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Current Events

Hillary Clinton always comes prepared

As a recent swing through New Hampshire shows, if Hillary Clinton is not elected president in 2008, it won't be because she didn't do her homework.

At 35, Title IX Keeps Stirring Courts and Campuses

University-level professionals charging Title IX infringement may test the effects of a related Supreme Court decision last month. First of two stories linked to the 35th anniversary of Title IX.


"Women Center Stage" Festival To Provide Some Much Needed Balance to Macho Media

This summer, at a time when the media is dominated by bombastic male voices, New York City's Culture Project's multidisciplined festival of women voices provides a welcome antidote.

Lids for cocktails inspire critics

Saying it's a novel way to protect bar patrons from date-rape drugs and other substances that can be slipped into drinks, a city councilor wants bars in Boston to start serving cocktails sealed with plastic covers.

House Reverses Contraception-Aid Ban

The House voted narrowly on Thursday to reverse a ban on contraception aid to groups overseas that offer abortions, a pillar of President Bush’s foreign aid policy.

Mr. Bush is likely to veto the proposal, and the veto is likely to be upheld by conservative lawmakers.


Former President Clinton Promotes Small Change to Make Big Difference for Women

Former President Bill Clinton addressed a packed audience at a luncheon for the National Partnership for Women and Families last week, highlighting how small policy changes in the US could radically affect women's lives. "We live in a world that is unequal, insecure, and unsustainable," Clinton told the crowd before offering ways to change US policy that would provide for equality, security, and sustainability.

Naval Academy stepping up sexual harassment education

Next week, the Class of 2011 will be sworn in at the U.S. Naval Academy -- a new batch of midshipmen and a fresh chance for the institution after a tough several months.

The academy's athletes have been accused of sexual misconduct, a former medical officer was charged with taping midshipmen having sex, a link was made between an instructor and a prostitution ring, and a group of midshipmen was blamed for raunchy behavior on a spring break cruise.


Men Look High, Women Low at Porn, Study Finds

Men are more likely to look at a female's face before gazing at other body parts, according to a new study by researchers at Emory University.

And when men and women look at pictures of heterosexual sex, women look longer at the photos than men do, according to the study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior.





In the Courts

Kopp Sentenced to Life Plus 10 in Federal Court for Abortion Provider's Murder

Anti-abortion extremist James Kopp was sentenced yesterday to a life term plus 10 years in prison by a federal judge. Kopp, who had already been convicted in a state court in 2003 of assassinating Dr. Barnett A. Slepian, an abortion provider, was found guilty of violating the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act (PDF), which the Feminist Majority helped pass. Kopp's violation of the FACE Act drew the life term; the additional 10 years were for using a firearm in a crime of violence.

Judge Bans the Word 'Rape'...During a Rape Case.

It's not enough that rape survivors are re-victimized in the courtroom by having their sexual histories brought up or are accused of "wanting it." Now they can't even call their assaults, well...assaults.

Thai Law Expands Definition of Rape

Gender rights activists Thursday hailed the legislature's approval of an anti-rape law that widens the definition of the crime and makes it illegal in Thailand for a husband to have sex with his wife without her consent.

The measure, approved Wednesday 118-5 in the National Legislative Assembly, also broadened the definition of rape.


Genarlow Wilson's Tragic Sentencing for Consensual Oral Sex

After a judge dismissed the sentence of Genarlow Wilson -- an honor roll student and homecoming king serving 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old when he was 17 -- Georgia's attorney general appealed, leaving Wilson stuck in jail.

School's chastity ring ban attacked in court

A teenage girl took her school to the High Court today, claiming that it had discriminated against her Christian faith by banning her from wearing a "purity ring"




Women Around the World

Portugal adopts law to legalize abortions up to the 10th week

Portugal introduced legislation Thursday allowing abortion up to the 10th week of pregnancy, but the law imposed a mandatory three-day reflection period for women seeking the procedure and granted doctors the right to opt out of terminations on moral grounds.

East European immigration may be behind abortion rise

East European immigrants could be responsible for the record numbers of abortions carried out in Britain last year, family planning charities said today.

Marie Stopes International and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) confirmed they had seen a rise in the number of East European women using their clinics since eight east European countries joined the European Union in 2004.


More must be done to empower women, says report

South Africa lacks women in high positions, the Public Service Commission (PSC) has found.

A lot still needed to be done to empower women, the PSC said in a report released on Friday.

"Critical in this endeavour is the creation of an enabling environment to ensure that women's talents and potential are harnessed and nurtured for the benefit of the South African society as a whole," it said.


Muslims’ Veils Test Limits of Britain’s Tolerance

Many veiled women say they are targets of abuse. Meanwhile, there are growing efforts to place legal curbs on the full-face Muslim veil, known as the niqab.

There have been numerous examples in the past year. A lawyer dressed in a niqab was told by an immigration judge that she could not represent a client because, he said, he could not hear her. A teacher wearing a niqab was dismissed from her school. A student who was barred from wearing a niqab took her case to the courts, and lost. In reaction, the British educational authorities are proposing a ban on the niqab in schools altogether.


Gaza Activists Brace for Harder Times Under Hamas

Some women's activists in the Gaza Strip are nervously reopening centers for women and girls following civil war clashes. Others have stayed off the streets fearing a crackdown against them and their work by militant Hamas forces now in control

In Iraq, giving birth is complicated by war

Today, nobody knows exactly how many mothers are dying in Iraq. Violence has prevented medical experts from measuring the maternal mortality rate since late 2003, when the number of Iraqi women who died from childbirth climbed to 370 per 100,000 - triple its 1990 rates and 31 times the US rate of 12. The UN Population Fund concluded that the war and its aftermath had made an old problem "suddenly become very much worse."



Voices

What's So Wrong With Wearing Heels and Makeup?

Women in the military are expected to suppress as many of their feminine qualities as possible -- as if that will make them more competent. Why do so many people still think that dressing femininely translates into being silly?

Why "Hey baby!" is a big deal

D.C.'s alt-weekly, the City Paper has a package of stories this week on street harassment. One, a catcall diary a woman kept for a year. Two, a very poorly-written essay by that same woman about how now she's a racist because of all the harassment she gets from Latino men. And three, a piece by some dude who was apparently totally unaware that your average woman experiences street harassment on a daily basis. It also has a companion video, in which exactly two people (a male harasser and a female harass-ee) are interviewed. Taken as a package, it's a real trainwreck

What the Trojan Ad Controversy Says About Women's Health

According to a Fox executive, "Contraceptive advertising must stress health-related uses rather than the prevention of pregnancy." One has to wonder where this executive got the idea that pregnancy is not a health-related issue (maybe he sat in on a few too many Bush-funded abstinence-only education classes). While the executive may appear to simply lack a rudimentary understanding of pregnancy, it's more likely that he is bowing to demands of the "moral majority" in the United States -- a vocal and powerful political force that claims to be pro-life and pro-family, but doesn't actually believe in preventing unwanted pregnancy.

Professional women? With little-girl voices?

Reporter Ashley Milne-Tyte noticed that many professional women in their 20s and 30s speak in ways that are, well, not very direct. She asked around about how women's voices matter to their careers.



Health

Actions Taken On Women's Health-Related Legislation, Programs In Nevada, Pennsylvania, Texas

The article highlights recent news of state and local actions on women's health-related issues

Stirrups-Free Pap Smear May Be a Welcome Option

Women who know they should get regular Pap smears but dread the stirrups that go along with the test may finally get a reprieve.

New research shows that Pap results are just as accurate when the screen is performed with the patient keeping her feet on the examining table.


Sex test raises concerns

Canadian obstetricians fear results of early gender screening may cause spike in abortions

Dieters snap up new drug alli despite nasty side effects

The latest nonprescription diet pill was rolled out last week by manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. The company's Web site, myalli.com, and literature offer the potential for a greater weight loss than dieting alone (if you do everything right) and a warning of extraordinarily unpleasant and embarrassing side effects (if you don't).

Middle-aged U.S. women have higher stroke risk

The study was published in the journal Neurology. While researchers found that increased waist size and coronary artery disease are predictors of stroke risk among women aged 45 to 54, they said it was not clear why there was a growing sex disparity for strokes


Business and Financial

Exposed: 'I'm not an ethical bag'

The 'I'm not a plastic bag' bag is a must-have fashion item and 20,000 sold out within an hour at Sainsbury's. Women queued from 3am to get one of the £5 cotton bags made by leading designer Anya Hindmarch and they are changing hands on eBay for £225.

Today Sainsbury's was accused of hypocrisy after it admitted the bag was made in China and was neither organic nor fair trade


Women Make Candles Using Simple Technology

Recently, over 60 women members of Masaka Organic Farmers Association were passed out after completing a three-day bee-keeping workshop at St. Jude Rural Organic Training Centre in Masaka.

The capacity building workshop was conducted by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, the Uganda Integrated Programme and The Uganda National Apiculture Development Organisation.

Participants were trained in making candles from bee wax using paw paw and bamboo stems. The stems acted as molds.


WBIC to help women entrepreneurs

Women Business Incubation Center (WBIC) will play a pivotal role towards women entrepreneurship development by not only providing infrastructural set-up and business-related information, but also providing networking with the required business needs.

This was stated by Ms Rubina Khalid Maqbool, wife of Governor Punjab while inaugurating the first exhibition of women products at the WBIC established by the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA).


It's a Mom's World

In between late-night feedings, picking up the kids from school, and kissing those boo-boos away, more and more moms are starting businesses. Do you have what it takes to be a mompreneur?



Science and Technology

Real fury at virtual kids' life

A BARBIE website that encourages girls as young as five to "live in an online world just as adults might" has been slammed by child welfare groups


About 60% Of People With Embryos Would Consider Donating Them For Stem Cell Research

About 60% of people who have embryos stored at U.S. fertility clinics would be very or somewhat likely to donate them for stem cell research, according to a survey published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science

Sunita sets new record for women

A US astronaut of Indian heritage made history on Saturday when she set a new record for the longest uninterrupted space flight by a woman.

At 1:47 am (0547 GMT), International Space Station (ISS) engineer Sunita Williams surpassed the 188-day, 4-hour mark set by her compatriot Shannon Lucid in 1996, according to US space officials.


40% of young Japanese women talk to their computers, survey claims

Two in five Japanese women in their 20s or 30s talk to their personal computer, according to a survey by mail forwarding company iShare Inc. and toymaker Sega Toys Co

Stereotypes Negatively Affect Women's Academic Performance

A recent study shows that women exposed to academic stereotyping demonstrate poorer scholastic performance than women who are not exposed to such stereotypes. This exposure to stereotypes belittling women's academic skills caused female students who participated in the study to become distracted and worried, which interfered with their ability to use problem solving skills most effectively.

Women in Science: Meeting Career Challenges

egarding the Women in Science book: it collects essays from 21 women scientists and engineers, 3 women in science program administrators, and a professor of history. The editor, Angela Pattatucci, who is also a scientist, weaves a lengthy contribution from herself around these individual essays, commenting on and interpreting them.

New female doctors outnumber men

Female doctors graduating from medical school outnumber their male counterparts by almost three to two, new research has found.



Religion

Woman unveils 'prayer tools' to help with spiritual insight

We've all had a gut feeling," she explains. "God created us equal."
But because most people don't cultivate these instincts the way she has and because even she can use added guidance, Tracey - of Tarot by Tracey and the force behind Murray's School of Medium Arts and Predictive Sciences - wants to increase accessibility to spiritual insights


Mmamu River: Where goddess forbids fishing

The soldiers were said to have jumped to the conclusion that the large number of fish found in the river was edible and this was said to have angered the goddess. In Mmamu River, there is a species of snake that is forbidden by the people and no one dares to kill or eat it. Nigerian Tribune learnt that this special species of snake dotted in green colour is said to personify the Mmamu deity. Little wonder, the snakes are called “Nne ocheie”, meaning “grandmother”. They are believed to be in feminine form with a structure of an old woman.

In places of worship, women still not equal

Across the spectrum of faiths in Canada, women are treated differently than men.

Roman Catholic women cannot be ordained as deacons or priests. Only priests can say mass. In some movements in Judaism, women cannot be counted among the 10 required for a prayer group. Seating for women in mosques — often inferior spaces in basements or crowded side rooms — is a continuing controversy in Islam as are inheritance rights and the troubling issue of polygamy.


Pak women's forum demands scrapping of Blasphemy Law

Pakistan's Women's Action Forum (WAF) has demanded that the government repeal the controversial Blasphemy Law in the interest of building a fair and tolerant society.

The WAF said in a statement that since its inception, the Blasphemy Law had been used for vested interests such as land grabbing and fanning communal hatred.


Blinded by faith

mal Nassif believed 17-year-old Francesca Zackey when she said the Virgin Mary would appear if Nassif gazed into the sun.

Now 37-year-old Nassif, a devout Catholic, may be blind for life




Gay and Lesbian

Lesbian politician to open closet for Japan's homosexuals

Kanako Otsuji wants to open the closet for Japan's gay and lesbian community in order to increase their visibility and help them gain their basic rights as citizens.

The nation's first openly lesbian politician is running for a seat in upper house parliamentary elections in July under the banner of the major opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).


Gay Marriage, a Touchy Issue, Touches Legislators’ Emotions

Teresa R. Sayward did not hesitate when she rose from her seat on Tuesday night to address her colleagues in the State Assembly. An observant Catholic from a small, conservative upstate town, she had rarely shared the story of her son, Glenn, 42, and his struggle to come to terms with his gay identity decades ago.

But she said the occasion — a chance to make New York the second state in the country to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage — called for a highly personal approach.


Elizabeth Edwards scheduled to speak at Gay Pride event

Elizabeth Edwards' scheduled appearance Sunday at a major San Francisco Gay Pride event represents a first for a major presidential candidate or spouse -- one that activists said reflects the growing clout of gay and lesbians as voters and their continued move into the political mainstream.




Entertainment


Geena Davis pushes for more females in children's films

For Geena Davis, it all began with "The Rifleman."

Not her dream to become an actor - but her earliest impression of the male-dominated media.

"I'd play with my best friend, and I'd pretend to be Lucas McCain," says the actress, referring to Chuck Connors' starring role on the late 1950s TV Western. "It never occurred to me that there were no female roles to emulate."


"24" may elect female president

Producers on Fox's "24" are contemplating a female president on the show next season, a decision that could foreshadow real-life events if Hillary Clinton gets the Democratic presidential nod.

Company of American Girls

Art, female identity, and day-to-day life intersect in Melissa Ann Pinney’s photographs. Deeply focused on the worlds of her daughter and other girls, Pinney’s work tells a story of girlhood as it’s being written.

The Image of Helplessness

culture seems increasingly obsessed with showcasing images of glamorous young women who are falling apart -- sometimes seriously, even fatally.





The Next Generation

Female students learn to be streetwise

A City Survival Programme for Females has armed Kolej Tunku Abdul Rahman (KTAR) students with tips on what to do when an attacker tries to rape them and how to ensure handbags are snatch-proof, among other things.

Two-Year-Old Becomes World's Youngest Female Mensa Member

Georgia Brown has become the youngest female member of Mensa after scoring a genius IQ score of 152 at the tender age of two.

Naval Academy stepping up sexual harassment education

Next week, the Class of 2011 will be sworn in at the U.S. Naval Academy -- a new batch of midshipmen and a fresh chance for the institution after a tough several months.

The academy's athletes have been accused of sexual misconduct, a former medical officer was charged with taping midshipmen having sex, a link was made between an instructor and a prostitution ring, and a group of midshipmen was blamed for raunchy behavior on a spring break cruise.


Quarter of Afghan Children Forced to Work

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced yesterday that almost one quarter of Afghan children are forced to work. Girls are more likely to be working than boys, and the problem is worst in rural areas, UNICEF says, pointing to "poverty, lack of educational opportunities, and the demand for cheap labor" as the principal conditions contributing to child labor. Additionally, the low rate of registered births in the war-torn country makes it difficult to verify a child's actual age.

HHS Counters With Its Own Sex-Ed Critique

Liberal critics periodically complain that federally funded "abstinence only" sex-education materials are full of false or misleading statements about the effectiveness of condoms and other issues. Now the Bush administration is firing back, charging that programs that endorse condom use also are marred by imbalance and inaccuracies.

Teen magazine addresses challenges of being Muslim girl in United States

The magazine is an attempt to reach out to a racially and ethnically diverse audience that feels culturally isolated. Editors estimate that roughly 400,000 Muslim teenage girls live in the United States, part of the estimated 6 million to 8 million Muslims living in the country. The magazine's Toronto-based publisher, execuGo Media (some of the small editorial staff is in Chicago), believes much of its target market comes from affluent, well-educated families possessing untapped consumer spending power.
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