Native American women suffering shocking rates of rape: AmnestyWASHINGTON (AFP) – Native American and Alaskan women are suffering rates of rape and sexual violence nearly three times higher than the US national average, Amnesty says in a new study released Tuesday. The human rights watchdog said a complex maze of tribal, state and federal jurisdictions often allowed men to rape with impunity, creating a vicious cycle that emboldened rapists and led to more attacks.The study cited Justice Department figures which indicated that American Indian and Alaska Native women were 2.5 times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the United States in general.The figures said more than one in three Native women would be raped in their lifetime, although that figure may in fact be substantially higher because of a traditional reluctance to report sex crimes.”Native women are brutalized at an alarming rate, and the United States government, a purported champion of women’s rights, is unfortunately contributing to the problem,” said Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA.”It is disgraceful that such abuse even exists today. Without immediate action, an already abysmal and outrageous situation for women could spiral even further out of control.”The Amnesty report “Maze of Injustice: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women From Sexual Violence in the USA” said many rape investigations stalled as officers tried to establish who the investigating authority was.A dearth of trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners at Indian Health Service facilities also meant Native Women do not get timely responses from police and sometimes never received basic forensic medical examinations.Amnesty accused the US government of undermining tribal justice systems by consistent under-funding.It cited the example of the 2.3 million acre Standing Rock Sioux Reservation spread across North and South Dakota which occasionally has only one police officer on duty to cover the entire region.Amnesty said women reporting rape or sex crimes in Standing Rock often had to wait hours or days before receiving a response from police.Alaska was the rape capital of the United States, Amnesty said citing
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FBI statistics. Between 2000 and 2003, one study found that native Alaskan women in Anchorage were roughly 10 times more likely to be raped than other women in the city.
To tackle the problem, Amnesty called on Congress to increase funding to the Indian Health Service in order to train and employ more nurses qualified to examine victims of sex attacks.
Amnesty also demanded the federal government provide necessary funding for police forces on Indian reservations and in Alaskan Native villages.
Article 1.) Native American Women Suffering Shocking Rates of Rape
Alaskan and Native American Women are experiencing rape at higher levels than woman in the United States. Amnesty International believes the United States Government is to blame. The Blame is being placed due to not enough funding for protection and health services in the tribal systems. As the reader of the article, I question if the government is not allotting more funds to these areas due to they are segregating the cultures; therefore, not providing the same protection to the tribes as other United States citizens.
The Native American population is considered a minority. Being a female and being a part of the Native American culture may increase the odds of not receiving the same protection and benefits as other United States women. In reviewing the article, statistics show that between 2000 and 2003 women in Anchorage Alaska were ten times more likely to be raped than women in other locations. The research was completed four years ago; therefore, with the current information provided by Amnesty the government has not enacted any type of change. Although these women are United States citizens and tax payers, their culture is not receiving the same benefits as other cultures which dwell in the United States.
Culture a barrier to Pap tests for Mexican women
Fri Apr 6, 12:06 PM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Women in Mexico often avoid being screened for cervical cancer due to lack of knowledge about the disease, a cultural tendency to look to other family members’ health before their own, and other factors, including guilt and denial, a new study shows. “Within the Mexican culture, women have always been the procurers and not the beneficiaries of health,” Dr. Blanca E. Pelcastre Villafuerte of the Instituta Nacional de Salud Publica in Cuernavaca and her colleagues write in the medical journal Reproductive Health.Cervical cancer is a leading cause of death among working-age Mexican women, Villafuerte and her colleagues note in their report, and they sought to better understand the role family, emotions and other social factors may play in women’s failure to receive regular Pap smears — which can detect cervical cancer in its very early, much more treatable stages.Villafuerte and her team interviewed 130 women with cervical cancer; 200 friends and relatives of these women who were free from the disease, referred to as controls; and 20 husbands of women with cervical cancer.
Women with cervical cancer tended to feel the disease was completely their own responsibility, the researchers found, and blamed themselves while feeling guilty about not getting a Pap smear earlier. However, most of the cervical cancer patients interviewed said they thought they didn’t need to get the screening test unless they had symptoms.
Women in both groups felt embarrassed about having their bodies seen during the examination, while husbands felt shame about their wives bodies being seen as well.
Patients also tended to deny the diagnosis, while having high hopes that they would be cured, the researchers found.
Villafuerte and her colleagues also found that having a close friend or relative with cervical cancer did not seem to encourage the women in the control group to get Pap tests.
Some women would get the screening test, but then not get the results, only returning for another test when their symptoms had worsened. Many women said that their daughters encouraged them to get the test.
Women with cervical cancer feared that their husbands or partners would abandon them after the disease was diagnosed, a fear that was often realized.
The beliefs recognized in the current study “are not easy to overcome or transform,” but must be addressed when trying to design programs to improve women’s health, the researchers conclude.
Article 2.) Culture a Barrier to Pap Tests for Mexican Women
Cervical Cancer is a leading cause of death among working women in Mexico. These women avoid cervical screening tests due to a lack of education about the disease. In a study it was found the women, and their husbands, did not like having someone viewing their body. In reviewing this article the common theme was the difference of culture. In the United States we have organizations and government sponsored groups that educate women about this disease. Also, the knowledge of cervical cancer is passed from mother to daughter, but in the article it mentions the women that do have the test are encouraged to do so by their daughters. This leads the reader to believe the younger generation is trying to change the current cultures habits.
This issue could be the cause of a lack of funds in the Mexican government to sponsor health related programs. Also, the fact that most women getting the test are doing so, due to their daughters encouragement, may be a sign the level of education provided to the culture is improving. A lack of insurance through employers to cover the cost of preventive exams could also deter the women from having the exam due to having to pay large medical cost out of pocket. Although the women are workers, the article also insinuates the women consider themselves the primary caretaker of their family, which leans towards what many may consider old fashioned since they think of their own health last.
SOURCE: Reproductive Health, March 1, 2007.
World wide Gender Gap
Women suffer countless disadvantages compared with men. Even after decades of progress, we make up two thirds of the world’s 880 million illiterate adults, and up to 70 percent of its poorest citizens. But health remains the cruelest of all inequalities. Women receive inadequate medical care in many societies, and they don’t suffer the consequences alone. Healthy women are the foundation of healthy families, which foster healthy, prosperous societies. Experience shows that even small investments in women’s health can pay large social dividends. Unfortunately, few of those who could make those investments are doing it. The gender gap in health is especially dramatic in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. In sub-Saharan Africa, 60 percent of people with AIDS are women. “It is a shocking fact,” U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said recently, “and one of which I, as an African man, feel ashamed.” Polygamy, sexual coercion and violence against women all contribute to this distressing fact. Girls are frequently pressured into sex with older men in exchange for food, clothing or school tuition.
Abstinence and monogamy make for fine rhetoric, but they are inadequate defenses for women who are married off young and deprived of education and social status. In Zambia only 11 percent of women in a recent survey thought a woman had the right to ask her husband to use a condom—even though women are twice as likely as men to contract HIV from a single sex act. In India, where 90 percent of female infections occur within marriage, women who stand up to their husbands risk violence—and those who get infected by their husbands are often shunned by their families. Lacking other skills, they may survive by selling sex—which, of course, spreads the disease further. Any real solution to the AIDS pandemic will have to empower women through education and a guarantee of human and reproductive rights.
AIDS is not the only threat women face. Consider the current state of reproductive health. An estimated 350 million couples want safe and effective contraception but are unable to get it. The result: approximately 80 million unintended pregnancies each year, some 19 million of which are terminated under unsafe conditions. Those unsafe abortions cause 13 percent of the 529,000 deaths that women suffer annually during pregnancy and childbirth. Wealthy nations could prevent this tragedy for a fraction of what they spend on the military. Yet the neglect continues. Since 2002 the United States has withheld its annual $34 million contribution to the United Nations Population Fund, the world’s largest provider of family-planning services.
When women lack reproductive-health services, they also miss opportunities to prevent and treat such killers as malaria and tuberculosis. Young children and pregnant women account for most of the world’s 1 million annual malaria deaths, 90 percent of which occur in Africa. And as HIV destroys their immune systems, women become ever more vulnerable to tuberculosis. TB now causes half of the AIDS-related deaths in Africa. This highly contagious disease can be cured with a $10 regimen of antibiotics, yet U.S. support for international treatment efforts is declining.
Disease isn’t the only risk. Every year some 2 million girls and young women worldwide are subjected to genital mutilation, a barbaric practice that can cause infertility and long-term ill health. And far more experience rape, battering and sexual coercion. Almost half of all girls from 10 to 25 say their first sexual encounter was forced, and the United Nations estimates that one in three girls will fall victim to violence in her lifetime.
Last year, during a trip to India, I met with a group of adolescent girls in the slums of New Delhi. Some were as young as 12. Most of their friends were already married—their futures foreordained and severely circumscribed. But the girls I met still had their hopes and dreams. The question is whether they will be able to protect themselves in a world where the balance still tilts heavily against them. The answer will be decided not only in the slums of South Asia but in the capitals of the wealthiest nations. Leadership must come from the top—starting with Washington—or this injustice will never end.
Article 3.) World Wide Gender Gap
The article focuses on the gap between males and females in income and health care. Although women are better educated due to the higher amount of literacy levels among women, they are the poorest gender. Healthcare is the largest inequality found. This article shows that women are still unequal to men in world wide statistics, especially when they are more educated, yet make less money. Also, the fact that women in countries overrun with diseases, such as AIDS and tuberculosis, has a growing epidemic with women being the majority affected points out that men are receiving the education and treatments for such diseases.
Most of the countries mentioned in the article are considered poorer countries, such as India and Africa. Men are the main breadwinners in the households of these countries; therefore, they would receive treatments and education first. The economic conditions of these countries may be the probable cause in the current conditions due to they are causing a lack of education and treatment, Also, the sexual diseases in these countries are on the rise. With the countries being in a low economic status it is probable there is inadequate funding for health resources and law enforcement. Also, many of the women in these countries are so poor they can easily be bargained with for sexual acts as a means of trade.
By Pat Wingert
April 16, 2007 issue – As millions of high-school seniors ripped open college-acceptance letters last week, a brewing student-loan scandal was dragging in a growing number of schools, for-profit loan companies and government officials.
In recent years, while college tuitions have soared and federal funding of student grants and loans have languished, the nation’s for-profit student-loan industry has exploded into an $85 billion enterprise. Competition for students’ business has become so frenzied that “it’s become like the Wild West,” says Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.
Now a growing number of complaints has prompted investigations by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and, most aggressively, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has sent letters to 400 schools and is probing 100 institutions.
Last month Cuomo announced plans to sue Education Finance Partners, a California firm, which he alleges has made illegal kickbacks to schools in exchange for placement on its coveted “preferred lenders” list. Lenders on such lists get the bulk of a school’s private loan traffic. While some colleges say they use these payments to fund more student aid, Cuomo said they shouldn’t be doing it “on the backs of middle- and lower-income students who will be paying off these loans for the next 30 years.” The finance firm says it hopes to resolve the issue quickly.
Cuomo also launched investigations into stock grants made to financial-aid administrators at three prestigious universities (Columbia, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas) by Education Lending Group. Its subsidiary, Student Loan Xpress, is on each school’s list of “preferred lenders.” All three schools said they are conducting internal investigations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Education is reviewing charges that a top official, Matteo Fontana, sold at least 10,000 shares of stock in Student Loan Xpress about a year after joining the agency. Before coming to the department, Fontana worked at Sallie Mae, the nation’s largest private provider of student loans. Late Friday, Cuomo subpoenaed Sallie Mae employee records. And John Ryan, chancellor of the State University of New York, defended his decision to serve on the board of CIT Group while it was acquiring Education Lending Group, saying the state Ethics Commission OK’d the move. The board paid him about $150,000 last year.
Most college-loan offices aren’t out to rip off students, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of FinAid.org. Before signing up for any private loans, he says, students should exhaust available publicly funded loans. And he cautions families to compare rates and read the fine print. Like credit-card deals, many sound better than they are.
4.) Student-Loan Secrets
Due to the recent increase in demand for educational funding the United States Department of Education has begun investigating companies and schools using a preferred lenders list. The schools allowing the preferred lenders list is getting kickbacks from the lender which they claim to be using to fund more financial aid. The Department of Education is concerned that the kick backs will affect the middle and lower income students that use the loans as an educational funding resource. Education is a very important part of our countries culture; we understand that the country tomorrow will be run by the students being educated today. Although the article mentions that one source states students should read the fine terms of their credit agreement, all student loans are funded through lenders that at some point or another was granted approval by the Department of Education. This article makes it seem possible that individuals trying to obtain a higher education may be taken advantage of.
Our education system from the Department of education, schools, and lending companies all play a role in the success of the education system. If this problem is not fixed, it may cause financial difficulties for students and increase the price of education, which will in turn lead to lower levels of individuals seeking a higher education in the future. If the level of education drops, so does the leadership and work standard, as well as the innovation prospects of the future. All of these elements could cause political, social, and economic hardships such as a greater gap between the reach and the poor for the country.
American Airlines seeks more female flyersCHICAGO (Reuters) – American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, says it can boost revenue by $94 million a year by tailoring some of its services to the growing number of women travelers. The airline, a unit of AMR Corp., this week unveiled a version of its Web site for women (http://www.aa.com/women). The site aims to increase the number of women booking flights on American by 2 percent or more, said an AMR executive on Tuesday.The site, as well as changes to American’s planes and travel clubs, is the latest effort by a U.S. airline to distinguish itself in a competitive industry that has spent the last five years slashing costs and tweaking services.
“We obviously have a vast interest in women,” said Peggy Sterling, AMR vice president of safety, security and environmental. “There is an untapped resource.”
Sterling said nearly 50 million travelers, or just under half of its passengers, are women. By increasing that number by just 2 percent, AMR could gain an additional $94 million a year in revenue, she said.
The Web site features articles and tips for women on travel safety and security. It also encourages feedback and suggestions from women. Sterling said a recent redesign of American’s 767-300 business class included changes such as lower storage bins that may appeal to women.
U.S. airlines have been scrutinizing their operations for ways to exploit any potential advantage. For example, American and other carriers, like UAL Corp.’s United Airlines, have upgraded their business cabins and begun charging for in-flight perks that used to be free.
AMR has two other dedicated Web sites that cater to Spanish speakers and to gay and lesbian travelers. One airline expert said he expects more airlines to follow AMR’s example as a means to bolster ridership.
“You turn over every stone. We’ll see a lot of this happening,” said Terry Trippler, airline expert at travel club myvacationpassport.com.
“Right now competition is stiff out there,” he said. “It’s going to get a lot tougher.”
Article 5.) American Airlines Seeks More Female Flyers
The article summarizes that the airline industry has an untapped consumer base, women. American Airlines has recognized that more women are traveling; therefore, new ways to entice them through marketing is needed. The article also mentions the marketing will include other minorities such as alternative lifestyles and Spanish speaking individuals. Airline marketing geared towards women and other minorities would help to bridge a gap in safety and security. Allowing women to tell you what they want and need during a travel shows there is a change in the social status of women and other minorities in the United States.
Over the last two or three decades women have come out of their homes and become successful in the workplace. This in turn has lead to a new level of independence. The country has also seen a large increase in the amount of single mothers. All of these factors equate to the effect that more women are traveling on business and on their own in general. Single mothers take their children on vacations, and married women have found their new role to be part of making vacation and travel plans for their families. The airlines also realize the population of Spanish speaking and alternative life style cultures is growing in the United States; therefore, they need to have programs specific to their wants and needs.