Pope Francis called continued inequality in pay for women who do the same work as men a "pure scandal," Politico reported April 29. "Why is it expected that women must earn less than men?" he asked, according to the report. "No! They have the same rights. The disparity is a pure scandal."
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Ten men were jailed for 25 years each for their involvement in the 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted for her campaign against Taliban efforts to deny girls education, The Guardian reported April 30. None of the men were in the team who shot the Pakistani education activist in the head but had been part of a wider group of plotters involved in the planning and execution of the attack, according to a security official.
The state of Florida confirmed that a bill aimed to punish anyone who uses a public bathroom that doesn’t match the sex they were assigned at birth is no longer on the table, The Advocate reported April 28.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance issued a press statement April 29 calling attention to the violence and poverty plaguing the country and cities including Baltimore. "Our hearts are with the family and loved ones of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who was brutally and senselessly beaten by six officers of the Baltimore Police Department," the statement begins. " In this context of popular anger, Baltimore prosecutors unexpectedly announced May 1 that they had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against police officers in the death of Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.
In the wake of the Baltimore riots this week following the death of Freddie Gray, a video of a black mother confronting her son for participating in the protests went viral. The footage captures her slapping her son in the face and directing him away from the crowd, presumably home, Crunk Feminist Collective blogged on April 28. Some condemned the black mother for putting her hands on her son, while others celebrated her "parenting."
A few weeks ago, Mya Hall, a black trans woman, was killed by the same police department.
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Five years after its introduction the requirements of the Affordable Care Act are not being enforced, according to three new studies. Health insurance plans around the country are failing to provide many of those legally mandated services, including birth control and cancer screenings, Newsweek reported April 30. Two studies by the National Women’s Law Center looked at health plan coverage documents and consumer complaints in 15 states. One of the studies focused on contraception, while the other looked at a range of women’s health issues, including maternity care, breastfeeding support and other services. A Kaiser Family Foundation report came to similar conclusions, looking at compliance in 12 different states and 20 different insurance carriers.
A young woman traveling in Punjab, India, on April 29 was killed after she and her mother were molested and thrown from a private bus by a group of men, The New York Times reported. Four men were arrested the following day: the driver and conductor of the bus and two other employees of the bus line. They are facing several charges, including murder and violation of a law relating to crimes committed against members of India’s lower castes, to which the two women belonged.
Far too many women undergo sterilization procedures in inadequate environments in Bihar, India, a study by the International Center for Research on Women found. Many health facilities, both public and private, are underprepared to perform such procedures.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill deeming abortions to be illegal in Florida at any point in a woman’s pregnancy, The Huffington Post reported April 24. Under the new law, abortion will only be possible if a doctor confirms the fetus is not viable. Current law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk.
French President Francois Hollande said there would be grave consequences if allegations that French soldiers sexually abused children in the Central African Republic are true, NPR reported April 30. A full investigation is underway after up to 10 boys said they suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the French peacekeepers between December 2013 and June 2014.
Nigerian troops rescued 200 girls and 93 women in the Sambisa Forest, the Nigerian Armed Forces announced on its official Twitter account, CNN reported April 27. On April 29, CNN reported that those rescued did not include the girls kidnapped in April 2014 from the northeastern Nigerian village of Chibok.
Lawyers for and against same-sex marriage faced off before the Supreme Court as the nine justices grappled with what many see as a generational-defining social question in the United States, Voice of America reported April 28. The court is schedule to issue its decision in June.
Jimmy Carter has drawn up a list of 23 gender-based issues he wants addressed, from child marriage to "honor" killings and sex-selective abortions, Reuters reported May 1. "I would say the one that concerns me the most is the murder of little baby girls, the aborting of them when they’re found to be female."
Idaho’s governor called for a special legislative session to pass a bill that would bring the state’s child support program into compliance with U.S. law, despite lawmakers’ fears of federal overreach, Reuters reported April 29.
Female peacemakers are urging the international community to halt the transfer of arms to Yemen, calling the human cost of the conflict "incalculable," The Guardian reported April 30. This week, delegates from the Women’s Power to Stop War conference called for an immediate end to fighting, for safe access for humanitarian aid agencies to deliver vital goods and services and safe passage for the thousands of people who have been displaced by the fighting.
UN Women released 10 recommendations for strengthening women’s financial security. The report finds that globally, on average, women are paid 24 percent less than men and women are clustered into a limited set of under-valued occupations. Authors call for the global economy to be redesigned with "the needs of women in mind."
Paul Nungesser, who has been accused of raping Emma Sulkowicz, also known "Mattress Girl," has sued Columbia University, The Associated Press reported April 24. Nungesser claims the university did not protect him against any gender-based harassment or defamation that occurred as a result of Sulkowicz’s actions regarding the rape.
Mary Doyle Keefe died on April 21, the Washington Post reported April 23. Keefe posed for the "Rosie the Riveter," painting, the iconic image of a red-haired, red-lipped bruiser of a woman with a rivet gun in the lap of her overalls and her heavy foot atop a copy of Hitler’s manifesto "Mein Kampf."
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