Turkish Women Gain Financing; 25 Nigerians Grabbed

This article was originally posted on Thomas Reuters Foundation.


The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Union and Republic of Turkey provide 338 million euros (about $428 million) for female entrepreneurs in Turkey, Daily Sabah reported Oct. 22. The program aims to finance 15,000 women-led enterprises across Turkey, while also offering various training and educational services to help women run their companies.

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Seventy-eight percent of Texas Hispanic voters say a woman has a right to make her own decisions about abortion without politicians interfering, finds an Oct. 22 study commissioned by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Rights. The study also finds that most Texas Hispanic voters seem willing to disagree with church leaders on the legality of abortion. The poll finds 76 percent regard birth control as a part of basic health care and that it should be covered no matter where a woman works.

French feminist Caroline De Haas is launching a website Macholand.fr to denounce and challenge sexism, NPR reported Oct.17. The site targets politicians and advertisers. One of them is Gerard Collomb, the mayor of France’s second-largest city, Lyon. Collomb recently said the country’s education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, got her job simply because President Francois Hollande loves beautiful women. The site invites users to join the so-called action against Collomb.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he was “completely wrong” to suggest that women should not ask for raises, TIME reported Oct. 20. Nadella previously said women should wait for “good karma” to raise their wages instead of asking directly. After coming under fire, Nadella apologized and reinforced his apology in this latest interview with CNBC. “It’s been a very humbling and learning experience for me,” said Nadella.

A week after a Washington rabbi was charged with videotaping women converting to Judaism as they disrobed for ritual baths, the national association of modern Orthodox rabbis announced that it would require the appointment of ombudswomen to handle any concerns from women about the conversion process, The New York Times reported Oct. 20. Besides the appointment of ombudswomen, the association would also name a commission that would include women as members to recommend ways to prevent abuses of the conversion process.


Amid talks of freeing over 200 female hostages they seized in April, suspected Boko Haram members kidnapped at least 25 more girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, Reuters reported Oct. 23. Talks to release the schoolgirls took place this week between the government and a Boko Haram representative in the capital of neighboring Chad, N’Djamena.

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Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry issued a warning to women not to get behind the wheel in defiance of the kingdom’s rules that allow only men to drive, Reuters reported Oct. 23. The ministry made the announcement after a renewed social media campaign to challenge the law by driving in public ahead of the Oct. 26 anniversary of a demonstration last year in which dozens of Saudi women took to the road in protest of the ban on female drivers, leading to some arrests.

As a woman gets heavier, her chances of working in a low-paying, physically taxing job grow, according to a study from Jennifer Shinall, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, The Huffington Post reported Oct. 24. Though obese men are more likely than men of average weight to work in lower-paying, physical jobs, the effect isn’t nearly as strong as it is for women. Obese women make $7 less than their average-weight counterparts while obese men make just $2 less.

The wage gap for Latinas living in California is the worst in the country, the National Women’s Law Center said Oct. 23 in an analysis of new Census data. Louisiana has the highest wage gap for black women. The wage gap is based on a comparison between the earnings of African American women and Latinas working full time and white, non-Hispanic men across the country.

Iranian demonstrators gathered outside government buildings in Isfahan and Tehran to protest the recent spate of acid attacks on women, The International Business Times reported Oct. 22. Security forces reportedly tried to disperse the demonstration at the Iranian parliament building in Isfahan, calling it a “political” gathering. In the past two weeks, about a dozen women have had sulfuric acid thrown on their faces and bodies by a group of motorcyclists. It is widely believed that the women were targeted for not complying with Islamic dress code in public places.


In the first two months of this Iranian calendar year (late March to late May), more than 21,000 divorce cases were logged, Reuters reported Oct. 22. The rise in the number of couples choosing to split up has angered conservatives in Iran who see it as an affront to the values of the Islamic Republic.

Author and journalist Tina Brown thinks that if President Barack Obama is viewed less favorably among women it is because he makes them feel “unsafe” about a variety of issues, Mediaitereported Oct. 20. Brown, who appeared this week on “Morning Joe,” reacted to a Politico report on how the president’s declining poll numbers with women has become a serious liability for Senate Democrats in the midterm elections.

Two female cabinet ministers resigned due to separate election campaign scandals in Japan,The New York Times reported Oct. 20. It is a political blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who had a stated policy goal of empowering women. The two women were in charge of the ministry of trade and the ministry of justice. Three other women are still part of the government.

A genetic trait may protect many women of Latin American descent from breast cancer, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 20. If confirmed, the finding may lead to more effective genetic testing for women at risk by helping to determine who most needs to take preventative measures. Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths among women but fewer Hispanic women develop breast cancer and fewer of them die from it, compared with women of European or African American ancestry.

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