Today marks over a century of honoring women on International Women's Day. What grew out of protests over unsafe working conditions for female factory workers nationwide has now become an international day of recognition of women and girls around the world and the struggles they still face.
As the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women and Girls continues into next week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon issued a statement urging governments to focus on violence against women this International Women's Day. He said "Look around at the women you are with. Think of those you cherish in your families and your communities, and understand that there is a statistical likelihood that many of them have suffered violence in their lifetime. ...One young woman was gang-raped to death. Another committed suicide out of a sense of shame that should have been attached to the perpetrators. Young teens were shot at close range for daring to seek an education. These atrocities, which rightly sparked global outrage, were part of a much larger problem that pervades virtually every society and every realm of life."
Media Resources: Christian Science Monitor 3/8/2013; UN News Centre 3/8/2013; Feminist Newswire 3/7/2013
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .