International Women’s Day, ‘war on women’ dominate week’s news coverage

This week women continued to be a featured angle in the presidential race, particularly in light of Super Tuesday’s primary results and the continued headline and discussion of the GOP’s “war on women.” Last week we looked at how this term was being used by Democrats as a fundraising tactic after comments from radio host Rush Limbaugh ignited bitter online protests and several advertisers pulling support from his show.

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In his Tuesday press conference, President Obama commented that “Women are going to make up their own minds in this election about who is advancing the issues they care most deeply about.” However, many fundraising efforts have been focused on women’s health and birth control as key issues women will consider while voting. The Guardian characterized this presidential election as “becoming a referendum on women’s bodies” and the republican legislative agenda as a “regress[ion] to a pre-modern state.” In a New York Times feature, centrist Republican women said they may consider voting for Barack Obama in November due to the GOP’s push for limits on contraception coverage and access.

International Women’s Day

However, this week also marked International Women’s Day, and the Boston Herald was not alone in warning readers that American women are not the only group losing ground. The Wall Street Journal reported on the Afghanistan’s government support of laws that would require women to wear the veil and forbid them from mixing with men in the work place or traveling without a male chaperone, in an attempt to negotiate with the Taliban.  Additionally,  a prominent Afghani female activist’s office was attacked in what she called an assassination attempt.

Elsewhere, women in Egypt marked Thursday by marching to demand more equal gender representation in Parliament. Turkey’s Parliament marked International Women’s Day on Thursday by approving a package of laws aimed at better protecting women and children from abuse.

Read more coverage of International Women’s Day:

What do you think about the phrase “war on women?”

This is the Gender Report’s Week in Review, a weekly post that highlights some of the major stories related to gender issues this week. Some of these stories may have already appeared in our News Feed or in the week’s Gender Checks. We’ll at times include a longer analysis of stories as well as bring attention to stories that may have slipped through the cracks of the week’s news cycle.


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