Citigroup Executive First to Support Female Membership to Augusta National
In a statement issued Friday, Citigroup chair Sanford Weill became the first high-powered executive among about 20 such Augusta National Golf Club members contacted by the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) to urge that the club alter its policy to include female members. Still, the letter stipulated that Weill’s discussions with the club remain private. NCWO chair Marta Burk expressed hope for timely progress, cautioning, “It’s pretty easy to say ‘We’re working on it,’ but that can go on for months and even years,” according to the Associated Press.
In July, William “Hootie” Johnson, chair of Augusta National, lashed out at Burk after she wrote him a letter urging that the club, which hosts the prestigious Masters golf tournament, open its membership to women. “Our membership alone decides our membership – not any outside group with its own agenda,” Johnson said in the three-page statement. “The message delivered to us was clearly coercive…We will not be bullied, threatened or intimidated. We do not intend to become a trophy in their display case.” Johnson said in April that Augusta does not have exclusionary membership policies; however, it did not have a black member until 1990 and has had no female members in its 70-year history, the Washington Post reported.
The Feminist Majority is a member of NCWO, along with 160 other groups—making the total membership close to seven million.
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. . . .