Florida Atlantic University Faces Attack on Women's Studies Program
Florida Atlantic University officials have proposed a suspension of their Women, Gender and Sexuality department and their master's degree program in women’s studies for fiscal reasons. The Women's Studies Center and the M.A. program use a combined .00025 percent of the university’s total education budget, according to an email sent out by FAU's Women's Studies department. The department rejects that the decision is about budget cuts, asking, "At a university where the average salary of a male professor is $16, 000.00 higher than the average salary of a female professor, how else are we to interpret the proposed suspension of the Women's Studies Center and M.A. program than as an attack on women?"
FAU's women's studies department has launched an internet campaign to combat the decision – including a petition and a Facebook group that call for supporters to write letters of protest to the university president.
FAU is currently one of only several dozen universities offering an advanced degree in Women’s Studies and one of even fewer women's studies departments to hold an annual symposium attended by other universities, according to feminist blog "Like a Whisper". If approved, the suspension will begin in the fall of 2010. Officials say it will be short term, but no information regarding a time frame has been released.
Media Resources: Like a Whisper 2/08/09; Save Women's Studies Center and M.A. Program at FAU 2/11/09; Save The Women's Studies Center and M.A. Program at FAU! Facebook group 2/11/09; FAU Women's Studies Center 2/11/09
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .