New Survey Shows Gains, Losses in Women's Representation in Parliaments
A survey of women elected to parliaments by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) reveals that women currently hold a record 16.3 percent of parliamentary seats, a small number but one that has increased from 11.3 percent in 1995. Anders Johnsson, Secretary-General of IPU, stated, “Women account for roughly half of the world’s population. They remain dramatically underrepresented in national parliaments and other levels of government,” reports the New York Times .
According to the report, in nine countries, including Rwanda, Sweden, and New Zealand, women hold at least 30 percent of parliamentary seats, and women have increased their representation as presiding officers in parliaments from 7.2 percent in January 2005 to 10.7 percent in January 2006. Other positive gains for women include the decision in Kuwait to grant women both the right to vote and to run for elected office. Four other countries that have recently suffered from conflict increased the number of women elected to their parliaments, including Liberia, where President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became the first democratically elected female head of state in Africa in January.
Less positively, there are fewer elected female parliamentarians in eight countries this year, including Kyrgyzstan, which dropped to zero women in its parliament. There was an increase in parliaments that have no elected women from the previous year – currently at nine countries.
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .