Tag Archives | Womens Rights

North Carolina To Compensate Thousands Of Forced-Sterilization Victims

sterlization-pamThe North Carolina Eugenics Board was created in 1933 and operated for decades with little public scrutiny. It used rudimentary IQ tests and gossip from neighbors to justify sterilization of young girls from poor families.

Many people don’t realize that portions of the U.S. South had eugenics programs that operated through the 1970s. NPR reports on some horrifying fairly-recent history:

Barely 40 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a single mother on welfare, or a patient in a mental hospital in North Carolina, to be sterilized against her will.

But North Carolina wasn’t alone: More than half of states in the U.S. had eugenics laws, some of which persisted into the 1970s.

North Carolina is now considering compensating its sterilization victims. A state panel heard from some of them Wednesday. They were mostly poor and uneducated — both black and white — and often just girls when it happened.

Elaine Riddick says she was sterilized at the age of 14.

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Kansas: The First Abortion-Free State?

abortion-masterKansas is apparently set to become conservative Christianity’s Mecca. Via Mother Jones:

If new guidelines from the Kansas health department are enforced, the last three abortion clinics in the state could be forced to shut their doors this summer. A court fight over the rules is almost inevitable. But anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue are already claiming success in making Kansas “the first abortion-free state.”

The state’s latest approach—with its remodeling requirements and so forth—is often referred to as “Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.” TRAP laws are intended to make it difficult, if not impossible, for clinics to operate, and they have become increasingly common around the country.

The new requirements require facilities to add extra bathrooms, drastically expand waiting and recovery areas, and even add larger janitor’s closets, as one clinic employee told me—changes that clinics will have a heck of a time pulling off by the deadline. Under the new rule, clinics must also aquire state certification to admit patients, a process that takes 90 to 120 days, the staffer explained.

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Libyan Woman Who Was ‘Gang-Raped By Gaddafi’s Troops’ Gets Charged With Slander

800px-Protesting_Libya_outside_the_White_House,_Washington,_D.C.

Photo: Ted (CC)

The Daily Mail reports:

The Libyan woman who was arrested after telling foreign journalists she had been gang-raped by Gaddafi’s troops has been charged, a government spokesman said today.

In a chaotic press conference, the official said Iman Al-Obeidi was being questioned by police – despite a promise that she had been returned to her family.

‘The accuser has now become the accused,’ he added, accusing her of a ‘grave offence’.

The spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, said the men accused by Iman al-Obeidi are now suing her. A son of a high ranking Libyan official was among those she claimed had raped her, he said.

‘The boys she accused are bringing a case against her because it’s a very grave offence to accuse someone of a sexual crime,’ he told reporters in the Libyan capital.

Miss Al-Obeidi was taken into custody after bursting into the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli in a dishevelled and desperate state.

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Egyptian Women Forced To Take ‘Virginity Tests’

Egyptian women waiting in line to vote on the 2011 Constitution ReferendumPhoto: Mona (CC)

Women in line to vote at 2011 Egyptian constitution referendum. Photo: Mona (CC)

Via Amnesty International:

Amnesty International has today called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate serious allegations of torture, including forced ‘virginity tests’, inflicted by the army on women protesters arrested in Tahrir Square earlier this month.

After army officers violently cleared the square of protesters on 9 March, at least 18 women were held in military detention. Amnesty International has been told by women protesters that they were beaten, given electric shocks, subjected to strip searches while being photographed by male soldiers, then forced to submit to ‘virginity checks’ and threatened with prostitution charges.

‘Virginity tests’ are a form of torture when they are forced or coerced.

“Forcing women to have ‘virginity tests’ is utterly unacceptable. Its purpose is to degrade women because they are women,” said Amnesty International. “All members of the medical profession must refuse to take part in such so-called ‘tests’.”

[Continues at Amnesty International]

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Mexican Activist Chavez Murdered

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez Photo: EPA

Susana Chavez, a human rights activist, was best known for her poetry and actions to help raise awareness of the violence towards women, especially in the border-city of Juarez. After years of activism, Chavez has fallen to the same violence she has fought against. Via Fox News Latino:

A poet and women’s rights activist was murdered in Ciudad Juarez, a gritty border metropolis that has become Mexico’s most violent city, officials and associates of the victim said.

Susana Chavez’s body was found last week, but it was not identified until Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Chavez’s left hand was chopped off and her body was dumped in a poor neighborhood in downtown Juarez, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said.

Chavez organized protests to draw attention to crimes against women in the border city and participated in poetry readings that she dedicated to murdered women.

[Continues at Fox News Latino]

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Text Alert When Your Female Leaves Saudi Arabia

Just in case mahrams, or male guardians, in Saudi Arabia needed a shorter leash. If you’re a man in Saudi and are worried about your woman leaving the country, well, there’s an app for that. Aside from the cultural aspect of gender segregation, this seems like a waste of technology for “keeping tabs” on women. The Guardian reports:

Want to know whether your wife, sister or daughter has left the county? Well, in Saudi Arabia, there’s an app for that. Reportedly, male guardians or mahrams in Saudi Arabia are now receiving text message notifications when their female charges leave the country unaccompanied. “iMahram”, a friend of mine jokingly called it.

According to Wajeha al-Huwaider, a Saudi female activist, when she left the kingdom for a holiday with her family, her husband received a text message from the foreign ministry notifying him that she had departed.

“It is sad how Saudis use technology in a way not intended to be used for,” she told The Media Line.

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