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Entries in women's rights (136)

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.

Wednesday
Jun262013

Madonna & Steven Klein Release 'Secret Project' Video, Said To Be Women's Rights 'Back of the Bus' No More Anthem

Madonna and Steven Klein released their first glimpse of their new “civil rights project” that will deal with women’s rights. MTA reports that Madonna has recorded a new ballad, said to be one of the most powerful she has ever made. The cry to stop the violence against women and social violence generally is tentatively called ‘Back of the Bus’.

Steven Klein’s video is said to be inspired by the 1950s movie ‘Caged’ starring Eleanor Parker. Coincidentally, the drama takes us back to Texas. Writes Wiki:

A married 19-year-old (played by Eleanor Parker) named Marie Allen is sent to prison, after a botched armed robbery attempt with her equally young husband, Tom (who is killed). While receiving her prison physical, she finds out that she is two months pregnant. Despite the hardships she is put through under Matron Evelyn Harper (Hope Emerson), she gives birth to a healthy baby and wants to “temporarily” grant full custody to her mother. The intent is to get the baby back after she is released. However, her mother informs Marie that her callous step-father has decided that under no circumstances will he allow the baby into his house, and she uses the excuses that she’s “too old” and “hasn’t a penny in [her] name” as reasons why she can’t leave him and help Marie. The prison forces her to permanently give the child up for adoption. Marie never sees her baby again. After her exposure to hardened criminals and sadistic prison guards, by the end of the film she leaves prison a hardened woman with debts to the criminals who helped get her released from jail.