Today’s Lady News: Is Nancy Pelosi The Most Powerful Woman In History?

  • After the passage of health care reform, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is being called the “most powerful woman in history” from a variety of media outlets, from The Economist to The Drudge Report. [NPR]
  • A breast cancer prevention slogan at a Polish hospital in Opole which reads “I check the breasts of my workers on my own” has upset women’s rights activists. [Reuters]
  • “Ugly Betty” star America Ferrera says she ignores criticism of her weight and thinks it’s “ridiculous” people even discuss it. Really, because people are criticizing the star of “Real Women Have Curves” for her … curves? [PopEater]
  • Lauren Book-Lim, 25, of Southern Florida, will walk 500 miles across the state next month as part of the “Walk in my Shoes” campaign designed to educate people about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Book-Lim herself was sexually abused by a female nanny from ages 10 to 16. She has since worked with her father, a Miami lobbyist, to push child protection legislation in Florida and founded a group called Lauren’s Kids. During her walk, Book-Lim will visit rape crisis centers and sexual assault treatment centers. [The Gainesville Sun]
  • Sara Granda, 30, a UC Davis law school graduate who is paralyzed from the neck down, has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a legal position at the Dept. of Health Care Services. [Sacramento Bee]
  • A 66-year-old Massachusetts woman was able to fight off an attacker with a rock when she was jumped in Kennedy Park, Fall River, on Sunday. The woman said she was warned by another woman of a suspicious car at the park, so she picked up a rock. When an intruder tried to force himself into her car as she was leaving, she fought him off by hitting him in the face with the rock. [My Fox Boston]
  • Carole Parsons, 38, of Lakewood, Washington, was killed last week during a counseling session with her ex-husband. Her ex, Charles Parsons, had asked her to break up with her boyfriend and reconcile with him. When she refused, her ex allegedly pulled out a gun and killed her. Parsons is survived by three children. [Seattle Times]
  • Arizona State Senators voted on Monday to bar minors from acquiring birth control prescriptions or treatment for STDs without parental permission. The new law will also require parental consent for sex ed courses. [Yuma Sun]
  • The Supreme Court rejected a challenge by anti-abortion activists on Monday to appeal a state-imposed protest-free zone of 35 feet around clinic entrances. The anti-abortion activists say the zone violates their right to free speech. [Sacramento Bee]
  • In Spartanburg, South Carolina, Councilman O’Neal Mintz received complaints from the local League of Women voters after he opened the March 15 town meeting with a prayer in which he said America’s problems can be attributed to abortion and that America needs prayer because of same-sex marriage. [WMBF]
  • A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has found that weight counseling combined with the smoking-cessation drug Zyban is the most effective way for women to quit smoking. [Palm Beach Post]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Hundreds of women rallied outside Yemen’s Parliament building today to show support for a ban on child brides. The law would make it illegal for girls younger than age 17 to be married. [BBC]
  • The government of Rwanda in Africa has been advised to re-instate 38 employees who were recently fired, allegedly after some of them refused sexual advances from their bosses. [AllAfrica.com]
  • The Los Angeles Times has an extremely interesting exposé on how divorce affects women in Pakistan, where there is currently no statute on domestic violence. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says as many as 90 percent of marriages may have violence in them, but women often risk losing everything if they divorce. [L.A. Times]
  • Hissa Hilal, a Saudi Arabian poet and housewife, is one of the contestants in a $1.3-million poetry contest on “Million’s Poet,” a show on Abu Dhabi state TV. Hilal’s poems are criticism of “evil” extremists and suicide bombers. [AFP]
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