Sunday, July 12, 2009

Suggested Sunday reading (7/12)

Lots to catch up on this week, as I've been out of town and/or away from the computer. Let's start with some international news:
  • Uganda says it will ban the practice of female genital mutilation. Read more background on the story here.
  • The Centre for Global Development conducted a study on gender-related policies of global AIDS/HIV programs and found that donors need to step up their efforts. According to the article, "Sixty-one percent of people living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa are women, up from about 33 percent in the 1980s."
  • Jordan has dropped the legal exemption for honor crimes, which often involve killing a woman in order to restore "honor" to a family. A state official said ""A crime is a crime. There will be no such things as honour crimes or exemptions for those who commit such crimes, because all people are equal before the law."
  • For the first time, three women in Ireland are challenging that country's strict abortion laws. Ireland outlaws all abortions except in the case of saving the mother's life. This is a story to keep an eye on; Ireland is one of the few "developed" countries with such strict laws. Here's a chart of abortion laws around the world, for comparison.
  • The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee has taken the first step toward permanently banning the global gag rule, which was rescinded by Obama soon after he took office. Read more here and here.
  • The Public Record has a commentary piece on domestic violence not being a valid reason for immigrants to seek asylum in the United States. The timeline in the article seems a little off to me, but the point stands. On a side note, check out this ad at a bus stop in Hamburg.

Good number of stories from around the U.S. as well:
  • President Jimmy Carter writes a column for the Guardian, "The words of God do not justify cruelty to women." It is an excellent column. The point is so obvious, but so many people don't want to hear it.
  • The New York Times Magazine has a great interview with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An excerpt:

Q: Now that Judge Sotomayor has been nominated, how do you feel about that?
GINSBURG: I feel great that I don’t have to be the lone woman around this place.
Q: What has that been like?
GINSBURG: It’s almost like being back in law school in 1956, when there were 9 of us in a class of over 500, so that meant most sections had just 2 women, and you felt that every eye was on you. Every time you went to answer a question, you were answering for your entire sex. It may not have been true, but certainly you felt that way. You were different and the object of curiosity.
  • The 9th U.S. Court of Appeals has sent a case involving pharmacists in the state of Washington not distributing the morning-after pill back to federal court: "A federal judge overreached when he sided with religious-freedom arguments to block Washington state's rules mandating the sale of "morning-after" birth control, appeals judges said."
  • NPR has a story about sexism and Wimbledon. Yes, Anna Kournikova is mentioned.
  • Brand X has a story about girls and Comic-Con, with some good links in it. (The L.A. Times gallery reminds me of when Wolverine came out, and woman after woman said they were going to see it just because of Hugh Jackman. The movie was actually marketed to women that way. Ick.) And speaking of comics, Supergirl's underwear won't be showing anymore.

  • I haven't yet watched the Bill Moyers' interview with Wendell Potter, who used to work for Cigna, but I plan to. According to Daily Kos, Potter basically admits that every bad thing people think about the health insurance industry is true. Oh, and "Sicko" was spot-on.
  • Finally, if you need something to make you shake your head, check out Andrew Sullivan's round-up of Sarah Palin lies.

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