On Saturday, Nancy Mace became the first woman to graduate from The Citadel, a formerly all-male military college.
The Citadel reluctantly accepted Shannon Faulker as its first female student in 1995 after Faulker won a 3-year legal battle against the school. Faulker's lawyers argued that the school was legally obligated to admit women because it was financed by the state of South Carolina. The Supreme Court agreed, saying that the school must either begin admitting women or give up its public funds.
Although Faulker dropped out soon after entering the school in 1995, her efforts made it possible for other women to enroll in The Citadel and another formerly all-male bastion, the Virginia Military Institute. The Citadel's first-year class of 1,800 now includes 42 female cadets, and many more are expected to enroll next fall.
Although progress has been made, female cadets at The Citadel still face great animosity. Mace's colleagues hissed at her earlier this year during a ceremony in which cadets received their class rings. While the audience did applaud when Mace stepped forward to claim her degree on Saturday, the class gave a standing ovation to the cadet who followed her.
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. . . .