Norway’s Solution to Gender Issues
In Norway, the government has announced it will soon force companies to guarantee gender equity in the board room. Under the new policy, at least forty percent of a company’s corporate board must be female. State and partly state-run companies have one year to comply. Private companies have until 2005 to meet the gender quota. Sanctions for non-compliance have yet to be determined.

In a separate move, the Norwegian government has announced that it is considering a general societal ban on sexual harassment. Tribunals would be established to judge violations and potentially award compensation to so-called victims.

Source: Yahoo News! (via (March 8, 2002)

Not Without My Daughter
A British woman is facing charges of abduction in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai for helping another British woman kidnap her son. Donya Al-Nahi, who is currently free on bail, admits to organizing the plot and says she has arranged a number of similar missions in the Middle East to reunite British mothers with children held in Arab countries by their fathers. Al-Nahi has been charged with helping Sarra Fotheringham abduct her ten-year-old son, Tariq Al-Habtoor, in Dubai. The two women face a maximum of three years’ jail. Al-Nahi says she has no intention of giving up what she sees as a “compassionate vocation.”

Source: The (Singapore) Straits Times (March 12, 2002)

A Legal Right to Breastfeed at Work
Under a new Australian statute, women are now legally entitled to breastfeed at work. The law also prohibits employers from inquiring as to whether a prospective worker is, or plans to become, pregnant.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald (via (February 15, 2002)

Let He Who is Without Sin…
An appellate court in Nigeria heard arguments recently on whether an Islamic court’s sentence of a woman to death by stoning for the crime of adultery should stand. Thirty-three year-old Safiya Hussaini was originally sentenced in October to be stoned to death while buried up to her neck in sand. Her crime? Conceiving a child with a married neighbor, in violation of Islamic law. Under the October ruling, Hussaini could be executed as soon as her child stops nursing. Attorneys for Hussaini claim that she was impregnated by her former husband prior to their divorce “some years ago.” Although the infant was born more than a year after the marriage ended, her lawyers argue that up to seven years can pass between conception and birth under Islamic law.

Source: Associated Press (March 19, 2002)

Pension Benefits for the Transgendered?
A British transsexual is suing the British government in the European court of human rights. The plaintiff, Christine Goodwin, was told by government officials that despite her sex change operation, she is still legally a man and, therefore, was ineligible to receive a state pension until the age of 65. Goodwin, who will be 65 next month, alleges the government violated her human rights by denying her a pension at 60, the age when women qualify for pensions. The United Kingdom is one of only four countries in the council of Europe that does not recognize a sex change as legally valid. The others are Ireland, Albania and Andorra.

Source: The Guardian (London) (March 20, 2002)