Despite the media blitz last week by Augusta National chair Hootie Johnson, defending the exclusion of women from the club’s elite membership and insisting that there is a “difference” between racial and gender discrimination, two more groups this week joined the call for female members. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chair Julian Bond in a letter to the New York Times charged that golfers and businesses—through participation, sponsorship, and/or advertisement with Augusta—are “subsidiz[ing] and condon[ing] discrimination.” Likewise, Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Commissioner Ty Votaw—stressing the “public face of golf”—said including women members was “the right thing,” according to USA Today. Bond and Votaw are the latest among a group of prominent leaders, including Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, Citigroup chair Sanford Weill and Lloyd Ward, head of the U.S. Olympic Committee and former president of Ford Motor Company, to openly express their support for including women.
Amidst the conflict, the press has also focused attention on Tiger Woods. A New York Times editorial on Monday pushed for Woods to boycott the prestigious Masters golf tournament and “send a powerful message that discrimination isn’t good for the golfing business.” To date, Woods has avoided taking sides.
Augusta National is the site of the Masters, an event sanctioned by the PGA Tour, though the PGA does not own or run the Masters. The National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO), under the leadership of chair Martha Burk, argues that by sanctioning an event held at a club that practices such blatant discrimination, the PGA violates its own anti-discrimination policies.
Media Resources: NY Times 11/18/02, 11/21/02; Associated Press 11/19/02, 11/21/02; USA Today 11/21/02; Feminist Daily News Wire
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. . . .