In a break with the usual treatment of violent star athletes, the Baltimore Ravens released the running back Ray Rice on Sept. 8 and the NFL suspended him indefinitely, The New York Times reported Sept. 9. The celebrity gossip website TMZ released a graphic video of Rice punching and knocking out his future wife in February in an Atlantic City hotel elevator. The release of the video prompted the team to sever its contract with Rice. The NFL, which had suspended Rice for two games, barred him indefinitely. Janay Rice, now married to Ray Rice, blamed the news media for her husband’s dismissal and suspension. She added that her life has turned into a nightmare.
The NFL continues to answer questions about why it had not seen the footage of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée in an elevator. In a statement, the league reiterated Sept. 9 that it had requested “any and all information about the incident, including any video that may exist” from law enforcement officials and “that video was not made available to us and no one in our office saw it until yesterday.”
Against this backdrop, the White House strongly condemned violence against women and urged men to band together to stop it, The Huffington Post reported Sept 8.
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Elizabeth A. Sackler has been named chair of the board of the Brooklyn Museum, an institution founded in 1895 and, at 560,000 square feet, is New York’s second largest in physical size holding an art collection with roughly 1.5 million works. The museum is home to the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for feminist art and has been the home of the iconic feminist installation The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago and other exhibits since 2007. Sackler, an arts matron, is a Women’s eNews 21 Leader for the 21st Century (2003). Two other 21 Leaders attended the celebration of her new role on Sept. 9: Martha Burk, also class of 2003, and Andrea Arroyo, class of 2010. At the event, Arnold Lehman, the museum’s director since 1997, announced his retirement in 2015, giving Sackler a significant role in guiding the populist museum’s response to the continually changing demographics of its audiences.
Pakistan’s army said Sept. 12 that it has arrested 10 militants suspected of involvement in the 2012 attack on teen activist Malala Yousafzai, who won world acclaim after she was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating gender equality and education for women, the Associated Press reported. Malala said recently at a New York gathering that she intended one day to be prime minister of Pakistan.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) could make history as the state’s first-ever elected female governor if she wins November’s general election after winning her party primary this week, The Huffington Post reported Sept. 9. Coakley will be running against Republican and former health care executive Charlie Baker.
Following controversy over well-documented homophobic and sexist remarks by evangelical megachurch founder Mark Driscoll, church officials announced that they would be closing several of Mars Hills 15 Pacific Northwest branches, Salon reported Sept. 8. Officials cite financial difficulties caused by “negative media attention.” Several staff and clergy members have also been laid off. In one example of Driscoll’s comments, preaching theological “complementarianism,” in which women are considered men’s followers and subordinates, he expressed a belief that women should always be submissive.
Starting Sept. 16, female New Yorkers will be able to ask for a female taxi driver. This new service will be available in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island, The New York Times reported Sept. 7. It will take requests for rides through an app, and dispatch drivers sporting hot pink pashmina scarves. The service will be called SheTaxis — SheRides in New York City because of regulations barring it from using “taxi” in its name — and aims to serve women who may feel uncomfortable being driven by men, or who simply prefer the company of other women.
The website of the International Women’s Media Foundation suffered a complex brute-force attack Sept 5, the organization said in a press statement Sept. 12. The website, which features the work of the IWMF and promotes the empowerment of female journalists worldwide, was defaced and most of its original content destroyed. The severity of the breach, as well as the hacker’s advanced methods and systematic approach, suggest that the incident was a targeted attack against the IWMF and its mission to strengthen the role of women in the media, the statement said.
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Missouri lawmakers overrode the governor’s veto to enact a 72-hour delay before undergoing an abortion that includes no exception for cases of rape or incest, the Associated Press reported Sept. 11. The new requirement will take effect 30 days after this week’s vote by the Republican-led legislature, overruling the veto of Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. He had denounced the measure as “extreme and disrespectful” toward women.
Thousands of Iraqi women are being forced into sex slavery in brothels run by a “police force” of British female jihadis, The Daily Mail reported Sept. 11. As many as 3,000 women and girls have been taken captive from the Yazidi tribe in Iraq as ISIS militants continue their reign of terror across the region. Sources now say that British female jihadis operating a religious police force called the al-Khanssaa brigade, which punishes women for “un-Islamic” behavior, have set up brothels for the use of ISIS fighters.
The crowdfunding site GoFundMe, which allows people to solicit money online for personal causes like medical bills, house repairs and scholarship funds, is coming under fire after it censored fundraisers related to abortion, the Huffington Post reported Sept 11. On Sept. 9, the company issued an update to its guidelines saying it wouldn’t fund projects linked to “termination of life,” “weapons and violence,” “adult material” and other topics.
A British woman has been in an Iranian prison for more than two months for trying to watch a men’s volleyball match, The Independent reported Sept. 10. Ghoncheh Ghavami, 25, was arrested along with more than a dozen women as they tried to enter a stadium where the Iranian national men’s team was playing Italy on June 20. She was released from custody and arrested a second time to be transferred to Tehran’s notorious Evin jail, which is known for holding political prisoners and journalists.
African Union soldiers stationed in Somalia have raped and sexually exploited women and girls on their military bases, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Sept 8, CNN reported. The report accuses soldiers of working through Somali go-betweens to use a variety of ploys, such as humanitarian aid, to force women and girls to have sex as well as to sexually assault women who came to the bases seeking medical help or water.
Oscar Pistorius, the disabled track star who once commanded stellar heights of international competition at the Paralympic and Olympic Games, was found guilty on Sept. 12 of culpable homicide, equivalent to manslaughter, after being acquitted of murder charges for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, The New York Times reported. Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa agreed to extend Mr. Pistorius’s bail until his sentencing hearing begins, on Oct. 13. The verdicts represented a crushing blow for the lead prosecutor, who had demanded that Pistorius be convicted of premeditated murder, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 25 years. Culpable homicide, which relates to negligence rather than intent, can draw a 15-year term, but the judge has wide discretion in determining the punishment.
One of the worst career moves a woman can make is to have children, The New York Times reported Sept. 6. Mothers are less likely to be hired for jobs, to be perceived as competent at work or to be paid as much as their male colleagues with the same qualifications. For men, meanwhile, having a child is good for their careers. They are more likely to be hired than childless men, and tend to be paid more after they have children.
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