Base Closures Urged; Gender Violence Rampant

(WOMENSENEWS)–Cheers The New York-based Granny Peace Brigade is campaigning to close all United States military bases around the world. Members of the anti-war group marched and sang in Manhattan Nov. 21, the Women’s International Perspective reported. The demilitarization campaign started after delegates from Japan, Germany, Italy and South Korea, called for bases closures during the Women’s International Democratic Federation Summit held March 6 in Caracas, Venezuela.Code Pink co-founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin and retired army Col. Ann Wright traveled to Iran for a week-long citizen diplomacy trip to foster peaceful ties between the United States and Iran.

Global Gender Gaps Shrink; Women 60% of World Poor

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe economic, political and educational gender gaps have shrunk globally, with equality between women and men improving in more than two-thirds of 130 countries analyzed in the annual Global Gender Gap Index. The Nov. 12 index was released by the World Economic Forum, a Geneva-based development think tank.Worldwide, women’s health and life expectancy, however, keep worsening.The report measures the size of the gender gap in four critical areas of inequality between men and women, including economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, political representation, and health and survival.The United States–ranked 27th overall–made progress in politics, hitting a record for the number of women in political decision-making positions. The gender wage gap is still strong, with women’s estimated average annual earnings at $25,000 and $40,000 for men.Scandinavian countries (Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland) were ranked best in terms of gender equity, with Norway ranked highest in the world. Yemen was ranked at the bottom, just behind Chad, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.More News to Cheer This Week:Taiwan has called on Japan to apologize to the so-called comfort women, about 2,000 former sexual slaves held by the Japanese army during World War II, Radio Taiwan International reported Nov.

Chinese Women Gain; Soldiers Report Sex Assault

(WOMENSENEWS)–Cheers Significant progress for Chinese women’s rights have taken place over the past five years, including the creation of 27,000 agencies for women and children, according to a report delivered at the Tenth National Women’s Congress in Beijing held Oct. 28. The government had called women from around the country to attend to the congress and draft a blueprint for women’s progress in the next five years, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 29.Chinese women are increasingly becoming police, judges, models and politicians, and account for 45 percent of the paid work force. The government is also trying to increase women’s involvement in state affairs and social and economic development, said Huang Qingyi, deputy chair of the All-China Women’s Federation, the nation’s largest nongovernmental organization for women.

New Cancer Vaccine Urged; Election Is Roe’s Future

(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersA leading British scientist says new research reveals that a vaccine or drug to prevent breast cancer is plausible, the Guardian reported Oct. 6. Valerie Beral, director of the cancer epidemiology unit of Oxford University, also urged the scientific community to turn its focus toward breast cancer prevention, where efforts are now minimal in comparison to the funding and research dedicated to breast cancer treatment.Beral leads the Million Women’s Study in Britain, which she says has now proven that breast cancer is caused by the absence of hormonal changes linked to childbirth. Because women have fewer children and breastfeed less than they did historically, breast cancer rates have risen as a result. Beral says a vaccine could be the end result of studying hormonal surges caused by childbirth and mimicking those effects, but research isn’t occurring.Death rates have dropped but the actual number of cases is increasing. In recent years, a growing body of U.S. studies have also revealed racial and income discrepancies that affect how women receive early treatments, which may play a role in breast cancer death rates.National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is October.