South Korea's first female president, Park Geun-hye, was sworn in Monday. Her election was an historic event for a country where women earn forty percent less than men, and women's groups hope that Park's presidency will include many advances in gender equity. She has nominated two women for Cabinet posts so far.
The current priority for the president is dealing with North Korea's atomic February 12th detonation test. Park recently denounced the test as "a challenge to the survival and future of the Korean people" and urged Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, to shift its efforts from violence to peace. In a speech she stated that North Korea poses an immense threat to itself first and foremost with its testing of atomic and nuclear technology. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea [North Korea]stated that the February 12th test was meant to make South Korea and its American allies think twice before attempting to control the DPRK. Park has promised firm reform in relations with North Korea. World powers are waiting to see if Park will pursue a more aggressive policy with North Korea than her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.
Media Resources: Sources: Associated Press by way of TIME 2/24/2013; Associated Press by way of Washington Post 2/24/2013; Feminist Daily Newswire 12/21/2012
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. . . .