Top News Stories for Women in 2005
Ms. Magazine is out with the top news stories affecting women in 2005. They include setbacks, advances 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 EVOKE GRATEFUL MEMORIES: The women's and civil rights movements lose four great women leaders: Shirley Chisholm, Molly Yard, C. DeLores Tucker and Rosa Parks.
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.