Contributed by Norhana Kamid
Following a proposal from the social welfare ministry in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the country's cabinet approved Hijras, a term used to describe those classified as neither male nor female, as a separate gender on Nov. 11. The Election Commission may consider including identity of hijras on their national identity cards for participating in the upcoming polls, the Dhaka Tribune reported Nov. 13.
Egypt has become the worst country for women's rights in the Arab world, according to a poll of gender experts, BBC reported Nov. 12. The study, conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, found sexual harassment, high rates of female genital mutilation and a growth in conservative Islamist groups contributed to the low ranking. The Comoros islands came top in the survey, and Iraq ranked second-worst after Egypt, followed by Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
Sequestration Takes Domestic Violence Toll
Time Magazine's 'Gods of Food' Excludes Female Chefs
Time magazine published a feature story in its Nov. 18 issue title, “Gods of Food,” leaving out mention of any female chefs, The Daily Beast reported Nov. 14. The list includes four women, such as coffee grower Adia Batlle and environmental activist Vandana Shiva.
Hijras Now a Separate Gender in Bangladesh
Six Australian Soldiers Fired for Demeaning Women
Australia’s Department of Defense has booted out six soldiers for their part in the so-called "Jedi Council", an informal ring that shared offensive material including vision of secretly filmed sex acts, Australia's News.com reported Nov. 14. Army chief Lt. Gen. David Morrison said their services had been terminated for production or distribution of highly inappropriate material demeaning women such as exchanged images of women accompanied by offensive commentary, digitally altered images and images of naked women.
Turkey Lifts Ban on Trousers for Women in Parliament
Turkey's parliament has lifted a ban on women lawmakers wearing trousers in the assembly, in a further liberalization of dress rules following a landmark decision to allow female deputies to wear the Islamic headscarf, Yahoo News reported Nov. 14. A deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Safak Pavey, drew attention to the trouser ban during a parliamentary debate on the emotive headscarf issue, which has long polarized opinion in largely Muslim but secular Turkey. The parliament approved the measure late on Nov. 13.
Hawaii Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Hawaii’s governor on Nov. 13 signed a bill into law making same-sex marriage legal in one of the first states where gays and lesbians couples sought the right to wed more than 20 years ago, NBC News reported. Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who called lawmakers to a special session for the bill, has vocally supported gay marriage, which will allowthousands of gay couples living in Hawaii and even more tourists to marry in the state starting Dec. 2.
Women’s Health Protection Act Introduced in Senate and House
The Women’s Health Protection Act was introduced in Senate and House in Washington D.C. Nov. 13, which would help reverse years of callous attacks on abortion access, a press release stated. The Women’s Health Protection Act would ensure women’s ability to make personal health care decisions is not hindered by unnecessary regulations that make it harder to access abortion care. If enacted, the Women’s Health Protection Act would begin to reverse the devastating impact of years of callous attacks on women’s health and allow women to make their own personal health care decisions.
Egypt Worst Country for Women in Arab World
Sequestration Takes Domestic Violence Toll
In a Nov. 12 report on budget cuts forced by sequestration authors measure the toll on victims of domestic violence, finding that at least 148,090 victims will not be able to access services each year due to the across-the-board cuts.
UN Initiative Creates Women-Only Buses in Papa New Guinea
In an effort to create safe public spaces for women in Papua New Guinea, the UN has sponsored program for women-only buses, Radio Australia reported Nov. 12. The initiative aims to encourage women to commute to the marketplace where they can not only make purchases but also increase their financial independence and sell. Both women and men attested to the animus atmosphere towards women that public transportation entails.
Run By Women, For Women: A GOP Firm Seeks Women Voters
Three women are trailblazers for what could be the first GOP firm with a mission of acquiring female voters, The New York Times reported Nov. 12. The firm will use public opinion research, TV advertisements, and consulting for Republican candidates so that they can tailor their campaign to attract women. The firm also aims to build a long-term relationship with the women they interact with in order to gain insight into their politics. Democrats have denounced the firm, saying that Republicanrhetoric inherently detracts women.
Bush's False Prophecies About Iraqi Women Exposed
Since Saddam Hussein's extrication, Iraqi women have fared worse, NBC reported Nov. 12. Domestic abuse, illiteracy, and prostitution have proliferated producing women vulnerable when widowed. Women have attest to increased conservative social constraints having impinged on their public lives. Women's role in government affairs has also decreased considerably post-Saddam rule.
Senegal Detains Women For Suspected Homosexuality
Police arrested five Senegalese women for allegedly being lesbians and violating the country's anti-gay law, Associated Press reported Nov. 12. The women were taken from a restaurant in a district that has been labeled the epicenter for homosexuals. All women are unable to afford a lawyer despite a scheduled court-case. They can be sentenced for up to five years and fined up to $3,000 for immoral homosexual activity.