Household Products Increase Odds of Cancer Diagnoses
New research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed that many widely used chemicals increase the odds of certain “hormonally driven” cancers for women. These ‘forever chemicals’— called per-and-poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) —are found on thousands of household and industrial products, including water-, stain-, and grease-resistant consumer goods. Phenols, found in food packaging, dyes, and personal care products, are also proven to increase the risk of ovarian and other types of diagnoses. According to the CDC, PFAS is found in 97 percent of Americans’ blood and is in 45 percent of U.S. drinking water. “These chemicals can increase the risk of various different health outcomes and they can alter your biological pathways … That is important to know so that we can better prevent exposures and mitigate risks,” said Max Aung, senior author of the study.
Heavier Penalties for Headscarf Law Violations in Iran
Approximately one year after the death of Mahsa Amini in Iranian “morality police” custody sparked massive protests across the country, the Iranian parliament has passed even more severe penalties for women who refuse to wear the mandatory head covering. This bill will allow for sentences of up to ten years in prison for those who are repeat violators of dressing inappropriately or who fail to wear a headscarf. Those who wear “revealing or tight clothing” or show a part of the body “lower than the neck or higher than the ankles or higher than the forearms” will face punishments. These penalties will extend to business owners who serve women not wearing a hijab, as well as activists who continue protesting these regulations. The law also intends to identify those who “promote nudity [or] indecency” or “mock” the rules in a virtual or non-virtual space. “We are not waiting for a seal of approval from the council because, on the ground, they’ve already implemented the law. Women are being followed, harassed, detained and interrogated, like always,” said one Iranian protester.
Women to Gain Seats in India’s Government
This week, the Indian government passed the Women’s Reservation Bill to guarantee a third of seats in India's lower house of parliament and state legislative assemblies for women. Women account for almost half of the registered voters in India but make up only 15 percent of parliament and about 10 percent of state legislatures. This bill was proposed decades ago but was delayed due to opposition from some Hindi heartland political parties, preventing its approval from both houses of parliament and a majority of state legislatures. Its revival is expected to boost the rating of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party among women before the general elections are held this May. "We want more and more women to join the development process of the country," Modi told a special five-day parliamentary session.