Some good news from the current administration: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has signed onto a UN-sponsored campaign to end violence against women worldwide. This is a change from the United States’ previous reluctance to sign onto and ratify international documents. For example, though we are a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the US government has failed to ratify the second most-ratified treaty in the world.
South America has been a source of bad news for women this week. Lawmakers in Uruguay failed to reach enough votes to overturn the country’s 70-year-old ban on abortion. And in Brazil, where abortion is also illegal, some 1,200 women are being investigated for having obtained illegal abortions. Despite this wave of negative developments, women around the world are anxiously awaiting the near-certain repeal of the gag rule by President-elect Obama (we blogged about it here).