Bank Merger to Adversely and Disproportionately Affect Women Workers
The board of directors of Chase Manhattan Bank and Chemical Banking announced today that they have voted on a $10 billion stock swap to merge the two banks in an effort to save $1.5 billion annually. The banks said that the new bank, which will maintain the Chase name, expects double-digit per-share earnings and a return of equity of at least 18 percent. This merger, still pending shareholder and regulatory approval, will make Chase the largest bank in the United States, unseating Citicorp.
The merger, however, will result in the loss of approximately 12,000 jobs. Women, who comprise two-thirds of the banking workforce, stand to suffer a diproportionate share of these layoffs. Although heralded as creating the number one bank, this merger actually represents a setback for women who are in or entering the workforce. This setback, coming at a time when some claim that women no longer need affirmative action, is a system of the difficult times women face in the workforce. Downsizing in the white-collar professional, clerical, and communications workforces threatens womenís jobs in the latter half of the 1990ís, much as blue-collar jobs losses in the 1970ís and 1980ís threatened men's jobs.
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. . . .