Sunday, 14 July 2013

News for Today

Contributed by Karthik Jayakumar

Contributed by Norhana Kamid

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Malala Celebrates 16th Birthday With U.N. Address
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot by the Taliban for promoting education for girls, celebrated her 16th birthday Friday by demanding in her first public speech since the attack that world leaders provide free compulsory schooling for every child, the Associated Press reported July 12. From the podium at the United Nations to nearly 1,000 youth leaders from over 100 countries, Malala called for "a global struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism." She said the Taliban failed to silence her and her ambitions.
Calif. Lawmakers Call Investigation into Sterilization of Female Inmates 
California lawmakers are calling for an investigation of the physicians involved in the sterilization of female inmates, NBC News reported July 11. Last week,  The Center for Investigative Reporting’s investigation revealed that nearly 150 female inmates were sterilized from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals. At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years – and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews, The Sacramento Bee reported July 7. 
Ireland to Allow 'Life Saving' Abortion 
Irish lawmakers voted to allow abortion in limited circumstances for the first time in the deeply Catholic country’s history, NBC News reported July 12. Under the new bill, doctors will be allowed to end the life of an unborn child if there is a threat to the life of the pregnant woman.
N.C Lawmakers Passe Bill with New Restrictions on Abortion
North Carolina's House voted Thursday a bill with new restrictions on abortion, USA Today reported July 12. The bill directs state regulators to change standards for abortion clinics to bring them in line with more regulated outpatient surgical centers. It also requires doctors to be present for an entire surgical abortion and when a patient takes the first dose for a chemically induced abortion.
Young Girl Gang-Raped and Set Ablaze in India 
A young girl was set ablaze after she was allegedly gang-raped by six men in Etawah, the home town of Uttar Pradesh, India, Gulf News reported July 12. The girl is battling for life at a hospital at Saifai with 90 percent burns. The girl told police that six men, including her lover Farhan, raped her and set her on fire Thursday. 
Women's Rights Under New Assault in Afghanistan
Human rights activists have warned of a new assault on women's rights in Afghanistan after judges and prosecutors allowed the early release of three people convicted for the brutal torture of a child bride, The Guardian reported July 12. Against this backdrop, conservative lawmakers made an aggressive bid to prevent relatives testifying against each other. "Underage marriage, forced marriage, domestic violence, sale of women – these crimes are almost always committed against women by family members, whether through birth or through marriage," explains Heather Barr, Afghanistan researcher at Human Rights Watch, warning that the proposed change to the criminal code would leave most abused women with no legal protection against violence.
Istanbul Criticized for Not Showing Veiled Women in Olympic Candidacy 
After reviewing Istanbul's Olympic bid videos, International Olympic Committee member Marisol Casado criticized the city for not showing any women in headscarves, reported the Hurriyet Daily News July 11.  “Anyone who visits Istanbul will be aware that around 30 percent of women there tend to wear veils,” Casado said in a press conference. “People who live in Arab nations are looking for something that will be more representative of their culture.” Istanbul, along with Tokyo and Madrid, is in the running for hosting the 2020 Olympic Games.  The winner of the bid will be announced Sept. 7.
World Population Day 2013 Focuses on Adolescent Pregnancy
United Nations officials marked this year's World Population Day by spotlighting the issue of adolescent pregnancy, and calling on governments to take measures to enable girls to make responsible life choices and realize their potential, the UN announced in a press release.  It’s estimated that 16 million teenage girls give birth every year. Many are in African or other developing countries, Voice of America reported July 11.
More Girls Sext, Send Explicit Pictures Via Text Messages, Social Media
Girls as young as 11 are sending out explicit photos of themselves through text messages and social networking sites, the Daily Mail reported July 11. The practice of 'sexting' is getting more common with younger children involved every year, child protection experts have warned. Increasing numbers of girls are being persuaded to send boys explicit images of themselves - but the photographs can often be used to blackmail them through sharing via Facebook and Blackberry messaging.
Saudi Princess Charged With Human Trafficking in the U.S.
A Saudi woman was arrested by Irvine police on suspicion of human trafficking after a Kenyan domestic worker fled and reported she was held against her will as a slave, The Los Angeles Times reported July 10. Meshael Alayban, described as a princess by Arab News, brought the Kenyan to the United States in May and paid her $220 a month while holding her passport and keeping her confined to an apartment complex in Irvine, California, where Alayban lived. Four Filipino women who also may have had their passports seized by Alayban’s family were found in the Irvine home.
Women's Group Urges Female Voters Not to Vote for Spitzer and Weiner
The National Organization for Women is urging voters to stay far, far away from this election’s two comeback candidates: former Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who is running for comptroller, and former Congressman Anthony Weiner, a candidate for mayor, the Politicker reported July 10. Advocates with the pro-women’s group, which has endorsed City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for mayor, held a press conference on the steps of  New York's City Hall Wednesday where they slammed the two redemption-seeking polls as anti-women.

Study: Female TV Characters Are Sexual Targets
Teenage female characters are sexual fodder for broadcast network TV series, especially comedies, according to an advocacy group's new study,CBS News reported July 10. An examination of 238 sitcoms and dramas airing during four weeks in 2011 and 2012 found a third of the episodes included content that "rose to the level of sexual exploitation" of female teenagers, according to the Parents Television Council report released Tuesday.

Over 9 Percent of Girls Marry Underage in Turkey
Over 9 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 19 in Turkey get married, with 5.9 percent giving birth to their first child within the same age gap, according to numbers released by Hacettepe University. Around 12 percent of the pregnancies however end in voluntary miscarriages, the survey added. A professor from Hacettepe said the underage marriages in Turkey pose a serious health public health risk, The Hurriyet Daily News reported July 10. Underage marriages should be postponed, and pregnancies should be left until over the age of 20 for the mother, the Hacettepe professor said.

Saudi Women's Rights Activists to File Prison Appel
Two Saudi women’s rights activists are filing an appeal Friday after being sentenced to 10 months in prison for helping a woman who had allegedly been abused by her husband, Inter Press Service reported July 11. On Jun. 15, Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni were convicted by a district court in Al-Khobar for inciting a woman to defy her husband and supported a wife without her husband’s knowledge. A two-year travel ban will follow their prison term.
Hillary Clinton Pushes Women to 'Step Up' for Leadership
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed over 50 female leaders at Bryn Mawr College Tuesday, encouraging women to "step up and put themselves on the line" of civic leadership, The Huffington Post reported July 10. The keynote address was delivered at the second annual summer institute offered byThe Women in Public Service Project, founded by Clinton herself in December 2011. 
U.N. Women Calls For Toughers Stance on Egypt's Sexual Harassment
A United Nations women's rights group has expressed concern over reports of increasing cases of sexual harassment against women in public places in Egypt, the Egypt Independent reported July 10. "UN Women adds its voice to calls on all parties to take a firm stand and show zero tolerance for all forms of violence against women and girls” said Lakshmi Puri, acting head of the UN Women in a statement.  
South Africa's First Female Deputy President Named Head of UN Women
The former deputy president of South Africa, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, was named the new head of UN Women, reported The Guardian July 10. In 2005, she became the first woman to hold the position of deputy president, the highest office occupied by a woman in South Africa. She remained in the post until 2008
"Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position a wealth of experience in advocating for women's issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience," said UN general secretary, Ban Ki-moon. 

Chilean President Praises 11-year-old's 'Maturity' in Rape Case
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera sent shockwaves across social media when he claimed admiration for an 11-year-old's desire to continue her 14-week-long pregnancy, the result of two years of rape by her mothers partner, The Washington Post reported July 9. The president has placed the child under the direct care of the nation's health minister, as the pregnancy is risky for both the mother and child. “It will be like having a doll in my arms,” the girl told local Canal 13. “I’m going to love the baby very much, even though it comes from that man who hurt me.”

The case set off a national debate about abortion in the country where ending a pregnancy is not an option. Chile allowed abortions for medical reasons until they were outlawed in 1973 by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship. The current administration of the conservative president has opposed any loosening of the prohibition. 

Church of England Agrees to Ordain Female Bishops
The Church of England's law-making body voted Monday in favor of ordaining women bishops, but it will be at least two years before the measure, opposed by a minority of traditionalists, can be passed, The Huffington Post reported July 9. Members of the General Synod voted overwhelmingly to pursue reforms to allow women bishops as a "matter of urgency". A committee will draft legislation that will be reviewed later this year but it is not likely to be given final approval before November 2015.
Opposition Deputy Backs ‘Walking Woman’ Against Turkey’s Election Threshold
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy joined “walking woman” CHP member Aylin Kotil July 9 to protest Turkey’s 10 percent election threshold. Kotil set out from Istanbul on July 8 to walk more than 250 miles to Ankara. Kotil said she was planning to arrive at the Turkish Parliament in 22 days to meet with the spokespersons of the four political parties and hand them her manifesto to remove the election threshold, The Hurriyet Daily News reported July 9. 

Transgendered Woman Stabbed to Death in Turkey
A 24-year-old transgender was found stabbed to death at her home in Turkey's western province of Aydın on July 9. Hüseyin Uğur Özer, who went by the name Dora, was found dead by her housemate who went to home to check on her after not receiving any news as of 6 p.m. Local police have launched an investigation into the matter to locate the murderer, starting with an examination of the security cameras’ recordings, The Hurriyet Daily News reported July 10. 

Contributed by Suyog Shelar

Cleveland man faces total of 977 charges from kidnapping of three women

Q&A: 'Women’s Rights Are Human Rights'

War or Peace, Sri Lankan Women Struggle to Survive

Girls Fight Back Against Child Marriage

Contributed by Rombe Niblet.
Words alone won't end violence against women.

Contributed by Danqing

(1) News in China
3rd Chinese Girl Dies in San Fran Airplane Crash
Experts: Increasing Number of Young Women Turning to Abortion
Breast Milk for Adults Latest Craze in Shenzhen

(2) Other news
150 female inmates in California coerced into illegal sterilization
Unpaid graduate interns are mostly female, report shows
Indonesian official bans female secretaries
Female director unlocks Saudi Arabian life in Wadjda film
The Chaste Ways of Female Politicians
Female navy captains make history with handover
Let Women Ride In The Tour De France, Cyclists Say In Petition

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