female syrian refugee
A young female Syrian refugee sits alone.

Credit: Safa Kutlu, IHH ?nsani Yard?m Vakf?/TURKEY on Flickr, under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)



Samina Baig,the first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest at 21 years old, is planning to climb to the summits of seven major peaks for women’s empowerment and actively assessing climate change, reported . Baig conquered Everest this past June and is headed to climb the highest mountain in Antarctica on Nov. 30. Her and her brother’s expeditions are being funded by The Adventure Diplomacy Group. Hailing from a mountainous region with a 100 percent female literacy rate, Baig said she climbs to show the strength of women.

More News to Cheer This Week:

Doug McMillon, a 47-year-old who started working at Wal-Mart as a teen, was announced as the new CEO of the retail giant, reported . Wal-Mart employees are hoping for a shift in treatment of their work force from years past and that McMillion will commit to paying employees a minimum annual salary of $25,000 and provide full-time job opportunities.

India is set to host an all-inclusive conference on women’s rights in Islam on Dec. 8, reported . The conference will discuss economical, educational, legal, religious and social facets of Muslim women’s lives in the subcontinent.


Female refugees who escaped Syria’s conflict to find sanctuary in neighboring Lebanon have been sexually harassed by employers, landlords and an employee of a local aid group, according to Human Rights Watch, reported . A dozen women described being groped, harassed and pressured to have sex. They did not report the incidents to authorities for fear of reprisal by their abusers or because they might be arrested for not having documents validating their right to be in Lebanon.

More News to Jeer This Week:

An Egyptian court has handed down heavy sentences of 11 years in prison to 21 female supporters– seven of whom are under 18 years old–of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi for holding a protest, reported.

Despite Libya ranking high for significant women’s representation in the political sector in a U.N. report, women’s active participation is still lagging, reported .

Four more people were charged in the case of a 16-year-old girl from Stuebenville, Ohio, who was raped in 2012, reported . All of the four newly indicted were on the school’s staff, including the school’s superintendent, the assistant football coach and two teachers.


The Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases related to contraceptive coverage on Nov. 26, according to various press reports. Both cases are related to the Affordable Care Act and whether employers may decide whether the medical insurance that they provide their employees must cover the costs of contraceptive coverage. Read more in the Women’s eNews story "."

An emergency contraceptive manufactured in Europe will come with a new label in 2014, explicitly stating the medication does not prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg and warning that the pill may not be effective for women over a certain weight, reported .

A swim-time allotted only for women at a public pool in Tukwila, Wash., has recently raised questions about gender inequality and religion, reported . The separation between males and females for the 90-minute slot has caused some locals to link the female swim to Jim Crow laws.

In India, the most recent public statement of a woman claiming she was sexually assault has captured headlines. The accuser Tarun Tehpal has a high profile role as editor of the investigative journalism magazine Tehelka, reported .

Post-Taliban Afghanistan may reintroduce public stoning and flogging of women accused of adultery or premarital sex, reported . The reinstatements are proposed in the drafting of a new penal code.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women this week, the U.N. emphasized the considerably greater challenges women face with regards to violence and HIV, reported .

In Memoriam:

The first woman to be elected to the office of Hawaii’s lieutenant governor, Jean Sadako King, died at the age of 87, reported . She served in the state’s House and Senate prior to her campaigning for lieutenant governor in 1978.

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