and 95 percent of those diagnosed are cured by 2050, reported .


The government shutdown has led to a stop in funding of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC, reported . Over 8.9 million moms and children under age 5 living near or below the poverty line rely on the program’s vouchers for healthy food, breastfeeding support, infant formula and other necessities dispensed at clinics nationwide. The USDA estimates that most states will be able to continue WIC operations as usual for “a week or so” before running out of money.

The ongoing federal government shutdown has also forced the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to suspend its investigations into colleges and universities that are alleged to have violated Title IX, the federal education gender equity law, in their handling of sexual violence on their campuses, the reported .

Women’s eNews‘ first direct encounter with the shutdown was a reporter’s discovery on Oct. 1 that the Department of Labor was cancelling a webinar on its for home care workers.

With the government shutdown in effect, Republicans are taking the opportunity to formulate an amendment that would enable employers to refuse birth control coverage and screenings specific to women, the reported . Democratic female senators are confident that the Senate will block the Republican provision.

A survey by indicates that the majority of women are disappointed in Congress because of the shutdown and are concerned about how it will affect the country. According to the survey, 76 percent of women feel worse about the country’s future and 73 percent believe Congress should have found a compromise before allowing the shutdown to happen.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Indiana Republican Todd Rokita‘s discussion on Obamacare on air with CNN anchor Carol Costello did not end on a good note, reported . “You’re beautiful, but you need to be honest as well,” he said to Costello.

A YouTube video shows a Sudanese woman crying out in pain while a policeman whips her in public, the reported . She was reportedly guilty of riding in a car with a man who wasn’t her husband or an immediate family member, an offense that is prohibited by Sudan’s public order law.

A migration expert says only 3 of an estimated 100 women on a migrant ship that overturned off Italy have been rescued, and no children have been saved so far, reported .

One of Afghanistan’s 69 female members of parliament, Fariba Ahmadi Kakar, was kidnapped by the Taliban in a plan formed by her brother, reported .

A group of Gwinnett County women in Georgia, who are part of a nationwide movement calling for President Barack Obama’s impeachment, were assaulted during their protest Sept. 28, reported .

A same-sex harassment complaint was documented at the Federal District Court in Central Islip, N.Y., reported . Four employees of the National Association of Professional Women accused three executives of sexually harassing them and denying them access to their paychecks.

White women continue to be diagnosed with breast cancer at higher rates than any other race, however diagnosis has increased among black women, reported .

A fuel-air explosive attack on a commercial school in Raqqa, Syria, killed at least 14 civilians, at least 12 of whom were students, reported . Read more about Syrian refugees’ and education in Women’s eNews‘ story “.”

The absence of women in the Asian job market is costing the continent $89 billion annually, reported .

Women are forbidden from Mount Athos, the Greek peninsula also known as the “holy mountain,” reported . As a base for Eastern Orthodox monasticism, women are not allowed because they hinder monks from attaining spiritual enlightenment.

Saudi human rights activists, Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni, will be sentenced to 10 months in jail and have travel rights revoked for allegedly supporting Canadian, Nathalie Morin to rebel against her husband, the reported .


Egyptian’s women’s rights groups are calling for a return to the 2010 quota system that ensured female members of parliament and that was nullified during the 2011 revolution, reported .

Maha Al Musa, a 51-year-old mother from New South Wales, Australia, said she has been breastfeeding her 5-year-old daughter since birth and will continue to do so until she is 10, the reported .

British Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson says reluctance to talk about pay can hold women back at work, reported . He said women should ask their male colleagues how much they earn to know if they are being paid less than their male counterparts.

Norway will reduce its aid to Afghanistan from next year. Norwegian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Torgeir Larsen said the Afghan authorities had failed to submit a report on the problem that they had promised by July and that Kabul has not done enough to combat corruption and violence against women, reported .

Lifting the ban on women from sporting headscarves, a reflection of Islamic beliefs, tops Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s batch of pending proposals, reported .

After weeks of buildup, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis formally kicked off a bid for governor Oct. 3 on the same stage where she graduated from high school, reported.

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of the band Pussy Riot fell ill and ended her nine-day strike protesting poor conditions in the remote penal colony in Mordova, Russia, where she is serving a two-year sentence, reported .

Dr. Nayna Patel is constructing the first dual housing and surrogate clinic, dubbed the “baby factory,” in the state of Gujarat in India, the U.K.’s reported .

In response to the scheduled Oct. 26 campaign to protest the ban on Saudi women driving, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan has warned that driving adversely affects women’s ovaries and their children, global news channel reported .

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