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Iranian American comic Negin Farsad doesn't always feel the love when she's doing her stand-up routine. And some of the toughest reactions to her comedy have come from fellow Muslims.

It’s been six months since a law went into effect that changes the rules for judicial bypasses – that's when a judge allows a minor to have an abortion without getting consent or notifying an adult. These bypasses are mostly sought by young women who fear abuse or can’t locate a parent or guardian. Advocates say this legal tool is vital to the young women who use it. But, since a law passed last year, it’s been harder than ever to get them.


If you've been following the Democratic presidential contest, you might be wondering how it is possible that Bernie Sanders seems to have all the energy and enthusiasm and, yet, Hillary Clinton is way ahead in the race to the nomination.

A listener named Gerard Allen wrote into the NPR Politics Podcast with an observation:

During a recent speech before the National Rifle Association, Donald Trump was explicit about the voters he's reaching out to: "I will say, my poll numbers with men are through the roof, but I like women more than men. Come on, women. Let's go. Come on."

Author Lindy West lives in Seattle.
Photo by Jenny Jimenez / http://photojj.com

Jeannie Yandel talks to Seattle writer Lindy West about her new book, "Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman." In it West talks about how she found her voice, reclaimed the word "fat" and began fighting misogyny on the internet. 

Roberta Siao, a Brazilian immigrant in London, found that her dual status as a foreigner and mother made it impossible to find work. Yet at Mazi Mas, a London-based pop-up restaurant and catering service focused on training and employing immigrant and refugee women, she has found more than just a paying job. She tells her story in her own words.

Six years of your life. Or 2,190 days. That's about how long the average woman will spend having her periods.

For some women, that's too many days, too many periods.

More women in their 20s and 30s are choosing contraception that may suppress their menstrual cycles, says Dr. Elizabeth Micks, who runs an OB-GYN clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle. "In general, I think views are changing really rapidly," Micks says. "That need to have regular periods is not just in our society anymore."

There's a lot of talk about helping the girls and women of the developing world, but there's not a lot of money to back it up.

According to a 2014 report from the United Nations Population Fund, "less than two cents [of] every international development dollar is spent on an adolescent girl."

In 2009, Emily Vorland went to Iraq with the Army for a year, hoping it would lead to a career in special operations. That dream was derailed not by the enemy, but by a superior officer, who started sexually harassing her.

"I said no and then reported it. And my direct chain of command relieved him of his position. However, it was three months later when the retaliation started," she says.

Fauzia Karmali  at the International School in Bellevue
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Back in 1996, the Soccer Mom was seen as a key swing vote. Charlie Rose, the TV host, got into it on PBS.

Rose: "This year pollsters and strategists think the working, suburban mother of school-age children is on the fence. How will the Soccer Moms vote and what do they expect from their candidate?"

If Democrats take back the Senate in 2016, they'll likely have women to thank for it.

The party is likely to have at least six female nominees who are challenging Republican incumbents in their top-targeted states, helping them flip the four seats necessary to take back Senate control, if Democrats hold the White House.

Pope Francis told a gathering of about 900 heads of women's religious orders that he supports studying whether women can become deacons. The step is seen as a possible turning point for the Roman Catholic Church, which does not allow women to serve in ordained ministry.

At Thursday's meeting of the International Union of Superiors General, Francis was asked why women are not allowed to be deacons and whether he would form an official commission to look into the issue. He responded, "I accept; it would be useful for the church to clarify this question. I agree."

There was the seven-member all-male panel discussion on energy and climate at the European Commission in February.

There was the seven-member all-male panel on counterterrorism at the U.N. in March.

And then there was the panel on infrastructure at the World Bank in April: 15 men and one lone woman, in a red blazer, serving as the moderator.

Why are women so woefully underrepresented?

Author Peggy Orenstein
Courtesy Photo/Michael Todd

For her new book, “Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape,” Peggy Orenstein conducted ongoing, in-depth interviews with dozens of young women. The result is an honest picture of the sex lives of women 15-20 years old.

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, 7th Infantry Division come together for the first reenlistment of cavalry scout Kayci Landes in the Army at JBLM on May 4.
Coutesty of 16th Combat Aviation Brigade

A  soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord  will become the first woman in the Army to reenlist as a cavalry scout. 

Army cavalry scouts work in tanks and are the eyes and ears of the commander during battle. It’s a position that’s only recently been opened to women. 

Washington State University cheer squad advice graphic
Facebook Photo/Washington State University Cheer

The University of Washington cheerleading team took some flak for an image they posted on Facebook showing the dos and don’ts for the right tryout look: athletic physique, false lashes, but not too much makeup.

The graphic was intended to give advice to aspiring cheerleaders, but others called the image offensive, exclusionary and ignorant.

Quiz: What do you know about women's rights in Iran?

May 2, 2016
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Raheb Homavandi/Reuters/TIMA 

The Iran nuclear deal reached last year is expected to revive the economy of the Islamic Republic. However, whether it will lead to improvement in human rights, especially for Iranian women, remains a question.

This quiz will lead you through some of what many Iranian women must endure.

Note: This video contains offensive and abusive language.

[Youtube]

Two Chicago-area sports journalists were tired of being the target of abusive online comments from men, so they gathered up the degrading tweets that had been directed at them and asked other men to read them to their faces. The result is a video that has been viewed more than a million times.

As summer approaches, anxiety about Zika is growing in Gulf Coast states like Florida and Texas. The virus hasn't spread to mosquitoes in the region, and it may not, but experts are preparing nonetheless.

Over the past decade, states have passed laws intended to help women understand the results of their breast cancer screening mammograms if they have dense breasts. But those notifications can be downright confusing and may, in fact, cause more misunderstanding than understanding.

Early morning light filters into the cavernous gymnasium as Neetu lunges, climbs and contorts her body into impossible positions. She shimmies up a thick rope that dangles from the two-story ceiling, her heavily muscled arms propelling her upward. She races through calisthenics with 25 other young women in the boot camp atmosphere of Chhotu Ram Stadium and Wrestling Center, in the Indian state of Haryana, known for its wrestling tradition.

The grueling twice-a-day practice– 4 hours in the morning and 3 1/2 in the afternoon-- is her ordinary routine.

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bonnie Rice was released from prison last year. After a five-year, drug-related prison sentence, she knew she couldn't go back to any of the people who led her into trouble.

"I didn't know where to go, how to go," Rice says with a quiver in her voice. "It was scary." She was completely alone.

She managed to find a place to live in a halfway house. But even though she filled out lots and lots of job applications in the first few months out of prison, she didn't get many calls back. "People look down on you," she says.

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Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters

Two years after the Islamist group Boko Haram kidnapped 276 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria, the girls are still missing.

On Thursday, however, we got our first glimpse of a few of them in a new video — renewing hopes that not only are they missing, at least some are still alive.

When 276 girls were forced at gunpoint from their dormitory beds at a school in Chibok, Nigeria, on April 14, 2014, it sparked the creation of #BringBackOurGirls. The campaign, originating in Nigeria, became a global sensation as it pressured the Nigerian government and world leaders to rescue the girls from their Boko Haram kidnappers.

Commander Lt. Col. Vylius Leskys administeres the Oath of Enlistment to Levani Ilasa, the first woman in the country to be enlisted into 19K - M1 Armor Crewman.
Photo courtesy of the Seattle Army Recruiting Battalion

Two Washington women signed up this week for Army jobs that were previously only open to men.

Loren Ross is the second woman in the country to enlist in infantry since the Army opened the positions up to women earlier this year.

In India, rape is illegal. And the definition of what constitutes "rape" was widened only recently in response to a horrific fatal assault in New Delhi in 2012. Forced penetration by any object in any orifice is now a crime.

Despite this law, some men in India can have sex with a woman against her will. That's because Parliament chose to exempt husbands.

This decision — which makes India one of 49 nations that don't criminalize marital rape — has come under fire from women's rights advocates around the globe.

HBO's new movie Confirmation chronicles the intense confirmation battle for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas after Anita Hill, a former employee, claimed he sexually harassed her.

NPR's Nina Totenberg broke the story to the world in 1991, and she joins the NPR Politics podcast team to reflect on what happened, how it happened and why it still matters.

Equal Pay Day pin
Flickr Photo/Michael Panse (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/mhQxLC

Kim Malcolm speaks with Seattle resident Ruchika Tulshyan, author of "The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality In The Workplace," about why companies and managers should be taking the lead on closing the gender pay gap.

To understand the economy, you have to do a lot of measuring. What's bigger? What's growing? What's unequal?

On national Equal Pay Day, women and economists take a hard look at incomes. And their measurements show that after decades of the equal-rights battles, men still get bigger paychecks — sometimes for the same work.

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