Kenyan Man Found Guilty of Domestic Abuse, But Walks
Moita Ole Risa, a Kenyan man accused by his wife of physical abuse, was found guilty Thursday. Agnes Siyiankoi's husband beat her with a club for five hours. She was the first in her Maasai tribe to bring her spouse to trial for abuse.
Although Magistrate Charles Gitonga found Ole Risa guilty, his punishment was mild. Ole Risa was ordered to either pay an $83 fine or to spend six months in prison. Ole Risa decided to forfeit his bail and walked out of the courtroom a free man.
In Kenya, spousal abuse pervades all economic and social classes. While abuse is illegal, women still face public scrutiny for making complaints about abuse they suffer. Siyiankoi, unhappy with the sentence her husband received, plans to appeal the ruling.
"I will pursue the case to set an example to women," said the mother of four. "I am taking care of the children alone. My parents are ready to return the three-cow dowry that they paid for me."
Siyiankoi's lawyer, Gideon Solonka, claimed to be satisfied with the ruling. "It was okay in the sense that the court found that wife-beating is wrong," he said. "It is revolutionary not only in the Maasai community but to the whole republic that wife-beating is not justifiable, it is a criminal offense punishable in law."
Media Resources: Associated Press - October 8, 1998
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .