New Augusta National Chair Continues Discrimination Against Women
Billy Payne, new chair of Augusta National Golf Club, has stated that he will uphold the all-male club's practice of denying membership to women. According to the New York Times , Payne has declared that “we have no specific timetable to address that issue.” He has declined a request to meet with Martha Burk, the former chair of the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) who has led protests against the club’s discriminatory policies, stating that “I don’t see at this time that any dialogue would be meaningful or helpful,” reports the Times.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Burk, now Money Editor of Ms. magazine and chair of NCWO’s Corporate Accountability Project, said, “I thought it would be an opportunity for the club to move forward, and it does not sound like that’s the case. He’s had several years to speak out as a member and clearly did have the courage to do so. As the chair, I thought his backbone might be a little stiffer.”
Augusta National hosts the Masters Golf Tournament, one of the sport’s most prestigious events, every year. The 2003 protest led by NCWO and member groups such as the Feminist Majority Foundation, drew national attention and caused CBS to broadcast the event without corporate sponsorship for two years in a row. Burk is currently spearheading a movement to raise public awareness of companies who sponsor the Masters or whose CEOs maintain their Augusta memberships, which violates their companies’ anti-discrimination policies.
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. . . .