Saturday, December 5, 2009

Feminist News to Cheer & Jeer this week

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Saturday, December 5, 2009


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WeNews Wins First Place; Same-Sex Marriage Rejected

By Kimberly St. Louis
WeNews Correspondent
Saturday, December 5, 2009


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Women's eNews editor Rita Henley Jensen accepted the first prize in the IPPIE awards for best coverage of educational issues on Dec. 3.
The award was given by New York Community Media Alliance for articles that expose the complexity of the largest educational system in the country in its attempt to educate a highly diverse student population or expose difficulties encountered by immigrant students or low-income students in obtaining quality education.
The winning story, Urban Girls Jump into the Title IX Gap, is about double dutch being taught as a sport in New York City public schools. It was reported and written by Carla Murphy, a freelancer with a long history at Women's eNews. The entire board and staff are gratified by this recognition. The IPPIE is the 32nd journalism prize Women's eNews has won in its nine years of operations.

More News to Cheer This Week:

On Dec. 2, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, and several other organizations co-sponsored a "Day of Action" in Washington, D.C., to rally and protest the House of Representatives' health-reform bill and the Stupak amendment, which bans abortion coverage. NARAL Pro-Choice America also held an online day of action and call in. Latina activists and reproductive health and rights groups rallied on Capitol Hill demanding the elimination of double standards in health care reform for women and immigrants.
A $5.6 million study will examine the health of women who served in Vietnam, ABC reported Nov. 28. The Department of Veterans Affairs is launching a four-year study of female veterans who served in the Vietnam War to examine their mental and physical health nearly 40 years later.
Nov. 30 marked South Asian Women's Day. In one event, students gathered in New Delhi, India, at Delhi University to celebrate, Thaindian News reported. "The celebrations . . . mark the achievements of women's groups across South Asia and hail their ongoing struggles against all forms of violence," a program organizer told Thaindian News.
The Senate health reform bill has some lesser-known benefits, including one that would give an unpaid "reasonable break time for nursing mothers" in the first year after giving birth, Kaiser Health News reported Nov. 30. Employers would also be required to provide nursing mothers with a private facility other than a restroom to use a breast pump. The Senate would allocate $400 million from 2010 to 2015 to help teens transition to adulthood by funding sex-ed programs and innovative programs in areas with high teen pregnancy rates. It also would provide services for bone density testing, increasing payments 70 percent of what Medicare paid in 2006.
Judge Jacqueline Nguyen was confirmed on Dec. 1 to fill a vacancy on the federal district court in the Central District of California. She will become the first Vietnamese American to serve as a federal district court judge and the first Asian Pacific American woman to fill the vacancy in California, Trading reported Dec. 2. She was confirmed by 97-0 Senate vote.
The Mikulski amendment, which requires all health plans to cover women's preventive care, was passed by the Senate Dec. 3, RH Reality Check reported. It covers basic women's health care, such as pelvic exams and mammograms, but the inclusion of birth control is still being debated. "We are pleased that the first amendment to the Senate's health care bill will make preventative health care more accessible and affordable for millions of women--some of whom have limited health screenings, not by choice, but by financial necessity," Marcia Greenburger, co-president of the Washington-based National Women's Law Center told Reality Check.
On Dec. 3, Women's eNews editors Rita Henley Jensen and Kimberly Seals Allers participated in Liz Claiborne Inc.'s sixth annual "It's Time to Talk Day." The day is dedicated to ensuring that Americans speak up about a subject that most people simply prefer not to discuss--domestic violence. The WeNews editors participated in a "Talk Radio Row," discussing domestic violence issues on the radio at the Liz Claiborne headquarters in New York.
Women will have to represent 50 percent of the board members in France's leading boardrooms by 2015 under a bill submitted to the French parliament, reported Dec. 2.


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The New York Senate rejected a bill for same-sex marriage Dec. 2, reported.
The Marriage Equality Act was rejected by a 38-24 vote, after the State Assembly passed the bill for the second time Tuesday night. The senators debated on the bill for almost three hours and most who spoke were in favor of same-sex marriage.
A Marist poll released Dec. 2 found that 51 percent of voters in the state of New York support same-sex marriage, while 42 percent oppose it. In New York City, 61 percent of surveyed voters support same-sex marriage, while only 33 percent are opposed to it. The poll was conducted in November.
In New Jersey, gay rights activists are pressing lawmakers to approve a same-sex marriage law. The legislation will be posted for a vote Monday.

More News to Jeer This Week:

Women sexually assaulted on college campuses face institutional barriers that silence them or leave them feeling re-victimized, according to a nine-month investigation by the Washington-based Center for Public Integrity released Dec. 1. Students who come forward face secret disciplinary proceedings, close-mouth school administrations, off-the-record negotiations. Students submit to illegal gag orders and often drop complaints. The center interviewed 33 women who reported being raped by other students and surveyed 152 crisis-service programs and clinics on or near college campuses nationwide over the past year. Over half of the women interviewed reported unsuccessfully seeking criminal charges. About a dozen had to agree to highly confidential requirements and faced disciplinary charges if they failed to comply. Clinics in the survey said that between 90 percent and 100 percent of sexual-assault cases were male-on-female. Between 80 percent and 100 percent of the cases were student-on-student attacks.
As the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW, was celebrated in New York City this week, one author noted that the United States has still not ratified the treaty, The Huffington Post reported Nov. 30. The treaty has been ratified by 186 U.N. member states, including nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
Rape in Afghanistan is concealed and under-reported, according to the United Nations, Reuters reported Nov. 30. "Women and girls are at risk of rape in their homes, in their villages and in detention facilities," Norah Niland, the UN human rights rep. in Afghanistan, said at a news conference in Kabul, as part of a 16-days of activism against gender violence campaign. "Rape occurs within the family and beyond and victims are often prosecuted for committing adultery."
More women in Scotland and Hungary smoke compared to women in other European countries, leading to an increase in lung cancer deaths, Reuters reported Nov. 30. According to the study of data from 1990-1994 and 2000-2004, Denmark, Hungary and Scotland had the highest death rates for women at 141 deaths per 100,000 women. Spain had the lowest at 78.9 deaths per 100,000 women.
A woman who posed as a hairstylist faces human trafficking charges in Calgary, Canada, for allegedly making appointments for clients to meet prostitutes, CBC News reported Dec.2. Officers began investigating Linh Quy, 52, in September when see was seen advertising the erotic services of young Asian women in free online classified ads. In a separate sex trafficking case also uncovered Wednesday in Calgary, young women promised modeling careers were lured into prostitution.
The increase in the number of suicides among foreign maids in Lebanon has outraged human rights groups who say the government is failing to protect migrant domestic workers from abuse, CNN reported Dec. 2. Over the past seven weeks, six deaths of domestic workers have been reported as suicides by the local media. There are more than 200,000 migrant domestic workers in Lebanon, roughly one per every four families. Many of the female workers are in their 20s and 30s. More than one third of foreign domestic workers in Lebanon are denied time off, according to Human Rights Watch, and more than 50 percent work at least 10 hours a day.
An Asian taxi driver was arrested in Kuwait City for kidnapping Asian women and forcing them into prostitution, according to Al-Rai daily, Arab Times reported Dec. 2.
Two female doctors were arrested and charged in Maharashtra, India, for forcing a 15-year-old female teen, who had been raped and was seven months pregnant, to deliver the newborn last month, according to the Indo-Asian News Service, the Xinhua News Agency reported Dec. 4. The infant was unwashed and unfed for three days and died three days later.
The fatal shootings of a mother and her young daughter in Madison, Wis., are believed to be connected to the slayings of another woman and young girl found dead in a nearby suburb, The Associated Press reported Dec. 4. Authorities are searching for Tyrone Adair, 38, their "person of interest" in all four deaths. Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said Adair had a relationship with both women found dead Thursday night, but denied having any connection with the girls.
Two British male teen musicians who attempted to kill a pregnant 15-year-old in October 2008 have been jailed, BBC News reported Dec. 4. Brandon Jolie, the teen's boyfriend, had feared his mother would cancel his tuition fees if the girl had his baby. He was jailed for 14 years for conspiracy to murder and his accomplice, Kingsley Ogundele, was given 18 years.


Tennis star Serena Williams, found guilty of "aggravated behavior," has received a record $82,500 fine and could face a two-year ban from the U.S. Open for her September rant at a line judge in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., The Associated Press reported Nov. 30. According to the ruling by Grand Slam administrator Bill Babcock, Williams is on a "probationary period." Another "major offense" at a Grand Slam tournament--the most important tennis events of the year in terms of world ranking points, tradition, prize-money and public attention--would increase the fine to $175,000. Williams received the maximum penalty of $10,000 from the U.S. Tennis Association in September.
Sixty-seven percent of U.S. women aged 40 to 49 will continue to get annual mammograms, according to a survey by New York-based Harris Interactive on behalf of Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health, Medical News Today reported Dec. 2. The online poll of 454 women was conducted between Nov. 19 and 24 after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force on Nov. 16 recommended that screenings begin at 50 instead of 40 and take place every-other-year instead of annually. Forty-four percent of surveyed women will get mammograms only if their insurance covers them. Twenty-three percent said they would get them even if they have to pay out-of-pocket. Only 4 percent of the women said they will not get mammograms because of the recommendations; 17 percent said they wouldn't get the exams regardless of the recommendations
The National Executive Council of the Nigerian Medical Students' Association has called on the government to review the country's three-decade-old abortion law, which only warrants abortions when pregnancy poses a death risk, reported Dec. 1. The association said in a statement that Nigeria needs an abortion law that will "reflect the current standard of women's health and reproductive rights." According to medical students, unsafe abortions are one of the major causes of maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.
The Swedish government said it would cut aid to Uganda if a proposed law that severely punishes homosexuality is passed, the Daily Monitor reported Dec. 3. The failure of a third party to report homosexual relationships within 24 hours could result in a three year jail sentence. As part of the law, homosexuals would receive the death penalty if convicted of having sex with a minor or a disabled person or for infecting their partners with HIV.
Kimberly St. Louis is an editorial intern at Women's eNews through the New York Arts Program. She is a senior at Ohio Wesleyan University studying journalism and politics and government.

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