Prize-winning writer Judy Mann retired her column in the Washington Post last week by calling for more women in news media commentary. In her farewell column, Mann declared her “fervent hope that more and more women will be given space in our newspapers so that women’s voices will be heard.” She continued, “We do have important things to say.” Mann focused particular attention on opening up space for women to comment on the federal budget, the foreign aid budget, the need for international family planning programs, and the global AIDS epidemic. “Women are a majority in the United States,” said Mann. “By rights, in a democracy, we should occupy 50 percent of the slots on the op-ed pages of America’s newspapers. We should occupy 50 percent of the top editorships in newspapers. We should be allowed to bring what interests us – as women and mothers and wives – to the table, and I don’t mean token stories about child care.”
An ardent women’s rights supporter, Mann has written on numerous women’s issues in the Washington Post since the late 1970s. She was the first to report on the gender gap in political issues and candidates, covering the topic when no one thought the gender gap was interesting or important. Mann was also one of the first to report on gender apartheid in Afghanistan, illustrating how important the female voice can be in news media. Throughout her career, Mann has also paid close attention to covering sex discrimination in schools, female genital mutilation, and breast cancer research, among other subjects of particular interest to women.
In addition to her column, Mann has published two books, including The Difference: Growing Up Female in America, which highlights the damaging effects of gender typing of children. Mann, a native of Washington, DC, has also written for numerous magazines, including Ms., and has given numerous radio and television interviews
Media Resources: Washington Post, 12/28/01; Kirkus Reviews, 1994; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .