UN Launches Campaign Against Domestic Violence in Africa
The United Nations Fund for Women launched its campaign against gender-based violence in Africa today, which is also Pan-African Women's Day.
Although reports of domestic violence are on the rise in Africa, it has yet to be recognized as a serious crime, according to women's and human rights organizations. Despite laws against assault, men in countries such as Nigeria and Kenya are permitted to "correct" their wives with physical punishment under the "required limits" of the law, according to "Women of the World: Laws and Policies That Affect Their Reproductive Lives," a report published by the Center for Reproductive Policy and the International Federation of Female Lawyers. "Beating a wife is a normal thing among the Maasai people and if a husband doesn't do it occasionally, he gets ridiculed by his friends," said a Maasai woman.
The campaign aims to increase public and media awareness about the problem, as well as to encourage women to report cases of abuse and to facilitate legal reforms. The United Nations Development Program is educating police about domestic violence.
One problem the UN may face is that those who assist victims of domestic violence are often criticized by church and community leaders for breaking up marriages.
Media Resources: Feminists Against Violence - July 29, 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. . . .