For the first time, two female soldiers have been admitted into the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer Course. Their admittance is experimental and the results will be considered by the Pentagon when deliberating the inclusion of women in combat units from which they are currently excluded.
The Infantry Officer Course is an intensive 86 day challenge that approximately 25% of participants fail. As participants in the course, men and women soldiers will undergo equal challenges and evaluation. Women are considered "just another student" to instructors like Capt. Brian Perkins. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will review the results of this women inclusive trial program next month when reevaluating the "physical standards" required for obtaining certain jobs in the military.
"If women remain restricted to combat service and combat service support specialties, we will not see a woman as Commandant of the Marine Corps, or CENTCOM commander, or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Greg Jacob, policy director for the Service Women's Action Network, said in May. "Thus women in the military are being held back simply because they are women. Such an idea is not only completely at odds with military ethics, but is distinctly un-American."
Earlier this year, female soldiers responded to the limitations of women's combat positions within the military through a lawsuit claiming violation of equal protection under the Fifth Amendment. This lawsuit took place after a new policy promising more positions for women resulted in no change. NPR claims "job-related physical requirements" have prevented women from entering the combat units in the past.
Media Resources: USA Today 10/3/12; Business Insider 10/3/12; Feminist Newswire 5/24/12; NPR 10/4/12.
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .