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6/10/2015 - Black Girls and Women No Longer Invisible in Police Violence Cases
McKinney TX police officer Eric Casebolt's violent attack on Dajerria Becton, a 15-year-old African American girl at a neighborhood pool party, which was captured on video, went immediately viral over the weekend. There is little data on police violence toward African American women and girls, which, according to the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) "There is a paucity of data in cases of police violence against Black women, which perpetuates the myth that they are not impacted by this problem." Yet we know that 12 African American women were reported killed by police in 2014, and this is only what is currently known....

6/9/2015 - Virginia's Abortion Clinics Renew Licenses Amidst Regulation Dispute
The Virginia Board of Health announced last week that all 18 abortion clinics in the state have renewed their licenses, despite anti-abortion efforts to place limitations on Virginia clinics. Virginia has issued a number of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws and regulations over the past few years, causing 13 of the state's 18 abortion clinics to fall under regulating violations....

6/9/2015 - Rana Plaza Victims Will Receive Compensation
After a two-year campaign for compensation for the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, the International Labour Organization has succeeded in securing $30 million in compensation. In April 2013 a multi-story building in Bangladesh that housed five garment factories and a shopping center collapsed, killing at least 1,127 workers and injuring another 2,500....

6/8/2015 - Organizations Urge the President to Reinterpret Helms Amendment and Aid Nigerian Refugees
Catholics for Choice in partnership with the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) launched a campaign last week in response to more than 200 girls raped and impregnated by Boko Haram members, urging President Obama to reinterpret the Helms Amendment to include abortion care. Over 400 women and children who were kidnapped by Boko Haram were returned earlier this year, many of whom are pregnant as the result of rape....

6/5/2015 - Senator Gillibrand Continues Fight for Military Justice Improvement Act
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) yesterday filed the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) as an amendment to the FY16 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)....

6/5/2015 - Medical Experts Are Challenging an Arizona Law that Forces Doctors to Lie to Women
Arizona health care providers filed a complaint in federal court yesterday challenging a recently passed state law requiring doctors to give patients false information, including that it may be possible to "reverse" a medical abortion. At issue is a provision in SB 1318, which passed 18 to 11 and is scheduled to take effect next month, that requires doctors to provide false information about medical abortions to those seeking abortion care....

6/4/2015 - Speier and Meehan Introduce HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act
Representatives Jackie Speier (D-CA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) today re-introduced the Hold Accountable and Lend Transparency (HALT) Campus Sexual Violence Act to strengthen efforts to combat the epidemic of sexual violence on college campuses. "We have to stop campus sexual assault in its tracks, " said Speier....

6/4/2015 - President Ghani Confirms: Four Women Ambassadors to be Appointed in Afghanistan
Ashraf Ghani, President of Afghanistan, announced that at least four women will be appointed as foreign diplomats, as well as made other promises for appointments of female government officials at varying levels of Afghanistan's government. Last week, the Office of the President of Afghanistan tweeted that "at least four women ambassadors will be appointed to represent Afghanistan as top diplomats abroad." The Office also released a promise to appoint one woman as a member of the High Council of the Supreme Court of Afghanistan. Earlier this year, in another attempt to increase the participation of women in the political arena, four women were successfully selected as ministers in the cabinet....

6/3/2015 - Groups Hold National Day of Action to Oppose "Fast Tracking" of TPP
Activist groups are hosting a National Call-in Day of Action today, asking individuals across the nation to call their Representatives in the U.S....

6/2/2015 - UN Conference for Climate Change Features Workshops on Gender and Climate
The annual United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change began yesterday in Bonn, Germany to discuss how to manage the scientific phenomenon of a changing climate and the effects it has on the Global South and women....

6/1/2015 - Murder Charges in Rana Plaza Garment Factory Collapse

Bangladeshi officials have charged 41 people with murder for the April 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed at least 1,127 workers, many of whom were young women....

6/1/2015 - Kansas House Passes Amendment to Abortion Bill
The Kansas House of Representatives passed a bill this weekend to slightly lessen Kansas women's access to abortion care....

5/30/2015 - This Seattle High School Just Changed the Face of Birth Control Access for Students
A public high school in Seattle will now be offering services for its students to provide long-lasting birth control, such as IUDs or hormonal implants, at the school-based health center. In 2009 the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended contraceptive implants and intrauterine devices as the most effective method of reducing unintended pregnancies for teens....

5/29/2015 - Appeals Court Rules Abortion Ban Past 12 Weeks Unconstitutional
The eight circuit Court of Appeals just ruled an Arkansas abortion ban at 12 weeks of pregnancy as unconstitutional, permanently blocking this extreme abortion ban. SB 134, which state legislators attempted to pass as a regulation, would ban all abortions past 12 weeks with very few exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or medical emergencies....

5/29/2015 - #SayHerName Protests Take Place in California and Across the Nation
Dozens of topless protesters stopped traffic in San Francisco last week on the National Day of Action for Black Women and Girls to protest the lack of national attention for black women killed by police brutality. The protesters blocked a popular intersection in San Francisco, California, with signs and body paint with messages like this one: "For the murdered, missing, silenced, abused, exploited, unseen." Similar protests have happened in other cities across the nation. Chinyere Tutashinda, founding member of the BlackOut Collective and a member of the local chapter of Black Lives Matter, explained the significance of protesting topless....

5/29/2015 - High School Student Wins International Award for Creating HIV Test
Nicole Ticea, a teen from Vancouver, Canada, won a top prize at the Intel International and Engineering Fair, the world's largest high school science research competition for her invention of a simple and low-cost HIV test. Ticea, who is just 16, created a simple and inexpensive HIV test that can be sold over-the-counter at very affordable rates....

5/27/2015 - California Passes Reproductive FACT Act
The California State Assembly passed the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act yesterday. AB 775, or the FACT Act, passed 48-25 in a vote, and requires that unlicensed facilities in California that provide pregnancy-related services disclose that they are not licensed medical providers....

5/26/2015 - Ireland Votes Overwhelmingly to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
Over the weekend, the people of Ireland voted overwhelmingly to pass a national referendum legalizing same-sex marriage. Ireland became the first country in the world to pass marriage equality through popular vote on Friday....

5/26/2015 - Maryland Governor Will Not Veto LGBT Rights Bills
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) has announced that he will not veto two pieces of legislation protecting LGBT rights passed by the state legislature in March, meaning they will soon become law. The Maryland General Assembly passed SB 743 / HB 862 and SB 416 / HB 838 by wide margins and with bipartisan support on March 24, after which both were sent to the Governor's desk....

5/22/2015 - New York Politicians, Advocates, and Activists Have Come Together to Protect Nail Salon Workers
Following a report by the New York Times on the exploitation of nail salon workers almost two weeks ago, New York state and city officials have partnered with advocates and volunteers to bring comprehensive educational programs and labor reforms to the 5,000 licensed salons in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who ordered emergency measures last week in the wake of the report - including posting workers' rights information in salons in different languages, shutting down unlicensed salons, implementing new safety requirements, and creating an educational campaign aimed at employees and managers - has introduced a legislative package aimed at building upon those reforms and leading the way for long-term protection for nail salon workers....

5/22/2015 - Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement
The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups....

5/20/2015 - New York Attorney General Moves to Expand Access to Contraceptives
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act of 2015 last week to enhance the availability of contraception for New Yorkers. The bill codifies the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) in New York state law while strengthening and expanding many of its provisions....

5/20/2015 - SLUT: The Play Performance Was a Call to Action for Consent Education
Last night, SLUT: The Play, a powerful play about the realities of sexual assault in high schools, was performed for thousands at the Warner Theatre in Washington DC. In attendance was Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, many advocates working to end sexual violence, and hundreds of local high school and college students....

5/19/2015 - Feminist Majority Foundation Honors Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan at Star-Studded Global Women's Rights Awards
The Feminist Majority Foundation honored award-winning television producers Shonda Rhimes and Jenji Kohan at the 10th annual Eleanor Roosevelt Global Women's Rights Awards in West Hollywood, California. Yesterday's Global Women's Rights awards, hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) and co-hosted by Mavis and Jay Leno, recognized Rhimes and Kohan as two of the most influential showrunners in television today....

5/18/2015 - The ACLU Takes on Gender Discrimination in Hollywood
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) filed a complaint and sent letters last week asking for federal and state civil rights agencies to investigate the massive gender discrepancies in the hiring of directors at all levels of the film and television industry. ACLU SoCal wrote letters to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with statistical evidence of the gross shortage of female directors represented in the film and television industry, accompanied with anecdotal accounts from 50 women directors....