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Entries in women's rights (137)

Sunday
Jul142013

Dem Donors Give Kentucky's Alison Lundergan Grimes Standing O In Senate Race Against Mitch McConnell

It’s time to start our engines for Kentucky’s Alison Lundergan Grimes, the 34-year-old Democratic secretary of state who intends to take out Senate Minority Speaker Mitch McConnell.

Howard Fineman writes for Huffington Post:

In her first major appearance before national party leaders, Saturday on Martha’s Vineyard, Grimes wowed Democratic senators, Senate candidates and donors alike at the party’s annual private summer fundraising retreat.

Each year the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee invites top donors to schmooze with senators, especially those up for reelection, and inspect the merchandise of challengers who will take on Republican incumbents.

Grimes spoke to the group Saturday morning and brought the jaded and normally undemonstrative crowd to its feet in wild applause, said one top donor, who had been deeply skeptical of the idea that McConnell could be knocked off by anyone.

Grimes made news a couple of weeks ago by announcing her senate run w/o a website in place. Mitch isn’t laughing any more, suggests both Howard Fineman and Kentucky’s Courier Journal. She is the daughter of one of Kentucky’s most prominent politicos, destined for a political future. Deciding to take on Mitch McConnell represents a quick turn in her destiny, but Democratic troops appear ready and enthusiastic to rally around her. 

“I’ve been going to these for years, and I have never, until this morning, seen a candidate get a standing O,” said the donor, who is among the top 100 contributors to the committee over the last five years. “It was amazing.” 

Kentucky’s Courier Journal columnist Al Cross writes that Grimes is a very serious competitor to knock Mitch McConnell out of his senate seat.

1. Author Robert Galbraith, whose debut novel ‘The Cuckoo’s Calling’ received outstanding debuts , was outed as Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling by London’s Sunday Times newspaper.

“I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience,” Rowling said. “It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation, and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”

After one reviewer described as a “scintillating debut novel,” while another called it “astonishingly mature”. The novel had sold around 1,500 copies in hardback, before this weekend’s outing.

2. Texas Democrats have vowed to fight in the courts new abortion legislation passed in Austin late Friday night. The Republican majority passed the controversial bill with one Democratic vote. The 20 Democratic amendments to the bill that bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, permits no exceptions for rape or incest, requires all abortions to take place in surgical centers, and offers no leeway in prescribing an abortion-inducing pill were all denied.

The abortion debate in Texas mobilized protests not seen in the last 20 years. “Let’s make sure that tonight is not an ending point, it’s a beginning point for our future, our collective futures, as we work to take this state back,” Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth told 2,000 supporters gathered in Austin.

3. US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has resigned her position as Homeland Security Secretary to become president of the University of California system. Napolitano was the third person to head the agency created in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Napolitano is the first woman to lead UC’s 145-year history. The LA Times writes that UC regents hope that a highly-visible political personality will be more effective at fundraising and playing an influential role in Sacramento and Washington.

The NY Daily News reports that Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing NYPD Chief Ray Kelly as her replacement.

4. EMILY’s List is on record with their intention to brand Florida Senator Marco Rubio as anti-women ahead of the 2016 elections. Stephanie Schriock, the group’s president, told TIME magazine that the Republican senator is “the most anti-women, anti-family candidate of the GOP field.”

“This is a senator who was one of only 22 Republican men voting against the Violence Against Women Act. He has worked tirelessly to roll back women’s freedom,” says Schriock.

Rubio’s ‘alleged sins’ against women also include his votes against pay equity legislation and support for mandatory ultrasounds in Florida. Rubio called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, “a gift for trial lawyers”.

Read the New Republic’s analysis ‘There’s No Cure for Marco Rubio’s Abortion Anxiety’.

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5. The Atlantic asks: When Do Women (and Men) Stop Leaning In?, following up on Catherine Rampell’s analysis for the New York Times.

The popular notion that women stop looking for job promotions earlier than men goes under the microscope with another look at 2008 data from the Families and Work Institute. In 2008 just 37 percent of working women and 44 percent of working men wanted more responsibility at the office.

Sheryl Sandberg’s book ‘Lean In’ argues that the gender gap is much higher in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups. University women and post 45-age women have similar expectations as men.

Sunday
Jul072013

Jimmy Carter Cites 'Misguided Doctrines Of Male Superiority' In Religion's Role In Women's Oppression

1.Ultra-Orthodox Jews already serving in the military are considered insects within their own community, labeled as writes the New York Times.

“Comics-style posters have appeared in recent weeks on billboards across ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods nationwide portraying those soldiers, who volunteered under programs meant to attract Haredim, as fat, bearded, gun-toting caricatures in uniform snatching terrified Haredi children off the streets.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jews don’t work either, living off the generosity of the Israeli people, with their argument that secular life contaminates them. The new law calls for mandatory Haredi enlistment by 2017, except for 1,800 Torah prodigies. Enlistment in the military can be deferred until age 21, but imprisonment is required for those who refuse to serve, writes the Jerusalem Post.

2. Protesters in Chile have revived the debate over abortion in the case of an 11-year-old Chilean girl now pregnant after being raped repeatedly by her mother’s partner. Abortion is not permitted in Chile under any circumstances, even though the girl’s health is at serious risk if she is required to bear the child.

The penalty for having an abortion is 5 to 10 years in prison, with doctors facing up to 15 years in prison. It’s hoped that a re-election of former Chilean president Michele Bachelet this November could impact a future exception for rape and incest in Chile’s abortion law. Having served as head of UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), Bachelet supports this exception. The long-time advocate of children’s education also promises to invest 3% of the country’s GDP, or $8 billion in education for the country in which only 65% of people finish high school.

3. The outspoken former US president Jimmy Carter hosted representatives from 15 countries at The Carter Center this week, as part of his Mobilizing Faith for Women event. Carter is a long-time advocate for the position that religious leaders, including those in Christianity and Islam, share the blame for the mistreatment of women throughout the world.

Citing religious authorities who embrace “misguided doctrines of male superiority”, Carter said that these “theologically indefensible” doctrines contribute to “a political, social and economic structure where political leaders passively accept violence against women, a worldwide sex slave trade and inequality in the workplace and classroom.”

Carter is a lifelong Baptist who famously withdrew from the Southern Baptist Convention over the issue of women’s equality. He argues that the subordination of women is “directly contrary to the basic premises of every great religion.”

4. British art collector Charles Saatchi has confirmed that he and wife Nigella Lawson are divorcing. Saatchi calls the decision to divorce Lawson “heartbreaking” in comments to London’s Mail. “I feel that I have clearly been a disappointment to Nigella during the last year or so, and I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way.”

The couple separated after Saatchi was seen clutching his wife’s throat in disturbing pictures taken during an argument at Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair on June 9. Saatchi says his wife has refused to answer his calls or return messages since the images went public.

Sarah Lyall says  “Like it or not, Ms. Lawson has become, for some, a symbol of the insidious nature of spousal abuse, an example, in their eyes, of the victim who does not realize she is a victim until outsiders frame her situation that way.”

5. Women’s rights activists in Afghanistan are concerned that a court has reversed the convictions of the three Afghans jailed for torturing Sahar Gul who refused to become a prostitute after being sold by her stepbrother for $5,000 and forced to marry at age 13 or 14. When Gul refused to consummate the marriage, her in-laws locked her in a basement where they burned her with hot wires, pulled out her fingernails and twisted her skin with pliers for months.

The issue is whether the assailants should have been convicted of assault, not attempted murder. Women’s rights activists in Kabul say they will press to have the three defendants retried.

Read also WSJ’s Afghan Women Fear Rights Slipping Away, focused on Noor Zia Atmar, who served in Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban Parliament and is now on the run from her abusive husband.

Tuesday
Jul022013

Thousands Pour Into Austin, Texas Abortion Fight | Gabby Gifford Fires Gun & Presses On For Gun Control

An estimated 5-6,000 abortion rights supporters converged on Austin, Texas yesterday, as lawmakers returned for a second special session called by Texas Governor Rick Perry. The Republican majority body is expected to pass abortion legislation that galvanized American women last week, after Fort Worth Democrat state Sen. Wendy Davis led an 11-hour filibuster against the bill. The Texas Tribune reports that a group of about 100 backers of the bill held a press conference inside the capitol.

The Texas Tribune also shares an important article How Public Opinion Fueled Senate’s Abortion Fight, interpreting recent polls in Texas as AOC analyzed them.

Taken together, these polling numbers convey broad support for some specific restrictions focusing on procedures. We don’t find more than token support for drastically reducing or eliminating access. In June 2013, 79 percent of Texans indicated that abortion should be available to a woman under varying circumstances. As for Davis’ core constituency, 59 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of liberals think that it should always be legal and available. As for the GOP: 20 percent of female Republicans think that abortion should always be legal, compared with 11 percent of male Republicans. But maybe more important for future electoral fortunes, there exists a 19-point gap among female and male independents regarding the opinion that abortion should always be available, 41 percent to 22 percent; and one of the most supportive groups of all is suburban women, 45 percent of whom think the procedure should always be legal.

1. Former Arizona Reb. Gabrielle Giffords aimed and fired a gun at a Las Vegas target firing range yesterday. Giffords sent the firing shot of her seven-day “Rights and Responsibilities Tour” as a proud gun owner who seeks sensible gun legislation in America. Giffords and husband Mark Kelly are trying to revive stalled background-check legislation, which failed in the US Senate in April. 

“Some might consider me an unlikely advocate for gun rights because I sustained terrible injuries in a violent shooting,” Giffords wrote in an Op-Ed published Monday in USA Today. “But I’m a patriot, and I believe the right to bear arms is a definitive part of our American heritage.”

2. Jeep leads a list of America’s most patriotic brands, writes USA Today. Jeep beat out Coca-Cola, Levis, Harley-Davidson and Disney in the top 25 list, in a survey of 4,500 consumers.

“As marketers traditionally operate on the Independence Day theory that a patriotic, flag-waving call-to-emotion will motivate consumers to behave more positively toward their brands, we wanted to see which brands actually led when it came to that particular value,” says Robert Passikoff, president of Brand Keys, in a statement.

Jeep resonates deeply as a symbol of American ruggedness and sense of adventure.

3. Records of the actions of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan as archbishop of Milwaukee in 2003 suggest that he had a full understanding of the seriousness of sex abuse cases in America. Dolan moved to protect church assets from any future claims, while moving to push out problem priests and even paying them to leave the priesthood. 

“The impact on his various victims has been significant,” Dolan wrote then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. “The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has yet to even locate all of the potential victims that could come forward for assistance. Our new found awareness of the severity of damage caused by sexual abuse at the hands of clergy makes it impossible for us to ignore this situation.”

575 sex abuse plaintiffs are suing the archdiocese in bankruptcy court.

4. Twelve-year-old Maddy Paige had a very respectable season, playing football as a defensive end at Georgia’s Strong Rock Christian private school in Locust Grove, Ga. Paige was excited to return next fall, until the school ended her football future, saying “Our official policy is that middle school girls play girl sports and middle school boys play boy sports. “

Maddy’s mother says private conservations with school officials told another story. “In the meeting with the CEO of the school, I was told that the reasons behind it were… that the boys were going to start lusting after her, and have impure thoughts about her,” she said. “And that locker room talk was not appropriate for a female to hear, even though she had a separate locker room from the boys.”

Facebook is on the move for Maddy Paige.

5. The human brain’s ‘garbage truck’ could hold a key to treating Alzheimer’s and other health disorders. What scientists do know is that the body’s lymphatic system performs the task of ridding it of toxic and damaging molecules. However, the lymphatic system doesn’t extend to the brain.

Researcher Maiken Nedergaard, M.D. and her team used new imaging technology called two-photon microscopy that allows us to peer deep within a living brain. They observed an extensive plumbing system responsible for flushing waste using cerebral spinal fluid.