MS. MAGAZINE’S TOP TEN NEWS STORIES FOR WOMEN IN 2005 Advances, Setbacks and Cultural Milestones
MOST SIGNIFICANT: Sandra Day O’Connor resigns from the Supreme Court, leaving a vacancy and likely a shift in direction of the court threatening to narrow women’s rights.
MOST OUTRAGEOUS REJECTION OF SCIENCE: FDA controversy: stalls once again on Plan B – flying in the face of scientific decision making.
MOST HONORABLE RESIGNATION: FDA Director of Women’s Health, Dr. Susan Wood resigns in protest. Her replacement is a male veterinarian until women’s groups roar in protest. FDA Commissioner Lester Crawford resigns shortly thereafter in a cloud of mystery. Meanwhile, women lack over-the-counter access to a safe and reliable form of emergency contraception.
MOST NOTABLE ASCENTS: Women reach new leadership heights globally as women Presidents or Prime Ministers are elected in two countries – in Liberia and Germany – with Michelle Bachelet front-runner for Chile’s January 15th Presidential runoff. Simultaneously, Japan decides a woman can become heir to the throne.
MOST LIKELY TO SAVE LIVES: Congress reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
MOST IMPORTANT FOR WOMEN OVER 65: Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security, a move that would undermine the economic security for millions of American women, fails in part because of the outcry from women.
MOST SHAMEFUL: The Bush Administration for the fourth year in a row refuses to release congressionally-appropriated funding to UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund. Now totaling $136 million, these lost funds could have been used to save the lives of women, repair obstetric fistulas, prevent maternal mortality and illnesses.
MOST LIKELY TO MAKE US HOPE LIFE IMITATES ART: The U.S. finally gets a woman president – at least on TV, as COMMANDER IN CHIEF scores big with viewers on ABC.
MOST ENDANGERED: Access to birth control. With pharmacists denying access in the U.S. and the Bush Administration’ s move to increase funds for abstinence in international and domestic policies at the expense of more effective prevention of teen pregnancies and HIV/AIDS.
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