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Today’s Lady News: 13-Year-Old “Bride” Dies After Arranged Marriage

  • OK, this is a sad one: a spokesperson for Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights says a 13-year-old girl in Yemen died of severe bleeding to her genitals four days after an arranged marriage. Question: why does the AP not use the words “sexual assault” once in this article? Recently a religious decree in Yemen forbade the marriage of girls younger than 17 years old, which prompted top Islamic leaders there to declare supporters of the ban “apostates.” [AP]
  • The City Council of Austin, Texas, ruled this morning that so-called “crisis-pregnancy centers” that don’t offer or refer women to abortion or birth control services must post signs on their premises clarifying this. Supporters of abortion rights say CPCs, which are not medical clinics, are often located near actual abortion clinics and try to dissuade women from terminating their pregnancies. [Austin American-Statesman]

  • The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy, a Catholic drug store in Chantilly, Virginia, which opened in October 2008 refusing to sell birth control, condoms, and porn, has closed. Instead, the pharmacy offered booklets on “natural family planning”! Alas, DMC’s executive director told The Washington Times the pharmacy “couldn’t make it work financially.” [NBC Washington]
  • Novartis, the Swiss drug company, was in court today battling a sex discrimination lawsuit. The company is accused of discriminating against 5,600 female salespeople and creating a “glass ceiling,” denying them promotions and equal pay. An attorney for women in the suit said 14 alleged victims of discrimination will take the stand, including one woman who said her district manager showed female employees porn and asked them to sit on his lap. Attorneys for Novartis deny any sexual discrimination took place. [AP]
  • A Nebraska bill requiring women to get mental health screening before having an abortion looks set to become law. Because, you know, if you want an abortion, you must be crazy! [Columbus Telegram]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Lawmakers in Pakistan hope to pass a law in Parliament criminalizing domestic violence, which would punish spouses for physical assault, emotional abuse, stalking, wrongful confinement, and depriving money or resources. The proposed law would cover everyone from wives to husbands to elderly parents to children. Islamic lawmakers in Parliament have objected to the law, saying it will ruin the family structure. [AP]
  • Kate Caithness of Scotland has been elected the first female president of the World Curling Federation. [Bangkok Post]
  • Lawyers for Caster Semenya, the intersex (hermaphrodite) runner from South Africa, said she is clear to compete as a woman in future races. [New York Times]
  • Meet Queen Hajiya Haidzatu Ahmed, of Kumbwada, Nigeria. She’s the lucky lady who reigns after a curse has assured only women will sit atop the throne. Elsewhere in the Islamic northern part of Nigeria, women are forbidden from ruling. “[Women] rule as effectively as men, sometimes even better than men,” says the Queen. Such as? “When domestic issues come to me, the way I treat them will be quite different to other traditional chiefs,” she explained. “I’m a woman and I’m a mother and I have so much concern and experience when it comes to the issue of marriage and what it means for the maintenance of the home and what it means for two people to live together.” [Los Angeles Times]
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