Tired of being grabbed and fondled on Tokyo subways, Japanese women are speaking out and asking police for help in stopping "chikan," or subway molesters. Police have asked the train companies to consider single-sex cars for women and children, a scenario not seen in 40 years.
Subway molestation has been a well-known problem for years, and the train companies are increasing their campaign against the harassment. Posters in subways tell women to beware of and immediately report molesters. Announcements are being made in the stations and in the cars to warn molesters that they are being watched. "We are asking women who have suffered from abuse to report cases before the fondlers escalate their attacks," said a police spokesman. At one train station, police have arrested 34 men so far this year, almost double last year's number. Women are also becoming more aggressive, complaining publicly and shouting in the subway to humiliate the grabber.
Many men in Tokyo openly look at pornography or at comics depicting graphic rape scenes while on the subways, in front of women and children. Teenage girls in school uniforms are victimized most often, because many Japanese men find the outfits sexy. The subways are so crowded that it is often hard to tell who is doing the grabbing. While some women support the establishment of women-only train cars, others are worried that any woman who rode with men would be seen as wanting to be fondled.
Media Resources: Washington Post - October 4, 1997
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. . . .