A partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and Planned Parenthood marks the first of its kind involving the oft-targeted women’s health organization. The partnership led to a health clinic at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights where students can receive confidential counseling, pregnancy tests, and birth control. While California’s teen pregnancy rate has dropped, there are pockets of Los Angeles, including the area around Roosevelt High, with disproportionate numbers of teen mothers. Female students said having the clinic provide free birth control was a “relief” because they feared getting pregnant would sideline their futures.
June 12, 2012 9:47 AM
Despite tensions with Burmese President Thein Sein, Democratic leader and activist Aung Sung Suu Kyi is making major strides in her new parliamentary role. The long-time political prisoner arrived in Thailand on Tuesday night—her first trip away from Burma in 24 years—where she is scheduled to meet with migrant workers, Burmese war refugees, and leaders at the World Economic Forum on East Asia. She’ll return to Burma before traveling to Europe in mid-June to formally accept the Nobel Peace Prize she was awarded 21 years ago.
May 30, 2012 12:35 PM
Two female soldiers filed lawsuits on Wednesday to have the ban on women in combat lifted, claiming that being barred from combat “based solely on the basis of sex” is unconstitutional. The Pentagon tweaked its eased female soldiers’ restrictions in February, but the new policy still bars women from combat. According to the plaintiffs, Army reservists Command Sgt. Major Jane Baldwin and Col. Ellen Haring, the policy “restricts their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits.” Women make up 14.5 percent of active-duty military personnel, and more than 800 women have been wounded and more than 130 killed in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
May 25, 2012 10:07 AM
A poison was unleashed at a girl's school in Afghanistan on Wednesday, causing 122 students and three teachers to be hospitalized. Roughly a third of those hospitalized remain under the care of doctors, exhibiting a range of symptoms including dizziness, vomiting, headaches, and blackouts, but none of them appear to be in critical condition. Blood samples are being analyzed to see what kind of substance was used. There have been several poisonings at girls’ schools in Afghanistan in recent years as more girls go to school. The incident occurred in Talokhan, a provincial capital city in the North.
May 24, 2012 9:59 AM
Amid charges Republicans are waging a war on women, House Republicans have launched a new committee aimed at combating that criticism. The Women's Policy Committee says it has a goal of "raising the profile of GOP women in their roles as lawmakers, highlighting their diverse achievements, and providing a unique, unified voice on a wide range of critically important issues." The committee will include all 24 female Republicans in the House—all of whom introduced themselves in a YouTube video. Whether the move will attract more women to vote for the GOP ticket this fall is an open question. Twenty-two of the legislators voted to roll back the Violence Against Women Act, and 21 of them cosponsored the bill that would allow employers to avoid offering contraception through their health plans, according to ThinkProgress.
May 24, 2012 9:58 AM
Former first lady Nancy Reagan is suffering broken ribs after a fall and is recovering slowly, her spokeswoman announced Tuesday. Reagan, 90, fell about six weeks ago at her Los Angeles home. She had been expected to attend a speech by Paul Ryan at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, but her spokeswoman said Reagan’s doctor had advised her against attending large events.
May 24, 2012 9:57 AM
Dudes need jobs, too. An analysis of job data from 2000 to 2010 by The New York Times found that men are entering job fields traditionally dominated by women as work becomes harder to find. “The way I look at it,” one 21-year-old man told The Times, “is that anything, basically, that a woman can do, a guy can do.” And while male empowerment may seem the oddest economic remedy imaginable, the numbers show that guys are putting on a “pink collar” to get through tough times. In Texas, the number of male registered nurses rose from 9 percent to 12 percent in 10 years, and the number of male schoolteachers jumped from 23 percent to 28 percent.
May 22, 2012 9:51 AM
In a country where most women are illiterate and few will speak to men outside their family, Shakila Naderi has broken with convention by opening a driving school with the sole purpose of putting the fairer sex behind the wheel. “It bothers men when women drive,” the 45-year-old wife of a taxi driver told reporters. “But I wasn’t scared of them then, and I am not scared of them now.” After a decade under the cruel thumb of the Taliban, many Afghan women are still adjusting to their expanded education and work rights—but they still lag far behind men. The Naderi Driving School was the target of some threats, but Naderi is winning: 312 driver’s licenses were issued to women in Kabul last year.
May 22, 2012 9:49 AM
In a ruling that seems to have little ground on which to stand, Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot to frighten her bullying husband. Alexander tried to defend herself using Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law, which came to national attention after a neighborhood watchman shot Florida teen Trayvon Martin in February. The case was prosecuted by Angela Corey, the same Florida prosecutor who is handling the case against Martin’s shooter. Congresswoman Corrine Brown accosted Corey after the sentencing, telling the state attorney, “There is no justification for 20 years. All the community was asking for was mercy and justice.”
May 14, 2012 9:59 AM
Looks as though the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops got a bad batch of Girl Scouts cookies. The Catholic group announced Thursday that it was launching an official inquiry into the group, saying that some of the program materials used are offensive and that some of the organization's stances directly conflict with the church teachings. The Girls Scouts are denying such claims, though many of their troops are church-sponsored. Specifically, the church has noted a tie to Planned Parenthood and the use of a play that it says mocks Catholics. A Girl Scouts spokeswoman said that said complaints have been raised before, saying the “distortions get repeated over and over” again.
May 11, 2012 10:17 AM
With Mother's Day around the corner, Time magazine posted the provocative cover of its latest issue on Twitter Thursday morning, which features an attractive 26-year-old mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son and reads, “Are You Mom Enough?” The cover immediately went viral, with some critics expressing shock about the concept of “attachment parenting” that the breastfeeding mothers photographed in the magazine subscribe to, and others berating the sensationalist nature of the pictures for effectively exploiting, rather than advocating, the concept. Both mother and child are standing on the cover photo, a position that photographer Martin Schoeller hoped would “underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”
May 11, 2012 10:13 AM
Pop star Rihanna was reportedly rushed to the hospital early Wednesday morning following the Met Gala in New York. The star was treated for "exhaustion" and "dehydration," which have been known to be Hollywood-speak for something far more serious. The singer was reportedly released after a short stay and cleared to fly home to Los Angeles Wednesday afternoon. Rihanna had said she wasn't feeling well a few weeks ago, when she hosted Saturday Night Live, though others worry her partying might be getting out of control. Usually an active Twitter user, Rihanna didn’t post for much of Wednesday before tweeting out an image of her arm hooked up to an IV to her followers confirming she had been hospitalized.
May 11, 2012 10:11 AM
The controversy over a fake college degree sneaking passed Yahoo’s hiring committee has claimed its first victim. Patti Hart, the Yahoo director responsible for hiring CEO Scott Thompson, is resigning from the Yahoo board following the news that Thompson’s academic record was improperly vetted. Hart, who is CEO of International Game Technology, was apparently pressured by her own board to extricate herself from the Yahoo scandal. She joined the Yahoo board in 2010 and has been head of its corporate governance and nominating committee. The Thompson scandal comes amid news that the Internet giant is struggling, having laid off 2,000 employees last month.
May 9, 2012 10:21 AM
The FBI on Tuesday intensified its search for a man who is believed to have abducted a Tennessee woman and her three daughters, after the bodies of the mother and her eldest daughter were found in northern Mississippi. Authorities believe that Adam Mayes, a 35-year-old family friend, abducted Jo Ann Bain and her daughters, Adrienne, 14, Alexandria, 12, and Kyliyah, 8, and the FBI said they believe that Alexandria and Kyliyah are still with him. Mayes is considered to be armed and dangerous. Jo Ann and Adrienne’s bodies were found late last week behind a house belonging to Mayes.
May 9, 2012 10:17 AM
OUT OF TOUCH
The man who brought good things to light as head honcho at GE illuminated another side of himself to a gathering of female executives Wednesday when he said that “performance,” and not programs facilitating a diverse workplace, is what women need to get ahead. The shocked professionals in his audience muttered angrily after Welch's remark, and one woman said they were “regaining our consciousness” when Welch and his speaking partner asked if there were any questions. After the forum, another female executive told reporters that Welch showed no recognition that the business culture that measures performance “is that of white men.”
May 8, 2012 10:05 AM
t’s time for a change of heart in North Korea, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday in prepared remarks for her final meeting in Beijing. Stressing areas where the two countries can cooperate even as they tussle over the status of activist Chen Guangcheng, Clinton said the “new leadership in Pyongyang still has the opportunity to change course and put their people first.” China has a role to play in nudging the reclusive country into the international sphere, Clinton said, especially in pressuring the country to abandon its nuclear ambitions. The United States can work with the leaders of North Korea if they focus on “feeding and educating their citizens,” Clinton said.
May 8, 2012 10:03 AM
The Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it will be investigating Montana police, prosecutors, and the University of Montana at Missoula after complaints that authorities have not taken the allegations of sexual assault seriously. The Justice Department said that at least 80 rapes had occurred in the past three years in Missoula, and at least 11 of those involved University of Montana students in an 18-month period. Officials said they will investigate all sexual assaults in Missoula, not just the ones involving students. The two-prong investigation will also look into allegations of a pattern of gender discrimination relating to the sexual assaults.
May 4, 2012 10:18 AM
Aung San Suu Kyi and her party agreed Monday to take their seats in Burma’s Parliament later this week, despite a bitter disagreement over the wording of their oath of office. The oath requires that lawmakers vow to “safeguard the Constitution,” a promise that rankled the reform leader. Suu Kyi heads the National League for Democracy, which has pledged amendments to the Constitution, saying that it gives undue power to the country’s military. The new Parliament will be formed Wednesday.
April 30, 2012 10:29 AM
Three powerful women are leading the latest round of negotiations with Iran over its nuclear activities. Cathy Ashton, the European Union's policy chief and a lead negotiator, has taken great care to set the right tone for the discussions by reaching out to Iranian allies around the world. Ashton's deputy, Helga Schmid, is Germany's political director and will meet with Iran's second-ranking nuclear negotiator. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman is leading the U.S. delegation for the talks. Sherman worked on the Clinton administration's negotiations with North Korea.
April 27, 2012 11:16 AM
“Why Do They Hate Us?” It’s a crucial question posed by Egyptian-born, U.S.-based journalist Mona Elthaway in her cover story of Foreign Policy’s very first “Sex Issue.” Elthaway confronts the Middle East’s war on women, arguing that the leaders of the Arab Spring uprising are just as misogynistic as the regimes they’ve overthrown. And wealth makes no difference, she notes, pointing out that not one Arab country ranks in the top 100 of the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. “Poor or rich, we all hate our women,” she writes, pointing out that Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has been hailed for reformist policies, and yet women aren’t even allowed to vote in the country’s elections. Meanwhile, the new Egyptian parliament is run by men “stuck in the seventh century,” and the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t think a woman should run for president. In short, Elthaway attributes the Middle East’s hatred of women to a “toxic mix of culture and religion that few seem willing or able to disentangle.” As her article demonstrates, the first step to change is to “stop pretending.”
April 27, 2012 11:14 AM
British police said Wednesday they want to reopen the Madeleine McCann case, since new evidence indicates the missing girl may still be alive. McCann, whose ninth birthday is May 12, disappeared when she was 4 years old while her family vacationed in Portugal in May 2007. Since then the case has captivated Britain, and Scotland Yard said that, after sifting through a yearlong Portuguese investigation that netted 40,000 pieces of material, they believe she is still alive. Police also issued a photo of how they believe she would look as a 9-year-old.
April 27, 2012 11:13 AM
The Marines are beginning to integrate women into combat operations, following a new Pentagon policy released in February. The Marines are opening up ground combat battalions once closed to women, and allowing women to attend the infantry-officer school in Quantico, Va. Women still can't serve as infantrymen or Special Operations commandos, but they will be able to work in administration, logistics, communications, and motor transport at the battalion level, a step closer to combat than they were previously allowed to work.
April 27, 2012 11:11 AM
A cellphone video of a group of men raping a 17-year-old mentally ill girl has brought to light an often unreported issue in South Africa. The recording spread until it made its way to a tabloid that helped identify the perpetrators. These cases are rampant in South Africa, activists say. Of the 600,000 estimated rapes every year, only one in nine is reported, research shows. According to the director of a sexual violence organization, social attitudes toward women, early sexualization of children, an overloaded criminal-justice system, and low conviction rates for rape can be blamed for the epidemic.
April 23, 2012 10:01 AM
Bollywood actress Meenakshi Thapar was allegedly gruesomely murdered by two of her film co-stars when they kidnapped her and tried to extort money from her family. Amit Jaiswal, 36, and his girlfriend, Preeti Surin, are accused and have reportedly confessed to killing Thapar, decapitating her and putting her head in a bag, which they threw out the window of a bus, and dumping her body in a water tank. The two reportedly tried to extort $28,000 from her parents, warning them that she would be forced to make pornographic films, but Thapar's mother transfered only $1,000. The two aspiring actors reportedly heard Thapar boast about her family's wealth during a film they shot together.
April 23, 2012 10:00 AM
The 22-year-old Palestinian woman had two children: one 18 months, and one 3 1/2. In January 2004, she walked up to a checkpoint in Jerusalem and exploded herself, killing four Israelis and injuring 10 other people.
In a video testimonial recorded before her mission, Reem al-Riyashi explained why she became a suicide bomber: "I hope that the shredded limbs of my body would be shrapnel, tearing Zionists to pieces," she stated. "How often I dreamed, how often I desired to carry out a Shahada-seeking [suicide] operation inside Israel, and by perseverance, and with Allah's grace, my wish was fulfilled as I wanted."
Riyashi, an operative for the Palestinian group Hamas, is one of dozens of female suicide bombers portrayed in a new book, Women Suicide Bombers: Narratives of Violence by Julie Rajan, a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers. Published in 2011 by Routledge, the book is the first to challenge the way female suicide bombers are represented in the media in ways that discredit them as political actors.
April 20, 2012 9:21 AM