Search Feminist News by keyword
The Florida House of Representatives passed an abortion measure last Thursday that would outlaw abortion based on the sex or race of the fetus. HB 845, "Termination of Pregnancy Based on Sex or Race of Unborn Child," passed on what anti-choice activists have declared "Right to Life" day on a vote of 71 to 44.
The bill's sponsor, Representative Charles Van Zant (R) from Keystone Heights, who is white, stated that abortion groups target black women. "In America alone - without the Nazi Holocaust, without the Ku Klux Klan - Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have reduced our black population by more than 25 percent since 1973," Van Zant told the House.
Despite Van Zant's assertion that the legislation was to prevent what he called "discriminatory targeting," many black Representatives were offended during the debate and a few even left the proceedings. Representative Barbara Watson (D) of Miami chose to leave. She later told the Huffington Post, "I don't appreciate anyone trying to explain what any other ethnic group's lifestyle is and what they do, when you really don't have any authority to interpret it. I think the women and people of color in that chamber deserve an apology from him, but I don't know that it would actually change his point of view."
4/22/2013 - Arrests made in Delhi Child Rape Case
Two men thought to have played a part in the abduction and rape of a five year old girl in New Delhi are now in custody. One suspect was taken in by police on Saturday, when he alleged the involvement of a second man. That second man was taken into custody today.
As for the victim, she is reportedly healing. "We are trying to control the infection and she is responding well," said DK Sharma, chief of the hospital where the girl is being treated, "it will take at least two weeks to discharge her." She can now eat semi-solid foods and drink liquids.
The girl was allegedly kidnapped on April 15th by a neighbor. She was discovered after another neighbor heard crying and called the authorities. She was admitted with injuries to her face and chest wall, and bruises on her neck that could indicate strangulation.
Protests that erupted outside the hospital in response to the assault continue today. Since the brutal gang rape and death of a 23-year-old medical student in India, protests have sparked across India, the world's largest democracy, where a woman is estimated to be raped every twenty minutes, with Delhi being labeled the "rape capital" of the country, according to the Associated Press. Huge protests and demonstrations have voiced anger regarding the treatment of women in India and calling for tougher laws on violence against women.
4/22/2013 - Global Heroes Honored in LA
An Afghan rapper. The founder of the first primary school for girls in a Kenyan village. A trailblazing member of Congress who fights to create an AIDS-free generation. An advocate for women's and children's rights and empowerment.
Tonight in Los Angeles, the Feminist Majority Foundation (publisher of Ms.) will award these four women with its 8th annual Global Women's Rights Awards, celebrating their hard-fought accomplishments for girls and women on the world stage.
The rapper--considered to be Afghanistan's first woman at the mic--is Soosan Firooz. Though facing death threats, she continues to use music to speak out against the injustices and violence faced by women and girls in Afghanistan. Through her performance and bravery, Soosan has brought attention to the need for peace-building in Afghanistan. Check out a video report on her.
The school founder is Kakenya Ntaiya, a tireless advocate for the education and empowerment of girls. The first woman in her Kenyan village of Enoosaen to leave and attend college in the U.S., she returned to her homeland in 2009 to establish The Kakenya Center for Excellence, which finally allowed girls in her village to attend primary school there. National Geographic has honored Kakenya as an Emerging Explorer and CNN named her one of its CNN Heroes. Check out her wonderful TEDX talk.
The congressperson is Rep.Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a leading feminist in the House and a critical voice for the worldï¿½s women and girls, who remain disproportionately affected by the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Lee conceived of and co-authored the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth Act.
And the advocate for women's and children's human rights is Cheryl Saban, who was recently a member of the U.S. delegation to the 57th U.N. Commission on the Status of Women and was appointed by President Obama to be the U.S. representative to the 67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Saban--a psychologist, author and philanthropist--has just announced a groundbreaking partnership between UN Women and her Women's Self Worth Foundation to work for women's empowerment and gender equality.
We'll be live-tweeting from the event tonight @msmagazine under the hashtag #fmfgala. Join us for a discussion with these amazing women and FMF president Eleanor Smeal!
4/19/2013 - ND Judge Overturns Medical Abortion Ban
A North Dakota Judge has overturned a 2011 law that restricted drug-induced abortions yesterday, citing it as unconstitutional. East Central Judicial District Judge Wickham Corwin stated that, "I remain convinced that a woman's reproductive rights must be protected under the state constitution and must be recognized as fundamental," at the end of the three day civil trial.
The legislation, House Bill 1297, outlawed the use of medication for the intent of ending a pregnancy, despite this being a safe and common alternative to surgical abortions. The case was originally brought to court in July of 2011 by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), representing the Red River Women's clinic, the only women's clinic in North Dakota currently providing abortion services.
Nancy Northrup, the president and CEO of The Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), said of the ban, "These efforts to keep North Dakota women from the best available medical care and deny them their right to make their own decisions about their pregnancies, their families, and their futures are not only disingenuous, but wholly unconstitutional."
4/19/2013 - Senate Rejects Gun Control Bill
The Senate rejected a bill that would have expanded the scope of background checks for potential gun owners on Wednesday. In a speech following the defeat, President Obama cited conservative control of the Senate as the reason for the loss: "A few minutes ago, 90% of Democrats in the Senate just voted for [gun control]. But it's not going to happen because 90% of Republicans in the Senate just voted against that idea." One senator, Joe Manchin, (D-WV), recently suggested that his fellow members were inclined to vote the bill down because of political pressure from the National Rifle Association.
Multiple sources agree that 90 percent of Americans approve of universal background checks and more stringent requirements for gun owners in general. Vice President Joe Biden explained Wednesday's outcome despite that fact with a quote from a conversation he had with a Congressperson: "that 10 percent who doesn't agree [with gun control], they are going to show up. Theyâ€™re going to show up and vote." The Washington Post reports that NRA members and other anti-gun control advocates visit their representatives with more frequency than pro-gun control individuals.
In anticipation of heightened efforts by the pro-gun control lobby, a representative from the organization stated "we are prepared for a very long war and a very expensive war."
The National Rifle Association and its supporters have been active in opposing gun control measures since December 2012. In response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, CEO Wayne LaPierre called for protective measures in the form of armed sentinels in schools and other public places, not limitations on who can and cannot purchase arms. He said gun control legislation violates the Second Amendment.
4/19/2013 - Five Year Girl in Critical Condition After Rape
A five year old girl is in critical condition after being allegedly kidnapped and raped in Delhi, India.
The girl was allegedly kidnapped on Monday by a neighbor. She was discovered after a neighbor heard crying and called the authorities. She was admitted with injuries to her face and chest wall, and bruises on her neck that could indicate strangulation.
Protests have erupted outside the hospital in response to the assault. Since the brutal gang rape and death of a 23-year-old female medical student in India, protests have been sparked across India, the world's largest democracy, where a woman is estimated to be raped every twenty minutes, with Delhi being labeled the "rape capital" of the country, according to the Associated Press. Huge protests and demonstrations have voiced anger regarding the treatment of women in India and calling for tougher laws on violence against women.
Yesterday, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to legalize same-sex marriage. The bill passed in a vote of 77 to 44 during its third and final reading, despite mounting opposing from Christian lobby groups, and is expected to go into effect in four months.
Lousia Wells, the bill's sponsor, released a statement saying she was "very proud to be a member of a Parliament that has voted overwhelmingly to give New Zealanders, regardless of their sex, sexual orientation or gender, the right to marry." A member of the rival party, Prime Minister John Key, also vocalized support for the bill. Key told reporters "In my view, marriage is a very personal thing between two individuals... And, in the end, this is part of equality in modern-day New Zealand."
Hundreds of couples celebrated outside of parliament after the bill was passed. One of the people celebrating told reporters, "For us, we can now feel equal to everyone else... This means we can feel safe and fair and right in calling each other wife and wife." Opinion polls show that roughly two thirds of New Zealand citizens support same-sex marriage, although other polls had this number closer to 50%.
New Zealand is now the 13th country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Last week, Uruguay passed a bill legalizing same sex marriage, which is expected to be signed into law by President Jose Mujica.
On Wednesday, an anti-choice collation of Washington state Senators blocked a motion to bring the Reproductive Parity Act to the floor for debate. The bill, which has already passed in the state House and has the Governor's support, would require that any insurance plan that covers maternity care must also cover abortion care as part of it. The vote suggests that the RPA will not be brought to the floor this legislative season.
State Senator Karen Keiser (D-Kent), sponsor of the bill, was angered by the fact that the state Senate leadership had not allowed the bill to come to a vote, especially when she believed they would have the necessary support. State Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler (Ritzville) led the move to block discussion, arguing that Keiser was "impugning" her fellow legislators. Keiser and fellow Democrats were also accused by state Senator Don Benton (R-Vancouver) of trying to force Republican leaders to bring an ill colleague, Mike Carroll, to come into the chamber and jeopardize his health.
On Wednesday, the Louisiana state Senate Health and Welfare Committee approved a bill that would prohibit the use of telemedicine for abortion care. The bill now goes before the Senate.
Senate Bill 90 would require a physician to be physically present in the room with a woman who is seeking a medical abortion when she takes the medication. This often significantly reduces the availability for women to have access to medical abortion in rural areas where the nearest abortion clinic is hundreds of miles away. The bill's sponsor, Senator Fred Mills (R-Breaux Bridge), says the bill is meant to be a preventative measure and is unaware of any telemedicine abortions being performing in Louisiana.
The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed new legislation yesterday that would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a local hospital within thirty miles. The bill was proposed by Senator Larry Taylor (R) of Galveston.
"Requiring hospitals to credential and grant privileges to doctors who provide outpatient services is time consuming and expensive for the hospital," said Stacy Wilson, a representative of the Texas Hospital Association. A potential issue with the legislature is that many hospitals have a religious affiliation and would not grant admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions.
Similar TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) laws requiring hospital admitting privileges have been passed in Mississippi and Alabama. The bill in Alabama was signed into law by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley last week. In Mississippi, the sole abortion clinic in the state has been trying to gain admitting privileges at local area hospitals to comply with a 2012 law, but has been denied by every hospital within a 30 mile radius. The state was trying to close the clinic when a federal judge extended a temporary injunction that prevents the state from closing the clinic until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state of Mississippi.
4/17/2013 - NH State Representative Reduces Women to Vaginas
New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Hansen (R) is being critized for an e-mail he sent to fellow representative Steve Vaillancourt (R) in which he used the word "vaginas" to refer to women. In an email conversation among the state legislators about a controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, Vaillancourt had been advocating retreating when a physical threat is posed, and resorting to deadly force only when pursued after that point. Hansen countered his argument by saying "What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina's of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims," emphasis added.
Multiple representatives who viewed the e-mail responded angrily, admonishing Hansen for his terminology. State Rep. Rick Watrous(D-Concord) replied "Are you really using 'vaginas' as a crude catch-all for women? Really? Please think before you send out such offensive language on the legislative listserve."
A speaker from NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire made the comment "[Women] are daughters, sisters, mothers, students, professionals, and community leaders. We deserve more than being referenced by our body parts."
Hansen's initially defended his wording: "Having a fairly well educated mind I do not need self appointed wardens to A: try to put words in my mouth for political gain and B: Turn a well founded strategy in communication into an insulting accusation, and finally if you find the noun vagina insulting or in some way offensive then perhaps a better exercise might be for you to re-examine your psyche." He later issued an apology "to those who took offense."
4/17/2013 - STOP Act Reintroduced in Congress
At a press conference this morning, Congresswomen Jackie Speier (D-CA) announced that she is reintroducing the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to address sexual assault in the military.
In an official statement, Speier said "The epidemic of military rape and sexual assault is a damning indictment of the military judicial system's treatment of these cases. True justice demands impartiality which is absent in a system that relies on individual commanders who have no legal expertise to determine which assailants get prosecuted and which go free. Instead of commanders making decisions about guilt or innocence, no matter how senior, an independent military office of trained experts should determine how these cases are treated."
At the press conference, Feminist Majority Government Relations Director, Norma Gattsek, said "The military structure for the handling of sexual assault is, in itself, a barrier to real justice. The atmosphere and the treatment of survivors deter them from reporting crimes and the perpetrators continue unabated. For all too many, it has meant leaving work they love, they are trained to do and that they do well. This is our loss."
The STOP Act, which has 83 co-sponsors, would take sexual assault cases out of the hands of chains of command and place it under the jurisdiction of an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office which will be comprised of civilian and military personnel. This would prevent officers from being able to overturn sexual assault convictions like in a case last month.
4/16/2013 - Mississippi Clinic Wins Injunction On License
Jackson Women's Health Organization, the last abortion clinic in Mississippi, won a temporary injunction yesterday against a 2012 law that threatened to shut its doors.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III extended a temporary injunction that prevents the state from closing the clinic as it tries to come into compliance with a 2012 law requiring all doctors who perform abortions at the clinic to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. The injunction was extended until the constitutionality of the law can be determined in a current pending lawsuit against the state. So far, no hospital within 30 miles of the clinic has granted admitting privileges to any of the doctors.
In his opinion, Judge Jordan wrote "Closing its doors would - as the state seems to concede in this argument - force Mississippi women to leave Mississippi to obtain a legal abortion... [This] would result in a patchwork system where constitutional rights are available in some states but not others."
The Senate is scheduled to debate the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013 (S. 649) today, which would require background checks for all firearm purchases and strengthen existing regulations on gun sales.
However, it is unsure whether the bill will get enough votes to pass. Sponsor and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was struggling to get the necessary votes in a whip count on Monday. Currently only four Republicans - John McCain (AZ), Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME), and Kelly Ayotte (NH) - have agreed to support the bill. Three Democrats have said they are still reviewing the proposal and would not commit to supporting the bill until after they had finished. Three others have not taken a position.
4/16/2013 - Saudi Prince Supports Women Driving
Prince AlWaleed bin Talal announced his support for allowing women in Saudi Arabia to drive on Sunday via Twitter.
Bin Talal, nephew of King Abdullah, argued that allowing women drivers would benefit the Saudi economy and reduce the country's dependence on foreign labor. He tweeted "(The question of) women driving will result in dispensing with at least 500,000 foreign drivers, and that has an economic and social impact for the country." Currently, Saudi Arabia has approximately nine million foreign workers, which has prompted a nationwide crackdown on illegal immigration.
While it is not explicitly illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, many religious edicts are interpreted to prohibit women from gaining the local licenses required to drive. In June 2011, women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets to demand the right to drive as part of the "Women 2 Drive" campaign, posting videos and pictures of themselves behind the wheel.
4/15/2013 - GA Governor Refuses to Support Integrated Prom
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R-GA) refuses support a group of four students who are trying to racially integrate their high school prom.
When asked by a progressive non-profit organization to come out in support of desegregating Wilcox County High School's prom, the Governor issued a statement discarding the request as a political ploy. Governor Deal's spokesperson wrote in a statement, "This is a leftist front group for the state Democratic party and we're not going to lend a hand to their silly publicity stunt." However, three conservative state representatives have come out in support of the desegregation.
Four high school students from Wilcox County High School are currently pushing to have one integrated prom. In the past, the county has put on two proms: one that is racially integrated and one exclusively for white students. A biracial student who attempted to attend the white prom last year was escorted off the premises by police. Since the proms are not funded through the school, but instead are privately funded by supporters in the county, it is legal to have separate, segregated prom events.
A bill that would remove abortion coverage from Pennsylvania's new federal health care program passed in a state Senate committee last Tuesday. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee passed the bill on a vote of eight to five.
"Under the Federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, states have the authority to prohibit certain abortion coverage made available in these taxpayer subsidized health plans and we intend to exercise that authority," committee chairman Senator Don White (R-Indiana) said in a press release. "I want to make this clear, Senate Bill 3 does not ban abortions, nor does it bar insurance coverage offered in the private sector from covering abortions. This legislation extends our existing law on the use of taxpayer dollars for elective abortions to health insurance exchanges." However, the bill does not provide an alternative to state-funded insurance coverage, leaving women to pay out of pocket for separate insurance that could cover abortion procedures.
The House is currently reviewing a similar measure. In the last legislative session, both the Pennsylvania House and Senate approved similar bills, but could not resolve the difference between the bills.
Representative Steve Stockman of Texas (R) has released a controversial new bumper sticker and slogan for his re-election campaign: "If babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. Vote Pro-Life!" Stockman's slogan gained attention when he used Twitter to publicize his new slogan last Friday on his @ReElectStockman account. His previous account, @SteveStockmanTX, has been suspended by Twitter.
Stockman refers to himself as "the most conservative congressman in Texas" and often uses shock value to create controversy surrounding his main issues of anti-choice and pro-gun legislation. In the past, he has compared President Obama to Saddam Hussein and has suggested impeachment of the president if there were executive orders made on gun control.
694 provisions affecting abortion and family planning access have been introduced in state legislatures since the beginning of 2013.
According to a first quarter report by the Guttmacher Institute, these 694 provisions were introduced in the first three months of the new year. In addition, 93 provisions have already been approved by at least one legislative body in their state. Approximately 47% of the provisions that have been introduced seek to restrict abortion access.
Guttmacher writes in the report, "During the first three months of 2013, legislators in 14 states introduced provisions seeking to ban abortion prior to viability...Legislators in 10 states have introduced proposals that would ban all, or nearly all, abortions. In eight states (AL, IA, MS, ND, OK, SC, VA and WA), legislators have proposed defining 'personhood' as beginning at conception; if adopted, these measures would ban most, if not all, abortions." Lawmakers in eight states (AL, AR, IA, IN, MO, MS, NC and TX) have introduced legislation that would severely restrict access to medical abortions, or abortion by pill.
2012 saw the second highest number of anti-choice provisions enacted in a year on record. The highest was in 2011 with 93 provisions restricting abortion access enacted. However, these totals reflect provisions enacted during a calendar year, not legislative session. When considering the 2011-2012 legislative session, 136 anti-choice provisions were enacted.
4/12/2013 - Senate Breaks Filibuster on Gun Control Bill
The Senate ended a Republican filibuster Thursday that was preventing debate on President Obama's gun control legislation, which would expand background checks and tighten gun restrictions.
In a vote of 68-31, 16 Republicans joined Democrats in bringing the legislation to the Senate floor for debate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told reporters after the vote that "the hard work starts now." Pro-gun legislators are expected to add multiple amendments in an attempt to weaken the legislation or prevent it from passing.
On Wednesday, Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA) introduced a bill that includes lesser restrictions than the bill proposed by President Obama. Despite the changes, President Obama applauded the bi-partisan effort. In a written statement President Obama said "This is not my bill...[But] we don't have to agree on everything to know that we've got to do something to stem the tide of gun violence."
4/12/2013 - Virginia Approves TRAP Laws
The Virginia Board of Health, in a vote of 11 to 2 gave final approval to new regulations on abortion clinics. Opponents of the laws claim that these new regulations will force most of Virginia's 20 abortion clinics to close.
During the hearings, the board listened to arguments from roughly 30 people on either side of the issue. The new law will require any clinic that performs more than five abortions a year to meet the same building regulations as new hospitals.
While supporters of the law claim that the regulations are to protect women's health, clinics and women's rights advocates argue that the regulations are designed to force abortion clinics to close as part of an ideological agenda.
Yesterday, thousands of people rallied in front of the Capitol in Washington, DC, in favor of comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for those already living inside the United States.
The rally, called Citizenship for 11 Million, drew attendees from across the country to send a message to Congress and the White House that immigration reform must include a path to citizenship for 11 million people who are currently in the country illegally. Attendees held signs in English and Spanish saying "The Time is Now!" as well as shouted chants like "Si se puede!" Others held American flags and flags of their home countries or nationalities.
For many, the rally was personal - directly involving family members. One attendee who held a sign "I am a Deported Man's Wife" told ABC News, "When [my husband's] deportation happened in 2001, people were protesting, but not in the national dialogue the way it is now, so it is deeply emotional for me... I'm not putting any hopes on seeing the reform that I would like, but at least these people are engaged in the dialogue."
Meanwhile, the Gang of Eight, a bipartisan group of eight senators working on immigration, were originally supposed to introduce their legislation this week. However, they announced on Wednesday that the introduction would have to be delayed to make room for the gun control debate. But Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) took the time to speak at the rally. He addressed the crowd, "[Immigration reform] is in the nation's interest, in the economic interests of the United States and in the security interests of the United States."
Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, warned members of Union of Orthodox Ukrainian Women that feminism is "very dangerous" and could threaten the stability of Russia.
According to new agencies, Patriarch Kirill told the meeting, "I consider this phenomenon called feminism very dangerous, because feminist organizations proclaim the pseudo-freedom of women, which, in the first place, must appear outside of marriage and outside of the family."
"Man has his gaze turned outward - he must work, make money - and woman must be focused inwards, where her children are, where her home is," he continued. "If this incredibly important function of women is destroyed then everything will be destroyed - the family and, if you wish, the motherland." He continued, "It's not for nothing that we call Russia the motherland."
Patriarch Kirill has become a close ally of Vladimir Putin. The connection between Putin and the Church was challenged by the feminist punk band Pussy Riot in their iconic performance that garnered international attention. Three members of Pussy Riot were arrested and found guilty of "hooliganism" for the performance. Though one member was freed on appeal, the remaining two must serve a two year sentence in prison. Earlier this year, one member was sent to the hospital because of what her lawyer is concerned may be a new health problem that has developed since beginning her sentence.
A new report shows that women in New York City are 30% more likely to die as a result of childbirth than they were over a decade ago. The report [PDF] produced by the Center for Research and Policy in the Public Interest and published by The New York Women's Foundation looked at the economic, educational, and health conditions for New York women in the 59 city districts.
The results show that the rates of maternal mortality have sharply increased for women of color and low-income communities, specifically black women and in the Bronx and Morrisiana neighborhoods. Black women had a maternal mortality rate of 79 deaths per every 100,000 live births, almost double the rate of 40 deaths per 100,000 live births from ten years ago. In contrast, white women only experienced a rate of 10 deaths per every 100,000 live births.
C. Nicole Mason, the author of the report, told reporters that the increase in deaths was most likely the result of poor prenatal and postpartum care, in addition to a higher rate of c-sections, and other health factors. "We really need to think about how women in poor communities are treated from the time they become pregnant until they deliver, and whether they're getting the health care they deserve," she said.
In addition, the report found a disproportionate rate of new HIV infections in the city occur among black women and Latinas. Black women comprise 65% of new HIV infections in New York City, while Latinas are 30% of new infections. Ana Oliveira, president of the New York Women's Foundation, told reporters that stigma contributes to the discouraging figures. "There is a lot of fear and stigma," she said. "People not only have to deal with the physical reality, but the social stigma. It delays people seeking care."
Earlier this month, Hamas released a new set of restrictions that will sex segregate co-ed classrooms in Gaza. The law passed by Hamas, the Islamic group that rules the Palestinian territory, states that classes must be divided by gender beginning at age nine and also bans male teachers from girls' schools. Government run schools within Gaza have previously been separated by gender. The law will take effect with the new academic year in September and is expected to mostly effect private institutions, including the few Christian and international schools in Gaza.
A member of the education committee and Hamas lawmaker, Yousef Al-Sherafi, said in an interview: "This law is a safety valve for our national principles... One male staffer among 20 female teachers in a girls' school would not allow our sisters to feel comfortable."
The Center for Women's Legal Research and Consulting, the only legal-aid organization for women in Gaza, warned that the law is "based on a culture of discrimination against women, by reinforcing gender separation which takes our society back to ancient times when there was no respect for women's rights and women were eliminated from public life."