At the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) where women comprise just six percent of 1,324 cadets, the school's first women's soccer team (and first women's sports team) is standing strong. Facing obstacles like a 15 percent drop out rate among female first-year cadets, ten of the 11 players have pledged to continue riding out a rough year. "We all miss home," the players told Coach Julie Davis, according to The Washington Post. "We're all scared, but we're not running away."
The team members are aiming to raise VMI's representation of women closer to 10 percent, towards compliance with Title IX regulations. In 1996, the Supreme Court—- ordering that women be admitted to the institution—- established 10 percent women's enrollment as "a sufficient 'critical mass' to provide the female cadets with a positive educational experience," reported the Post.
Media Resources: Washington Post 10/22/03; VMI 6/1996; Feminist Daily New 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. . . .