Credit: Al Jazeera English on Flickr, under Creative Commons
More than 90 percent of Indian voters participating in general elections this month see the combating of violence against women as a priority, CNN reported April 9. Seventy-five percent of men and women participating in the largest democratic event in history believe that political promises made to advocate women’s rights have been inadequate so far. Nongovernmental organizations, women’s movements, journalists, economists, academics and lawyers have been promoting their “Womanifesto,” a six year plan first drafted last year that details what needs to be done within the next five years to improve conditions for women and girls.
More News to Cheer This Week:
Women’s employment during economic recessions is more resilient than men’s, even expanding during previous recessions, according to a new analysis by a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics economist. The share of women’s employment during the most recent recession, economist Catherine A. Wood wrote, reached 50 percent of non-farm employment for the first time since the federal agency began keeping track in 1964, The Los Angeles Times reported April 8.
The Philippine Supreme Court struck down a legal challenge to a birth control law that would require the government to provide free contraception to the poorest Filipinos and conduct safe sex education in schools, Al Jazeera reported April 8. The latest survey shows that 72 percent of the population supports the law.
The Iraqi government is set to pass a law that would legalize child marriage, allowing girls from the age of 9 to be married with parental consent, The Washington Post reported April 10. The law is expected to pass before parliamentary elections and would also prohibit Muslim men from marrying non-Muslims, prevent women from leaving the house without their husband’s consent, grant custody of children older than 2 to their father in divorce cases and legalize marital rape.
More News to Jeer This Week:
On April 9, Senate Republicans unanimously voted against advancing the Paycheck Fairness Act, reported Think Progress. The failed proposal would have banned the practice of salary secrecy for all workers and narrow what would count as legitimate business-related disparities between men and women with the same skills, responsibility and working conditions. It would also increase penalties for those who don’t have reasonable reasons for gaps in pay.
A Sri Lankan women’s rights group said that the government has detained innocent women who are the relatives of males suspected of trying to revive the Tamil Tiger rebel group, ABC News reported April 9. The women are being held under inhuman conditions, as some are elderly or need medical and psychiatric care but are being denied those facilities.
A “pro-life” abortion bill passed its second Senate committee in Florida on a party line vote, the Sun Sentinel reported April 8. The bill (SB 918) would redefine viability and could prohibit certain abortions now legal under Florida law. It also would eliminate late-term abortions for psychological reasons.
Egypt‘s female activists say they won a major step forward with the new constitution, which enshrined greater rights for women, yet months after its passage, they’re worrying whether those rights will be implemented or will turn out to be merely ink on paper, the Associated Press reported April 8.
Although attending college costs the same for both genders, women are more burdened by student loan debt after graduating, NPR reported April 7. They spend a higher proportion of their salaries on paying off debt because they have lower salaries to work with than men from the very start. A study by the American Association of University Women found that one year after college, nearly half of women working full time, and 39 percent of men, were devoting more than 8 percent of their income toward their debt.
Reports of domestic violence incidents are growing nearly three times faster on Staten Island than in any other of New York City‘s boroughs, according to an analysis of state Division of Criminal Justice Services data, SILive reported April 6. From 2009 to 2012, Staten Island reported a 51.9 percent increase in domestic violence victims, according to DCJS data. Yet, all five boroughs have experienced a marked increase in domestic violence cases since 2009.
Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith’s spring conference on April 5, in their bid to promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood, Reuters reported.
A 10-year-old Senegalese girl who became pregnant with twins after being raped by a neighbor is being forced to continue with her pregnancy because of her country’s stringent restrictions on abortion, Think Progress reported April 4.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius resigned after five years in the Obama administration, TIME reported April 11. Her agency oversaw the botched launch of the HealthCare.gov website last year, drawing criticism from members of Congress. This news comes after reports that Obamacare enrollment has exceeded targets that had seemed impossible after the dysfunctional launch.
South Korea has placed new restrictions on mixed-ethnicity marriages after an influx of brides, when more than 30,000 were given resident-through-marriage visas, The South China Morning Post reported April 10. These brides come predominantly from other Asian countries and are essentially “mail ordered” through matchmaking brokers. Reports of young foreign wives being beaten and in some cases murdered prompted the passage of new measures.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., says he’s asking his family and constituents for forgiveness after a West Monroe newspaper published a video that it says shows the congressman kissing a woman who wasn’t his wife, the Associated Press reported April 8.
Having more women on company boards reduces fraud, according to a new study from China, The New York Times reported April 4. The study says “the optimal percentage of women on boards is 50 percent,” higher than the average anywhere in the world.
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