After 20 years covering war and conflict, Judith Matloff has brought to light the high rates of sexual harassment and abuse that female reporters face in the field. Her work has broken a journalism taboo and opened an industry dialogue about safety.
The murders of women–most of them Aboriginal–along Canada’s Highway 16 in British Columbia stirred advocates to request a shuttle service to reduce hitchhiking on the dangerous road. A year later, women are still sticking their thumbs out.
A citizens’ report in India highlights the sexual violence suffered last March by villagers in Nandigram and calls for a special trial of local authorities. Despite media coverage of the report the government has not responded.
Title IX is often equated with equal opportunity in athletics but the 1972 law also addresses sexual harassment. If the Supreme Court decides to hear a case involving a star college soccer coach it could clarify this aspect of gender-equity law.
(WOMENSENEWS)–CheersThe U.S. Naval Academy’s new installment of a four-year sexual harassment awareness program for the incoming class of 2011 signals a change in how the institution handles sexual harassment cases involving its students, CNN reported June 21.”That’s been shown to make a difference, so they are starting to experiment, so I’m optimistic on that level,” said Debby Tucker of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence. Tucker added that she hopes the program, which includes peer training, will do more to make the seriousness of sexual harassment clear to students.Supporters of the program say the institution is seriously addressing recent harassment cases–which include a former medical officer taping students having sex and the conviction of two athletes in sex-related incidents in April–and historic incidents, such as the handcuffing of a female student to a urinal in 1990.The academy first admitted women 30 years ago; they are now 20 percent of the student body. Last year, Capt. Margaret Klein was appointed the first female commandant of the academy, which makes her second in command at the institution.Female students and recent graduates at the academy have noticed that, along with institutional changes, the overall atmosphere among students has been one of more respect, communication and sensitivity.More News to Cheer This Week:The U.S. House of Representatives successfully skirted the Bush administration’s “global gag rule,” which prevents contraceptives from being donated to international groups who offer abortions or referrals, the Washington Post reported June 22. Democrats tucked in an amendment to a 2008 appropriations bill allowing the donations. President Bush has threatened to veto the measure.Canadian obstetricians strongly condemned the use of gender testing kits for selective abortions, the CBC reported June 21.
Blasting women with warnings about getting drunk in public does little to help them and sidesteps men’s responsibility for sexual assault, writes Jaclyn Friedman. She advocates three steps that could be more effective.
Israel was rocked this week by news that President Katsav faces indictment on sexual assault charges brought by former employees. Female politicians are leading a chorus of people calling on Katsav to resign his ceremonial position.
Not only during the holidays, but throughout the year, young and underage women often find a warmer welcome at bars and nightclubs than male peers. Some advocacy groups try to help women out for a night on the town get home safely.
Suzanne Swift, who refused to redeploy to Iraq after she was sexually harassed by her superiors, has refused a plea bargain. Now she faces a court martial in a case that spotlights problems of sexual impropriety and abuse in the military.
As students head back to school, studies suggest 83 percent of females and 79 percent of males will face some type of sexual harassment, from suggestive comments to inappropriate touching. Schools are required to have policies to address the problem.