New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has decided to crack down on nail salons in the wake of a widely read New York Times story released last week, New York Mag reported May 11. The New York Times two-part series detailed a host of abuses against the largely undocumented community of immigrants that comprise the industry. Gov. Cuomo issued an emergency order to create a task force that will inspect every single nail salon in New York to make sure it is complying with labor laws and its manicurists are not being exploited.
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Equal pay, paid sick days, child care and higher wages were among the topics discussed May 13 on Twitter under the hashtag #MissionPossible. The tweets highlighted the importance of boosting family economic security. "When having a baby is a leading cause of poverty spells in US, it’s clear we need #PaidLeave," MomsRising tweeted. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also took part in the conversation. "Building a strong economy for families, women and our nation is #MissionPossible. We must do more to ensure #WomenSucceed!" she tweeted.
A social media firestorm touched off by a female TV reporter who fought back against sexually explicit taunts hurled by several soccer fans has cost one Toronto engineer his job, The Canadian Press reported May 13. CityNews reporter Shauna Hunt is shown in the video questioning two men who emulated a trend seen in other cities by shouting obscenities into her microphone.
The American Civil Liberties Union asked state and federal agencies to investigate the hiring practices of major Hollywood studios, networks and talent agencies, The New York Times reported May 12. The ACLU describes rampant and intentional gender discrimination in the recruiting and hiring of female directors.
The House voted to ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, The New York Times reported May 14. The text was a revised version of a bill that Republican leaders had abruptly pulled in January amid objections from some of their own members. The bill dropped a provision in the original version that would have required women who became pregnant through rape to report their assault to law enforcement authorities to be eligible for an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The vote in the House, as with a similar ban that passed the chamber in 2013, is expected to be a largely symbolic gesture.
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More than 100 women have been raped in a brutal attack in a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Doctors Without Borders. The organization claims that as many as 127 women have sought medical attention after an armed militia swept through Kikamba in South Kivu, on the evening of May 1, The Independent reported May 15.
In an anonymous survey of female staffers conducted by National Journal about what it is like to be a woman in Capitol Hill, several reported that they have been barred from staffing their male bosses at evening events, driving alone with their congressman or senator or even sitting down one-on-one in his office for fear that others would get the wrong impression.
Bridlington School in Hull, England, is planning to ban its female students from wearing skirts because they make male teachers feel uncomfortable, The Mirror reported May 15. The school also intends to force all students to stick to approved trousers bearing the logo to stop girls arriving in skinny tight-fitting styles. And if pupils fail to stick to the strict new rules they will be put into an isolation room. The plan has sparked outrage among parents who have backed a petition that has already garnered 1,000 names.
Indonesia has been urged to ban painful "two-finger" virginity tests conducted on women who apply to join the military, The Independent reported May 14. The "discredited and degrading" exam is given early in the recruitment process to determine if the woman’s hymen is still intact, according to Human Rights Watch. The organization condemned the test as a form of gender-based violence and called on the military to end the widely discredited practice immediately.
The Austin city government is now female-dominated, with seven women and four men occupying its 11 top spots. However, the City Manager’s office took this to mean that city employees would need special training in what to expect now that women are in charge, The Inquisitr reported May 13. So two "experts" were brought in to tell Austin’s city employees what to expect from their new female bosses. Much of the "training" was found rather offensive by Austin’s new female City Council members.
More than half of Texas women faced at least one barrier to accessing reproductive health care in the years after lawmakers dramatically altered the state’s family planning services, The Texas Tribune reported May 12. Affordability, insurance issues and a lack of nearby providers were among the top barriers women reported facing between 2011 and 2014, according to a report by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project. Young, low-income women with less education — particularly Spanish-speaking Hispanic women who were born in Mexico — faced the most barriers to reproductive services.
A new map by Expert Market shows the date that women in each state effectively start working for free due to the gender wage gap, The Daily Mail reported May 11. On average women make 22 percent less than men do in the U.S., which means starting Oct. 12 they are no longer being paid for their work. Louisiana has the worst pay gap at 34 percent. Thus, women there effectively start working for free in August
French director Emmanuelle Bercot became the first woman since 1987 to open the Cannes Film Festival May 12 with "Standing Tall," starring French icon Catherine Deneuve, Agence France-Presse reported. Bercot rejected the importance of her gender, saying "it’s the selection of the film that’s an honor." "I don’t at all feel like a minority. At least in France, female directors cannot honestly say they don’t have a place or that they suffer discrimination. I know it’s different in other countries," she said.
Gertrude Schimmel, who broke gender barriers in the New York Police Department as one of the first two women to become a sergeant and ultimately the first to be named a chief, died May 11 at her home in Manhattan. She was 96, the New York Times reported.
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