Millions of women each year experience unintended pregnancies, and millions more have unmet need for family planning. One of the persistent gaps in knowledge is the role of gender barriers that women face in defining and achieving their reproductive intentions. This paper provides a gender analysis of women’s demand for reproductive control. This analysis illuminates how the social construction of gender affects fertility preferences, unmet need, and the barriers that women face to using contraception and safe abortion. It also helps to bridge important dichotomies in the population, family planning, and reproductive health fields.
Jennifer McCleary-Sills, Allison McGonagle, Anju Malhotra 2012
Saudi Arabian newspaper Al-Watan reported Thursday that Saudi Olympic Committee President Prince Nawaf does "not approve" of sending female athletes to the London Games. But he left room for Saudi women to possibly compete on their own outside the official delegation, a plan that may not satisfy demands by the International Olympic Committee.
A similar arrangement was made at the Youth Olympics in 2010 for Saudi equestrian competitor Dalma Rushdi Malhas. She won a bronze medal in show jumping.
"I do not approve of Saudi female participation in the Olympics at the moment," Nawaf was quoted as saying by the newspaper. Officials at the Saudi Olympic Committee could not be reached for comment.
The IOC has been in talks with the Saudis about sending women to London.
The Women's Media Center is using new crowd-sourcing techniques to track rape and other sexual violence across Syria in one of the first efforts to monitor assaults against women during military conflict in real-time.
The effort by the Women's Media Center aims to shed light on such assaults and provide possible evidence to prosecute future human rights violations and war crimes. The group launched its website on Wednesday and said it was working with multiple Syrian activists whom it did not identify.
So far, the group has posted more than 20 reports, including deaths, from May 6, 2011, to March 17 and is verifying others.
Among incidents reported are undated allegations, labeled unverified, from a Palestinian news outlet that Syrian army forces raped 36 women near the villages of Kurin and Sahl Al-Rawj and from a YouTube video in which a man identified as a Syrian military volunteer says government forces kidnapped and raped 25 girls in Homs.
Crowd-sourcing allows the general public to provide information and report events very quickly. Reports can be made on the website, WomenUnderSiegeSyria.crowdmap.com, via e-mail or on Twitter using the hashtag #RapeinSyria.
In most of the United States, a woman 17 years or older who needs Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that can prevent pregnancy up to 72 hours after intercourse, can walk up to a pharmacy counter and request it without a prescription.
But for Native American women served by the Indian Health Service, obtaining Plan B might require a drive of hundreds of miles, a wait beyond the pill's window of effectiveness, and a price beyond what the IHS would charge.
Women are often in the frontline in respect to the impacts of a changing climate. Globally the world is seeing increasingly frequent droughts and floods which are having economic but also profound social consequences. The women and people of Asia are currently at greatest risk with over 100 million people affected in this region annually.
Water for Life Water vital natural resource and a human right, and the right and access to clean, safe water is intrinsically linked to gender equality. From the miles & hours women and girls spend collecting water– the implications this has on their health, education and economic opportunity– to the threat of climate change on water resources affecting all aspects of women’s and men’s lives, it is clear that water is a human rights and women’s rights issue.
We must use World Water Day to call attention to this precious resource and ask ourselves some important questions: What if you didn’t have access to safe water for your family? What could you do with 6 hours a day? What actions are we taking to make water accessible to all?
On World Water Day, WEDO reminds you to protect this vital natural resource and work towards a world which promotes and protects the human right to water.
WEDO is proud to present a new publication in partnership with IUCN, which takes a fresh look at some of the aforementioned issues facing gender and forests, and considers how gender is being addressed both on the ground and in policy discussions on climate change.
The publication includes case studies from around the world, demonstrating the wealth of learning and experience that is resulting from increased awareness and integration of gender issues within forestry work. It also examines current issues and progress at the international and global levels, and forecasts future challenges and developments. Click here to download a copy.
The Center for Women Policy Studies is very pleased to share with you the Briefing Paper from our sisters at the Global Coalition on Women and AIDS (GCWA) and the AIDS Legal Network (ALN), South Africa.
As the Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments over the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s sweeping and controversial health care reform law, the White House hosted a roundtable discussion on the law’s impact on women and families. WebMD and 10 female-focused websites and bloggers were invited to join the discussion with Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle and Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy, Jeanne Lambrew.
The Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 and is rolling out over the course of four years. Its biggest impact, extending health insurance to approximately 30 million people, doesn’t kick in until 2014.
DeParle said that the biggest criticism of the law that contains the most misinformation is “that it does nothing to control costs.” As an example, she said that Medicare spending per beneficiary is about the lowest it has ever been. Lambrew added that the White House plans to release information Thursday indicating that premium growth has slowed for health insurance.
Another criticism DeParle addressed was the individual mandate, the part of the law that requires everyone to purchase health insurance. The mandate’s legality will be debated during next week’s Supreme Court hearings. “A lot of people think that the so-called individual mandate is a huge new imposition on their liberty based on what they’ve heard from some, when, in fact, for many, most, I suppose, Americans, nothing is going to change,” DeParle said. “They’ll just check a box that says ‘Yes, I have insurance.’” The government will help cover the cost of insurance for those who can’t afford it.
The Violence Against Women Act, a groundbreaking piece of legislation addressing domestic and sexual violence, was first enacted in 1994 and then reauthorized in 2000 and 2005. Among the measures the act has taken to protect victims and prevent abuse, the law strengthened the legal action taken against perpetrators of domestic violence and provided services, including rape crisis centers, hotlines, and community support programs, for its victims. Congress is now debating its reauthorization, as the law expired in September, and while it has received broad bipartisan support in the past it has recently come under political fire from some Republican lawmakers who object to provisions which Democrats have added to this year’s reauthorization. Critics specifically object to provisions which would expand the law’s coverage to illegal immigrants, homosexuals, and American Indians, who would have greater authority to persecute non-Indians who commit crimes against American Indian women. Republicans argue that these were purely political additions designed to induce GOP lawmakers to oppose an otherwise popular bill, giving Democrats more ammunition in their campaign argument that Republicans are “anti woman.” Furthermore, some conservative activists object to the law entirely, arguing that it does not cut down on—and might even increase—instances of domestic abuse while overextending the federal government’s jurisdiction. Should the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized? Here is the Debate Club’s take: