A Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) report entitled, “Mapping Progress: Assessing Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action,” documents that 70% of countries have drawn up plans for implementing the platform of the Fourth World Conference on Women. Despite these plans governments enacted policies that have impeded women’s access to employment, health care, education, property, credit and housing. Susan Davis, WEDO’s executive director, said “On balance, women are still the shock absorbers for structural change.”
WEDO received surveys from non-governmental organizations concerning the progress of 88 of the countries that were represented at the conference.
The report indicates that 45 percent of the countries have passed legislation that has decreased women’s employment levels and 28 percent have reduced education programs for females. Women living in the countries that are moving toward free-market economies have been hit the hardest, the report said.
Women’s unemployment averages about 70 percent in Armenia, Russia, Bulgaria and Croatia and is up to 80 percent in the Ukraine. Other countries export large quantities of merchandise are employing more and more women in factories, demanding “cheap and docile labor that can be used in low-skill, repetitive jobs in unsafe and insecure conditions without minimum guarantees.”
The report also detailed inhumane working conditions, as women migrant workers routinely “suffer gross violations of their human rights, ranging from inhuman working conditions to physical violence, and even rape and murder.”
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. . . .