Green Marketers Run Into Eco-Skeptics

Massive green-marketing campaigns aimed at women are spurring watchdogs and advisors into action. Big Green Purse offers budgeting advice and Women’s Voice for the Earth presses for full disclosure of cleaning product ingredients.

Native Women Receive Protection; Women Eat Least, Last

The Tribal Law and Order Act of 2008, designed to lower sexual violence against American Indian and Alaskan Native women, was introduced July 23 by the Senate of Indian Affairs Committee. The bill would enable tribal police to enforce violations of federal laws on Indian lands and offer them greater access to criminal history information.

Spain Closes Records; Women Unable to Plan Births

(WOMENSENEWS)–Cheers Spain’s government has issued procedures to protect the privacy of women who have abortions. Under the new rules, women’s medical records may only be opened by a court order, Agence-France Presse reported July 11. Earlier this month, Spain’s ruling Socialist party placed a relaxation of the nation’s abortion laws into its platform.The move–initiated by Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa de la Vega–came after police investigating alleged irregularities of a private clinic’s abortion procedures questioned women in their homes after learning their names through clinic records. In January, private clinics went on strike for five days, accepting only emergency cases, to protest what they saw as the harassment of investigators, who had also detained a dozen doctors, according to RH Reality Check.More News to Cheer This Week:Instead of wedding gifts, some same-sex couples in California are asking friends to contribute money to fight a November ballot measure that would make theiir unions illegal, Reuters reported July 14. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census Bureau said it will not count same-sex marriages in the 2010 census, the Washington Post reported July 17.The British government is set to increase the number of women appointed to the boards of public institutions to at least 40 percent by 2011 as part of its Equality Bill, trade paper Personnel Today reported July 16.

Betancourt Freed; Courts OK Anti-Abortion Tactics

(WOMENSENEWS)– CheersFrench-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt was among 15 hostages released July 2 after six years of captivity by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the BBC reported. Betancourt was kidnapped in February 2002 while campaigning as a presidential candidate in territory controlled by FARC, which has been trying to overthrow the Colombian government for 40 years.Her first comments Wednesday night were broadcast on Colombian radio: “I never expected to get out of there alive.” She was greeted by her mother, Yolanda Pulecio; her daughter, Melanie Delloye; and son, Lorenzo Delloye, at the airport in Bogota and then flew to France.Betancourt started her political career in Colombia in 1990 after drug dealers assassinated a presidential candidate. While thanking President Alvaro Uribe Velez, whom she had been running against when kidnapped, she said, “I continue to aspire to serve Colombia as president.”More News to Cheer This Week:A proposed law in Britain would require public sector employers to publish the pay gap between male and female employees and encourage private companies to do the same, Reuters reported June 26. Equality Minister Harriet Harman proposed the law to encourage women to complain when they are underpaid.

Woman Runs for EU Chief; Media Sexism Debate Rages

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersA woman has thrown her hat into the ring to run for the highest-ranking political position in Europe. Margot Wallstrom, currently vice president of the European Commission and a former minister in the Swedish government, is seeking the presidency of the European Council, the European Union’s highest political body that joins together 500 million people, the Huffington Post reported June 9.Wallstrom is running for a new position that will replace the current presidential rotation among 27 member nations. The change is part of the ratification of the Treaty of Lisbon, slated to take effect next January if ratified by all 27 countries. The treaty would strengthen the bloc’s institutions and streamline some operations. On Friday, Irish voters rejected the treaty in a national vote after concerns were publicly raised that it would force the nation to discard its abortion ban, Agence France-Presse reported.Wallstrom has been involved in EU technological developments and is known for her push to bring Europeans closer to the EU system through blogs and Web sites.