Malta moves to ease EU’s last total ban on abortion

Malta’s government is to propose a change in the law to allow doctors to terminate a pregnancy if a mother’s life or health is at risk. The small Mediterranean state has the only total abortion ban in the EU. Ministers promised to review the law when a US tourist was denied an abortion after she began to miscarry. Maltese Health Minister Chris Fearne said a legal amendment would go before parliament in the coming days to ensure doctors were now legally protected in cases of medical complication that left a mother’s life at risk or her health in grave jeopardy … Continue reading Malta moves to ease EU’s last total ban on abortion

Historic: Slovenia elects lawyer as first female president

Slovenia has elected a lawyer linked to former US first lady Melania Trump as its first-ever female head of state. Natasa Pirc Musar is a journalist and lawyer who ran as an independent with the backing of Slovenia’s centre-left government. She defeated former foreign minister Anze Logar, a veteran of conservative politics. Ms Pirc Musar won almost 54% of the vote, ahead of Mr Logar who got just over 46%, the election commission said. Turnout among the population of around two million was 49.9%, the commission said. “Slovenia has elected a president who believes in the European Union, in the … Continue reading Historic: Slovenia elects lawyer as first female president

Famous Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti poses without headscarf

A top Iranian actress has posted an image of herself on Instagram without a headscarf to signal solidarity with anti-government demonstrations. Taraneh Alidoosti, best known for her role in the Oscar-winning film The Salesman – also held a sign reading “Woman, Life, Freedom” in Kurdish. The slogan has become a common rallying cry among protesters. Demonstrations sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody are entering their seventh week. The 22-year-old died after she was arrested by morality police in Tehran for allegedly violating Iran’s strict rules requiring women to cover their hair with a hijab, or Islamic … Continue reading Famous Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti poses without headscarf

India launch an inquiry after men crash women’s college event

Indian police have opened an investigation after a viral video showed some men scaling the walls of a women’s college in capital city Delhi. The incident occurred during an event organised by students of Miranda House college. A student who posted the video alleged that men entered the campus and did “cat-calling, groping, sexist sloganeering and more”. The Delhi police have registered a case against “unknown students”. Other videos shared on social media seemed to show groups of men climbing over a gate in the presence of a security guard and raising slogans on the campus. The incident has sparked outrage … Continue reading India launch an inquiry after men crash women’s college event

High incidence of sexual harassment reported at Australia’s Antarctica research stations

Women working at Australia’s research camps in Antarctica have endured widespread sexual harassment, a report has found. It described evidence of uninvited touching, requests for sex, and a predatory culture which condoned pornography on walls and sexual taunts. Woman also felt they had to hide their menstruation, and ration tampons and pads because they were so limited. Officials have condemned the findings and vowed to bring on cultural change. Australia’s Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said she was “gobsmacked” by the independent review of Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) sites. It was instigated after individuals made complaints. “As a minister, I take … Continue reading High incidence of sexual harassment reported at Australia’s Antarctica research stations

India Supreme Court rules in favour of single women over abortion rights

India’s Supreme Court has said that all women, including those not married, could get an abortion up to 24 weeks. The court ruling came on a plea seeking clarity on the amended 2021 abortion law which listed several groups that did not include single women. The court said all women, regardless of their marital status, were entitled to safe and legal abortion. It said that excluding single women in consensual relationships would be “unconstitutional”. Abortions have been legal in India since 1971, but over the years authorities have made strict rules for who can terminate a pregnancy because of abortions … Continue reading India Supreme Court rules in favour of single women over abortion rights

Ridiculous: Arizona judge approves return to 19th century abortion ban

A near-total ban on abortion dating from 1864 must be enforced in Arizona, a judge has ruled. The judge lifted an injunction which barred enforcement of a law allowing abortion only to save the mother’s life. This year the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, which determined there was a constitutional right to abortion. Since then US states have been deciding if or when to allow the procedure. Arizona’s law predates the state’s founding and includes a two- to five-year prison sentence for anyone who helps someone get an abortion. It was blocked in 1973, after the Supreme Court’s … Continue reading Ridiculous: Arizona judge approves return to 19th century abortion ban

Update: Protests over woman’s death claim more lives in Iran

Nine people are now reported to have been killed at protests in Iran sparked by the death of a woman detained for allegedly breaking strict hijab rules. Among those reported killed is a 16-year-old boy, shot dead when security forces opened fire on protesters. The unrest has spread to more than 20 major cities, including the capital Tehran. Videos posted online from Wednesday’s unrest showed women waving their headscarves in the air or burning them. “No to the headscarf, no to the turban, yes to freedom and equality!” protesters were heard chanting at a demonstration in Tehran. In an address … Continue reading Update: Protests over woman’s death claim more lives in Iran

Fiji PM’s son charged with domestic violence in Australia

The son of Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has been charged with a string of domestic violence offences in Australia. Ratu Meli Bainimarama, 36, is facing 17 charges, including stalking, assault, and choking. He is also accused of damaging property and distributing an intimate image without consent. Mr Bainimarama has not entered a plea but will “rely on his good character” in any defence, his lawyer said. The offences allegedly took place in Sydney between February and May, but Mr Bainimarama was arrested last week after a police report was made earlier this month. The Fijian national’s lawyer had successfully … Continue reading Fiji PM’s son charged with domestic violence in Australia

Sexual assault victim whose DNA was used to arrest her sues San Francisco

A sexual assault victim whose rape kit DNA was later used by police to charge her with a crime is suing San Francisco and its police chief. The woman – whose name is being kept secret – provided a DNA sample to police in 2016 after her assault, a court filing says. But police kept that DNA on file without consent and checked the entire database when investigating crimes. The woman was arrested last December but charges were later dropped. Her legal filing says police had a “standard practice” of putting the DNA of victims of crime into a permanent … Continue reading Sexual assault victim whose DNA was used to arrest her sues San Francisco

Roe v Wade: Pro-choice campaigners score major win in Kansas

Kansas voters have chosen to uphold abortion rights in the first electoral test of the deeply polarizing issue since the US Supreme Court allowed states to ban the procedure outright. Voters overwhelmingly said they did not wish to amend the state constitution to assert there is no right to abortion. If the ballot had gone the other way, lawmakers could have moved to further restrict or ban abortion in the state. Michigan, Arizona, Missouri and Washington also held elections. These states saw Senate races that could determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress next year, and two of … Continue reading Roe v Wade: Pro-choice campaigners score major win in Kansas

Spanish government launch campaign to stop body-shamers at beaches

Spain’s equality ministry has launched a summer campaign to encourage women worried about how their body looks to go to the beach. “Summer is ours too,” runs the slogan above an image of five diverse women of different shapes and sizes. “All bodies are beach bodies,” said Social Services Minister Ione Belarra. Women’s Institute head Antonia Morillas said physical expectations affected not only women’s self-esteem, but denied them their rights. The campaign illustration of five women relaxing on the beach also features a topless woman after a mastectomy. The institute, which is behind the initiative, said it was an attempt … Continue reading Spanish government launch campaign to stop body-shamers at beaches