Gender inequity persists in forms such as "honor killings," trafficking and sexual exploitation, and legal restrictions on property rights, reported members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the only UN human rights body that exclusively addresses women's rights. The committee spotlighted the gruesome nature of "honor killings," which occur when men kill a female relative suspected of actions perceived as shameful and damaging to family honor. Women have been killed for speaking to a man, being raped, and being suspected of adultery or pre-marital sexual intercourse. In over 90 percent of the cases families of the women had ordered or performed the killing themselves. This killing is often glorified as a necessary duty, and in countries where legal punishments exist, the perpetrators face lenient sentences for the murders.
The 23 experts convened for three weeks at the United Nations headquarters to review studies on women's status in seven countries and offer recommendations for eradicating gender inequality. CEDAW committee monitors global compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which has been ratified by 165 countries, excluding the United States.
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Media Resources: UN News, 3 July 2000, AP 1 July 2000
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. . . .