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Today’s Lady News: U.S. Not The Best Place In The World For Mothers, Says Study

  • The United States is the 28th best place in the world for mothers and their children, according to Save The Children’s annual report, given our inconsistencies on maternity leave, restrictions on birth control, and maternal mortality rate. Norway, where maternity leave is mandated and birth control is easy to access, clocks in at number one on the Mothers Index, followed by Australia, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The worst offenders on the Mothers Index include Afghanistan, Yemen and Sudan. [USA Today]
  • Sunshine State News video caught Florida State Senator Mike Bennett looking at pornographic photos during a debate on an abortion bill. Sen. Bennett said he was “bored as they were debating the abortion bill,” but said he “clicked away from it right away.” I’m sorry, but a white male politician looking at porn while abortion rights are being debated is just the biggest cliche ever. [My Fox DC]
  • Paris has decided to lift a 1799 rule that forbade women from wearing “trousers” and made any woman who wished to “dress like a man” seek permission from the city’s police station. The French have tried to repeal the bill numerous times, to no avail, but recently 10 MPs submitted a draft bill to remove the no-women-in-pants law entirely. [Telegraph UK]

  • Nickie Antonio, a lesbian councilwoman, won the Democratic primary for District 13 in Ohio today. Antonio is expected to win during the election in November, where she would be the first openly gay person in Ohio’s state legislature. [SheWired]
  • The Kansas State Senate was unable to overrule Governor Mark Parkinson’s veto on a bill putting more restrictions on late-term abortion. The bill would have required that abortion providers provide specific reasons to the state health department for why a second- or a third-trimester abortion was needed, which abortion rights supporters said was a violation of privacy. [Kansas City Star]
  • The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has asked Governor Charlie Crist to veto a bill which will require a woman seeking an abortion to pay for an ultrasound of the fetus, which will be described to her by a doctor. [Miami Herald]
  • Police said five female students subdued a 45-year-old man who stabbed a woman at Husson University in Bangor, Maine, during a domestic fight. [AP]
  • Daron Nickens, 19, was arrested yesterday for attempting to kidnap at 10-year-old girl in Alamonte Springs, Florida, when he implied he had a gun and chased the girl as she ran away from him. In addition to numerous other arrests throughout his life, Nickens was arrested twice last year on misdemeanor battery charges for inappropriately touching women — once grabbing a woman’s butt and another time grabbing a woman’s butt and crotch. He pleaded no contest and was released on probation. Maybe if the justice system took sexual assaults more seriously … [Orlando Sentinel]
  • Blogger Yolanda Sangweni at Essence asks, Are we glamorizing celebrity single moms like Halle Berry and Sandra Bullock? [Essence]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Meet the Chosen Few, a lesbian soccer team in South Africa, which suffers from insults, violence and “corrective rape” by men who think they can “cure” lesbians. Members of the Chosen Few, which includes women who’ve been attacked, say they hope to release the stigma from black lesbians. [Reuters]
  • John Modi Jubek, a tribal chief in Juba, Sudan, told The Los Angeles Times how tall women are preferred in the dowry market. “Tall girls fetch more cattle because their daughters will quickly grow and can be married off to fetch even more cattle,” he said. “”A tall girl can command 60 to 100 cattle from a suitor. A short girl may get 20 head, and, sometimes, short girls overstay their welcome in the father’s home and end up fetching only five cattle. By then, a tall girl has already borne five children.” [L.A. Times]
  • Residents of Cornwall, Britian, are angered that 12 members of the Cornwall Council — 10 men and 2 women — have plans to visit a strip club for a “factfinding trip.” The politicians say they need to research current rules for strip clubs before new ones are introduced, but some citizens are balking at the idea this will be at the taxpayers’ expense. [Telegraph UK]
  • Meet the group Maiti Nepal, which fights to protect the women and girls of Nepal from sex trafficking. Anuradha Koirala, who runs a Maiti Nepal safehouse, says most traffickers trick families by telling them they will bring the girls to good jobs. Then they bring them to brothels, where they are often exposed to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. You can learn more at the Maiti Nepal website. [CNN]
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