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What We’ve Been Reading & Signing

July 22, 2013

Justice for Trayvon: have you watched or read President Obama’s speech from Friday? It’s really a must-see. It has me reflecting on the power of having an African American President, someone who leads our country who can say “Trayvon could have been me 35 years ago.” What did you think of the speech?

In Texas, Gov. Perry signed the anti-abortion bill into law – you know, the one that will close nearly all of the health centers that provide abortion – as well as birth control and other preventive care, NBD (sarcasm). And mere hours later – a bill was introduced to ban abortion at six weeks. Apparenly, TX wants to be ND. Are you in it for the long run?

In news about sexism not specific to abortion, a new study finds that men are quoted more often than women on front page stories of the New York Times. This discrepancy is representative of the lack of diversity in the newsroom as well as the inequalities faced by women in this country.

Let’s move onto international news, shall we? There’s good and bad here. In the bad category, it looks like Ireland’s attempt to make abortion more accessible, so as to save lives like Savita’s, was defeated last Thursday.

In Egypt, sexual assault has been a huge problem for women during the ongoing protests, but officials continuously ignore the issue. A volunteer group called Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment-Assault has stepped in, stopping more than 50 instances of assault on just one day of the protests. Although this volunteer organization is doing all that it can to help Egyptian women, it’s clear that more action is necessary.

U.S. Agency for International Development is funding a $200 million program called “Promote” that will increase women’s role in the Afghan society. International support could raise this figure to up to $416 million. Promote aims train young women in finance, entrepreneurship, and policy making, as well as give them the skills to find jobs. The goal is that women’s role in society will not diminish after the US pulls some forces out of Afghanistan in 2014.

And to end on a happy note… England and Wales passed a marriage equality law last week!  Wooohoo!

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