Feminist Weekly Update: May 17, 2016

Feminist Update
Your weekly update on all things feminism. Keep up to date on the election, the news, and what is going on in the world of women.
In the News:
Suspended President of Brazil criticizes all-male interim cabinet: Last week, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff was suspended following a 55-22 senate vote to begin her impeachment trial. Rousseff has come under fire for allegations of corruption, illegal manipulation of finances to hide the deficit, and mismanagement of Brazil’s declining economy. Rousseff has publicly criticized the interim government, led by her former Vice President Michel Temer, for being all-male and all-white. This is the first time that a Brazilian cabinet has been all-male since 1979. “Black people and women are fundamental if you truly want to construct an inclusive country,” Rousseff said. She continues to deny all of the charges brought against her. For more: Al Jazeera
Landmark Maryland bill expands birth control access for all: Maryland passed a law last week that goes further than President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in providing birth control medications and procedures. Under the Contraceptive Equity Act, Maryland will be the first state to require insurance companies to cover over-the-counter emergency contraceptives at no cost. Maryland also will be the first state prohibiting out-of-pocket costs for men who have vasectomies. Karen Nelson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Maryland, said “While it may seem as if most of the country is trying to take away women’s rights, the State of Maryland and Planned Parenthood of Maryland worked together to push reproductive rights forward.” The law won’t go into effect until Jan. 1, 2018, and will apply only to insurance companies regulated by the state of Maryland. For more: Baltimore Sun
Two women become first ever to join Marine Corps infantry: (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)The first two women to ever join the infantry of the U.S. Marine Corps have officially been approved — one as a rifleman (a title that may now have to be updated), and one as a machine gunner. Under the service’s gender-integration policy, two female officers will be assigned to the infantry unit 90 days before its new members arrive. The approval of these new infantry members comes after the the U.S. military announced in December that it would open all combat jobs in every branch of the armed forces to women starting this year. For more: The Atlantic     

Women sweep 2016 Nebula Awards: Women won big at this year’s Nebula Awards for science fiction and fantasy. Many participants and spectators are hopeful that this signals greater appreciation for diversity in the science fiction and fantasy genres, which have often been thought of as (white) boys’ clubs. Of this weekend’s winners, half are women of color, and half are self-identified queer women. Author Alyssa Wong notes that readers “want to read stories from the points of view of people who have been historically locked out of the genre…I’m appreciative that people are reading more widely now. It means more opportunities — not just to be published, but to be seen.” For more: NPR

Supreme Court returns contraceptive case to lower courts: The Supreme Court, in an unsigned unanimous opinion, announced that it would not rule in a major case on access to contraception, and instructed lower courts to consider whether a compromise was possible. Since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court has faced numerous issues as a result of 4-to-4 split decisions. The ruling represents the Supreme Court’s desire for religious non-profit organizations and the government to seek a compromise regarding an Affordable Care Act accommodation related to the provision of birth control access for female employees. Both sides were pleased — White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said “It will allow millions of women across the country to continue to get the health coverage that they need.” For more: New York Times
Women politicians in France denounce sexual harassment from their peers: Seventeen women, all current or former ministers in France, have signed a declaration decrying sexual harassment in politics. The signatories detailed instances of sexism they’d experienced while working in government and called for a toughening of the law against sexual harassment, which would include the creation of specialist desks within police stations to deal with harassment claims. “When a woman says no, it’s no,” says Women’s Minister Laurence Rossignol. For more: New York Times
Election Updates: 
Trump becomes presumptive Republican nominee following recent contests: Donald Trump’s clear win over Ted Cruz in Indiana on May 3 led Cruz to drop out of the race, making Trump the presumptive Republican nominee. Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in the state, dashing hopes among Clinton supporters that the Democratic race would end before the June primaries. During the May 10 contests, Sanders took West Virginia while Trump took West Virginia and Nebraska. Today, both parties will hold primary elections in Oregon. For more: New York Times
Stories of Donald Trump’s private interactions with women surface: Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has come under fire from Republicans and Democrats alike for his public treatment of women in various professions since the start of his campaign. Now, the New York Times has compiled a report containing interviews of women who have dealt with Trump in private conversations as well. The accounts of the women reveal “unwelcome romantic advances, unending commentary on the female form, a shrewd reliance on ambitious women, and unsettling workplace conduct.” For more: New York Times
Feminist of the Week:

Omaima Hoshan is an 11-year-old Syrian refugee who became a leader in the Zaatari refugee camp located in Jordan. Having been inspired by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai’s autobiography I Am Malala, Omaima also began to tackle issues related to girls’ education. Omaima has been especially concerned with child marriages in the Zaatari camp, researching the risks and sharing information with her classmates. She has also organized art classes, music and drama workshops for girls her age in an effort to tackle the issue through arts and creative exercises. The young refugee told UNHCR that when girls marry young, “their future is lost or ruined. That’s something that I cannot accept.” For more: Huffington Post