More women are initiating divorce in Uganda, a sign of the changing times in the conservative African country. Although divorce is still condemned, educational opportunities are one of the factors empowering women to leave their husbands. Lawmakers are considering legislation, expected to pass this year, that addresses marital rape. "We need to kill the stigma associated with divorce, says divorce activist Maria Nassali. A woman is “not being selfish when she gets a divorce. She's not being immoral. She just wants to be a human being”.
May 1, 2013 2:56 PM
Women continue to earn less than men for the same work. Some recent academic studies are investigating whether discomfort with negotiating their salaries can be a contributing factor.
May 1, 2013 2:49 PM
The Littlest Scholars
States are drastically underfunding programs for their youngest learners now more than ever, says The Huffington Post, which cites a new report. The site says these cuts are happening even as researchers and policymakers increasingly point to pre-school as a ladder to the middle class.
Funding per student for state pre-school programs has reached its lowest point in a decade, according to "The State of Preschool 2012," the annual yearbook released by Rutgers University's National Institute for Early Education Research. "The 2011-2012 school year was the worst in a decade for progress in access to high-quality pre-K for America’s children," the authors wrote. After a decade of increasing enrollment, that growth stalled, according to the report. Though the 2011-2012 school year marks the first time pre-K enrollment didn't increase along with the rate of population change.
April 29, 2013 12:51 PM
The King Khalid Foundation has launched a No More Abuse campaign in Saudi Arabia, known for its oppressive cultural practices and laws against women. The ad depicts a woman wearing a burka with a bruised eye. The campaign seeks to encourage women to report violence against them.
April 29, 2013 12:46 PM
In The Daily Beast, writer Jennifer Margulis cites mounting evidence that overexposure to sound waves—or perhaps exposure to sound waves at a critical time during fetal development—is to blame for the astronomic rise in neurological disorders among America’s children.
She also warns that ultrasounds are being routinely over-used, noting that “the authors of [a] definitive, exhaustive, 1,385-page textbook for obstetricians, Williams Obstetrics, take a…conservative stance about ultrasound and do not explicitly recommend it for low-risk pregnancies: Sonography should be performed only with a valid medical indication,’ the authors write, ‘and with the lowest possible exposure setting to gain necessary information . . .
April 29, 2013 12:40 PM
Poverty in Zimbabwe is forcing school-aged girls to resort to prostitution. School fees and food are proving to be difficult for many to afford so young women are participating in the sex trade. Murambinda serves as a convening point for the young women, where they meet the men who will then drive them to nearby lodges. Many of the young sex workers become victims of sexual assault and physical abuse. Zimbabwe Social and Cultural Development Association, an NGO, is attempting to create awareness and advocate for the rights and awareness of sex workers.
April 29, 2013 12:10 PM
Engineer Blaise Aguera y Arcas predicts that women will be a bigger market for tech than men within the next few years. He highlights practical things, “For example, a mobile app today might vibrate as an alert. It assumes the user is carrying the phone in his pocket like most men do. But most women keep their smartphones in their purses because they often don't have pockets. And that's just one woman-specific design issue.” His answer to the problem? "If you can, hire women engineers and CEOs."
April 24, 2013 2:21 PM
Based on a report by Booz & Company employing women in equal numbers to men could raise the United States’ GDP by 5 percent, Japan’s by 9 percent, the United Arab Emirates’ by 12 percent, and Egypt’s by a jaw-dropping 34 percent. Simply put, empowering women has a proven economic payoff. One hurdle, the study found, was that women’s role as caregiver often impeded their progress in the work world.
April 24, 2013 2:17 PM
She’s got game
The Girl Scouts want to turn more young women into game developers. So a new STEM initiative by Women in Games International and the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles offers a merit badge for developing a game. GSGLA’s Carol Dedrich says, “We hope it will inspire other Girl Scout councils across the nation to partner with local WIGI chapters to develop similar programs.”
April 24, 2013 2:15 PM
Gloria Steinem joined forces on stage at the Tribeca Film Festival with Zainab Salbi, author and Founder of Women in the World International, and film director Haifaa al-Mansour to emphasize that issues facing women in Saudia Arabia, as portrayed in al-Mansour’s film, Wadjda, and women’s rights in the United States are still a problem.
April 23, 2013 1:53 PM
Considered “shengu” or “leftover” if not married by their late 20s, Chinese women are facing societal pressure to forgo a career and marry before it is considered too late, before they are ‘too old’. Traditional attitudes also demand that men earn more than women, thus as women are increasingly more involved in the workplace and earning an income, they are considered to be ‘pricing’ themselves out of marriage.
April 23, 2013 1:52 PM
A 2009 report by Human Rights Watch first documented the scores of untested rape kits in the Los Angeles Police Department. While the U.S. leads the world in use of rape kits to gather evidence and DNA, hundreds of thousands of those kits remain untested.
April 23, 2013 1:51 PM
A recent ruling by the Saudi government allows women to ride bikes or buggies in parks and recreational areas, however they must be in full traditional Islamic dress and accompanied by a man. While this may seem like a small step, it could be the first step in lifting the ban on Saudi women driving a car.
April 23, 2013 1:47 PM
Traditionally conservative Muslim countries are seeing an upsurge in the number of women going into business. Maryama Yunis, a young Somali entrepreneur and university graduate, owns a small cosmetics store to meet the growing demand from Somali women who are paying more attention to their looks. Mogadishu social activist Hawa Dahir explains, “Times are changing in Somalia and people are now more aware of the entrepreneurial potential of women and are more accepting of the role women can play in the economy of the family and the country as a whole.”
April 22, 2013 1:38 PM
Women’s participation in the Tribeca Film Festival is growing steadily, say organizers, noting that roughly a quarter of the films being shown were made by women directors. “Women have always played prominent roles and creative roles in the film industry,” says Tribeca’s vice president of programming Genna Terranova. “As far as directing, it seems more women are taking on that role.”
April 22, 2013 1:34 PM
A U.S. government task force is advocating the preventive use of the breast cancer prevention drugs tamoxifen and raloxifene for women who are at high risk for the disease. The benefits outweigh the risks for women with an increased likelihood of getting breast cancers due to certain factors including family history, previous benign breast biopsies, first childbirth later in life, and early menstruation.
April 22, 2013 1:25 PM
TEST TUBE BLUES
A recent study by Ohio State University has revealed that scientific articles written by men are thought to be of higher quality than those written by women and that those surveyed would be more interested in collaborating with male scientists than female ones. Researchers concluded that based on their findings “that male scholars will have a much smoother ride.”
April 22, 2013 1:22 PM
As the humanitarian crisis in Syria worsens, the risks faced by those who have fled Syria also increase. Many families fled Syria with little or no money, and they are struggling to pay for rent and food, and are at risk of sexual abuse and rape within overcrowded camps. Daughters are being married off in hopes of protecting them from worse situations in the camps or to meet financial demands.
April 16, 2013 3:12 PM
Even though women are outscoring men in the hard sciences and the number of college graduates is roughly equal between men and women in the Arab region, opportunities to work are hard to come by for women. Labor force participation rates for women in the Arab region are among the lowest in the world and female unemployment rates are above the region’s average. This depends not just on who runs the government but also on the impression multinational agencies have of women’s opportunities and their role within Arab society.
April 16, 2013 3:07 PM
STIRRING THE POT
In January 2013, Merav Michaeli becoming one of 27 new female legislators in Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset—and probably its most outspoken.
In her first speech before the Knesset, she made a splash by speaking out for feminism. She called out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly for not putting any women in his Cabinet, saying that women "pay the price in the home front when you decide to open a war front."
Shortly thereafter, Michaeli gathered over 70 signatures from the Members of the Knesset for a letter asking Netanyahu to attend a meeting for International Women's Day.
Netanyahu refused. Michaeli says now that Netanyahu "doesn’t consider [feminism] a priority," although she acknowledged that women also have to keep pushing to make their voices heard.
April 15, 2013 11:06 AM
In most cases, there would be no controversy. Veronica’s unmarried birth mother chose to give her daughter up for adoption to a couple she’d selected. In many states Dusten Brown, as the unwed birth father, would have little say, notes The Washington Post. But because Brown is a member of the Cherokee Nation, the Supreme Court will be considering once again the Indian Child Welfare Act.
It was passed in 1978 to end what Congress found to be a shameful practice of removing Indian children from their families and tribes and placing them in foster care and with non-Indian families. The law sought to keep Indian families together by erecting barriers to adoption outside the tribe.
The adoptive couple’s challenge goes to the continued viability of the law — whether Brown should be considered a “parent” under its terms and whether it applies to cases such as this one, where an Indian parent did not have custody of the child.
April 15, 2013 11:03 AM
If countries stop using rape as a tool of war, we may have British Foreign Secretary William Hague to thank, says the Christian Science Monitor. Last week Hague was able to persuade the Group of Eight, whose members are the most powerful nations in the world, that the time has come to set up methods to deter and investigate wartime sexual atrocities.
In the past few years, the United Nations Security Council and other world bodies have tried to tackle this abuse in conflict zones, such as in Congo, Colombia, and South Sudan. Little has been done to alter the behavior of rebels and troops who often rape women and children with impunity. Now the British foreign secretary has won over the United States, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Russia, and Italy to take specific steps. It just could signal the beginning of the end.
April 15, 2013 11:01 AM
Looks like small entrepreneurs are doing their part to "lean in": a new report from American Express shows that in the last 16 years, the number of female-owned firms has grown at 1.5 times the national average. These small firms are trying to rev up the sluggish economy. One example: ZinePak, profiled by The New York Post. It's an entertainment publishing company run by two twentysomething former ad-world employees. Founders Brittany Hodak and Kim Kaupe launched their venture two years ago with $60,000 in personal savings; now, they're raking in $2.6 million in annual revenues (expected to reach $4 million this next year with their expansion into i-Book sales) and they employ several full-time workers, as well as regularly hiring freelance talent.
April 15, 2013 10:59 AM
Scientist say they have found a new target to beat breast cancer—male sex hormones, or androgens. A University of Colorado team discovered that many breast cancers possess androgen receptors on their surface, and that male hormones like testosterone fuel the tumor's growth. Drugs to block these receptors could offer another way to fight the disease, a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research heard. Clinical trials are in the works.
April 10, 2013 11:28 AM
Women represent nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers and are a large majority of workers in the 10 largest occupations typically paying less than $10 an hour: They constitute 88 percent of home health-care professionals, 88 percent of maids and housekeepers, and 94 percent of childcare workers.Raising the minimum wage wouldn’t just help these women make ends meet, says the author of this piece; it would also help close the gender wage gap.
April 10, 2013 11:22 AM