Today’s Lady News: Saudi Woman To Get 300 Lashes For Court Appearance Without A Man

  • A Saudi Arabian woman named Sawsam Salim has been sentenced to 300 lashes and one and a half years in jail for appearing in court without a male chaperone and filing complaints against government officials who harassed her for doing so. Salim first appeared in court unchaperoned in 2004 requesting to get her husband, who could have been such a chaperone, out of prison. In Saudi Arabia, all women and girls must be accompanied by a male guardian to conduct public business. [Ms. Magazine]
  • Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) appeared on “Good Morning America” today and announced that he and 11 other House Democrats will not vote for Obama’s health care reform bill unless more restrictions are put on abortion coverage. Stupak is a sponsor of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which was attached to the House version of the health care bill and is explained in full here. [Mediaite]

  • Current trends suggest that the U.S. maternal mortality rate — the number of women who die within weeks of giving birth — is on the rise. [ABC News]
  • A bill that would have criminalized Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) in Mississippi was defeated yesterday in the state’s House of Representatives. [Reproductive Health Reality Check]
  • Convicted sex offender John Albert Gardner III has been charged with killing and either raping or attempting to rape Chelsea King, a 17-year-old from California whose body was found earlier this week. Gardner faced 11 years in prison after he was found guilty of molesting a 13-year-old neighbor at his home, but the judge took the prosecutor’s recommendation and he only served six. [AP]
  • The U.S. government’s Small Business Administration has proposed a rule which would finally implement a 2000 law which was intended to increase the number of federal contracts issued to women-owned businesses. [New York Times]
  • In honor of Women’s History Month, Library Journal has a list of 27 graphic novels about women! [Library Journal]


  • Navi Pillay, the United Nations’ top human rights official, condemned so-called “honor killings” and domestic violence today, noting that one in three women across the world has been beaten, raped or otherwise abused. [Washington Post]
  • Male hairdressers in Gaza will be banned from salons where women get their hair done, the group Hamas has vowed. It is Muslim tradition for women to not show their hair to men outside their family. [BBC]
  • The government of Quebec has indicated it will introduce regulations regarding Muslim women wearing face-covering veils in public, based on the case of an Egyptian woman living in Quebec who was expelled from a French class for wearing a niqab veil. []
  • Women in Japan have been getting skinnier over the past three decades, despite the fact women in America have shot up in weight. Experts say it is other Japanese women who are responsible for pressuring each other to keep slim. [Washington Post]
  • Benjamin Wilkins, 37, a former producer of BBC London, was sentenced to eight months for videotaping sex with five women against their knowledge in 2005. Wilkins was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years. [New York Daily News]

Read yesterday’s Today’s Lady News: D.C. Grants First Marriage License To A Lesbian Couple