Despite Demands From Women’s Groups, CBS To Broadcast Masters
CBS yesterday promptly denied a request from the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) to refrain from broadcasting the 2003 Masters golf tournament because of the discriminatory policies of the club that owns and operates the event, the Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta National excludes women from its membership, a policy that NCWO - which represents six million members of more than 100 women’s organizations including the Feminist Majority - has been working to change. However, the club has refused to open its membership to women, even canceling corporate sponsorship of the 2003 tournament and opting instead to pay for all the television coverage, without commercials, themselves.
The NCWO’s letter to CBS asked the station to suspend broadcasting of the Masters if the Club continues to refuse to admit women, stating that “the tournament is an event that is produced by and held at a facility owned by a for-profit corporation that is flaunting its practice of sex discrimination. In the year 2002, with women occupying prominent positions in every walk of life, it is astonishing that CBS would ever consider such a broadcast.”
The NCWO will continue its pressure on CBS while it seeks to influence the individual members of Augusta National. Although the Club keeps its membership private, there are an estimated 300 members, many who are prominent CEOs and businessmen from major US companies. Martha Burk, chair of the NCWO, told the Washington Post: “We want to ask [the members] how they can justify their memberships in light of their companies’ policies prohibiting any form of discrimination. We’d also like to know if shareholders are footing the bill for this.”
The news that CBS planned to broadcast the tournament as planned came on the heels of the news that a woman had qualified for a Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) Tour event for the first time ever. Suzy Whaley, a teaching professional golfer in Connecticut, is deciding whether or no she will compete in the event.
Media Resources: Washington Post 9/4/02, 9/19/02, 9/20/02; NCWO 9/19/02
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. . . .