Today’s Lady News: Muslim Women Protest At Sex-Segregated Mosque

  • A group of Muslim women at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C., risked arrest on Sunday when they staged a “pray-in” in the main area of the mosque, which is usually reserved for men. The all-female group of Muslims first tried to share the main area at a “pray-in” in February and this Sunday, they once again pushed themselves into the men-only prayer area. The mosque’s imam interrupted the prayer and police arrived minutes later. [AFP]
  • Gay and lesbian couples are at last allowed to legally marry in Washington, D.C. The District began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples last Tuesday. [Washington Post]
  • Blogger Dayo Olopade at The Root asks: Why are there so few black women politicians? [The Root]

  • A North Carolina man has been charged with raping a woman on Saturday and using a box cutter to carve the word “mine” into her stomach. Disgusting. [Fox News]
  • Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert signed a bill yesterday that will allow a woman who arranges an illegal abortion to be charged with murder. That same bill previously sought to criminalize miscarriages from “reckless” and “intentional” means, but was rewritten after a public outcry. The genus for the bill was a case last year in which a 17-year-old girl paid a man $150 to beat her up and end her pregnancy. [Salt Lake Tribune] ***NOTE: This item has been corrected to state that women who arrange illegal abortions will be charged with murder.
  • The abortion pill, also known as RU-486, is safe for women who are 50 to 63 days pregnant, a study at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm has found. Previous studies only confirmed the abortion pill’s safety up to 49 days of pregnancy. [Reuters]
  • After Mo’Nique’s Oscar night win, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times asks when black women will finally be cast in positive roles on film. [Chicago Sun-Times]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Lloyds pharmacy in Sheffield, U.K., is under investigation after a female pharmacist refused to fill a prescription for birth control pills for 38-year-old Janine Deeley on “religious grounds.” Deeley, a mother of two, said she takes the pills for endometriosis and was taken to a private room by an employee and told she had to return another day when a different pharmacist was working to get her prescription. [UKPA]
  • Pakistan sentenced four men to life in prison for burying two women alive who dared to marry men against the wishes of their tribal elders in July 2008. [BBC]
  • Taiwan’s Council of Labor Affairs announced yesterday that employers who fire employees who ask for pregnancy leave will be subject to a hefty fine. [China Post]
  • Lawmakers in India approved a “women’s reservation” bill today that will set a quota of one-third seats for women in its national legislature and all its state assemblies. [Washington Post]
  • An anti-abortion protest in Madrid, Spain, drew thousands of protesters on Sunday. A new law recently passed in Spain which will allow a woman to abort up to 14 weeks. Previously, abortion was criminalized except in cases of rape or risk of life to the mother. [New York Times]
  • The Lothians in Scotland recently launched a program which will help teen moms through pregnancy and the first two years of the child’s life. Under the program, a nurse will visit the child’s home every week or two to offer parenting advice. [BBC]
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