Women’s Small Ventures Hope to Keep Money Coming

Despite the crushing news on Wall Street, an advocacy group, Springboard Enterprises, is hanging on to its plans to bring female entrepreneurs together with venture capitalists. Next month’s forum is for women in new media and entertainment startups.

Women’s eNews 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2007

Women’s eNews announces today its 21 Leaders for the 21st Century 2007: 20 women and one man who are dedicating their lives to improving the lives of all women at home, in the workplace, in school, in the media and around the world.

FGM in Decline; U.S. Protects Convicted Rapist

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersA study released by the Tanzania Ministry of Health reported that female genital mutilation is on the decline, according to the United Nations’ IRIN news agency Dec. 4. A health survey showed that the prevalence of female genital mutilation had declined from 18 percent in 1996 to 15 percent in 2005 in the East African nation. Local organizations attributed the decline to continued awareness campaigns against the practice.Last month, in a conference on female genital mutilation in Cairo, Muslim academics and scholars urged the Egyptian religious establishment to end the practice, Gulf News reported Nov. 23.

AAUW Turns 125; World’s Girls Shorted on Schooling

The American Association of University Women, one of the oldest nonprofit organizations dedicated to advocating women’s rights, celebrates its 125th anniversary on Nov. 28. AAUW was founded in 1881 by 17 female college graduates and has more than 100,000 members today, with 1,300 branches and 500 college and university partners.

Women’s Votes Held Sway; O.J. Almost Confesses

U.S. women were a deciding factor in determining the outcome of the 2006 midterm elections, according to results from two polls released Nov. 17, and helped bring record numbers of women to the U.S. House, the Senate and state legislatures around the nation.

U.S. Women Win Big; Palestine Women Not Protected

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe end of the 2006 midterm elections resulted in a record increase in the number of women voted into the U.S. Congress. In the Senate, a record total of 16 women, 11 Democrats and five Republicans, will serve. Victories by 50 Democratic women in the House helped Democrats gain control and placed Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California in line to become the first female Speaker of the House. Five House races involving women are still unsettled.In gubernatorial races, five of the eight women who ran won their races, and a total of nine women will serve as governors in 2007, a level reached only once before.Voters in South Dakota rejected a ballot measure by a vote of 56 percent to 44 percent that would have banned abortions at all stages of pregnancy, including cases of rape and incest, and offered no exception for a woman’s health.In Oregon and California, voters defeated measures that would have required doctors to notify a parent before performing an abortion on a minor. Voters defeated California’s Proposition 85 by 54 percent to 46 percent, and Oregon’s Measure 43 was rejected with a 55 percent vote.

Anti-Choice Laws Blocked; Gaza Women Gunned Down

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe federal appeals court in St. Louis ruled 2-1 on Oct. 30 to continue blocking the enforcement of a 2005 South Dakota law requiring doctors to give additional warnings to women who seek abortions, including one that the procedure will “terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being.”In Britain, the House of Commons voted 187-108 to reject a bill that would reduce the period to obtain a legal abortion from 24 weeks to 21 weeks and introduce a compulsory 10-day “cooling off period” in which women would receive counseling and be informed of the medical risks and implications of the termination, reported the British Web site Politics.co.uk. Currently, British women are required to wait to have an abortion for five days after seeing a doctor.Member of Parliament Christine McCafferty called the bill “ill-informed” and said it would force a small number of vulnerable women to continue pregnancies against their will. “Restrictions on legal rights would leave some women in a desperate predicament.”More News to Cheer This Week:The Peter Gruber Foundation awarded three activists its prestigious $300,000 Women’s Rights Prize Nov.