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News stories tagged with "women"

Inside the Cascade Inn in Canton. Photo: Natasha Haverty
Inside the Cascade Inn in Canton. Photo: Natasha Haverty

Hearing from the female swing voter herself

Both presidential candidates are placing a lot of their attention on women voters as the election draws near. Women make up more than 52 percent of the vote. And according to at least one Democratic pollster, blue collar women may be the last swayable part of the electorate.

We spoke with women of different ages and experiences about the issues they most care about, and whether or not they'll be voting this year.  Go to full article
File Photo: Karen DeWitt
File Photo: Karen DeWitt

Senate candidate opposes abortion, even in rape cases

Republican Wendy Long says she thinks abortion should be illegal in the US, even in cases when the pregnancy results from rape.

Long is running for the US Senate against Democratic incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand, who is pro-choice.

Abortion and rape have become major issues on the campaign trail, as more Republican Senate candidates have embraced the idea that women who are victims of sexual violence should be denied access to abortions.

The latest Siena Research Institute poll, released Friday morning, shows Long winning support from just 24 percent of voters in New York. Gillibrand is winning 67 percent of the vote.  Go to full article

Sounds of the Northway: Spreading social justice through music

A women's singing group, with members who live along the Northway, has produced a new cd, titled Herstory. Ann Ruzow Holland and Cathie Davenport, members of "Sounds of the Northway," are using music to raise awareness of women's issues and cultural diversity.  Go to full article
Juanita Babcock, bellydancing instructor. Photo: Kimberly Doerr
Juanita Babcock, bellydancing instructor. Photo: Kimberly Doerr

Profile of a Belly Dancing Troupe in the North Country: A feeling of freedom

For over 25 years Juanita Babcock has been teaching belly dancing to a group of women on Wednesday evenings, in the community room of the First Presbyterian Church in Potsdam. Some of the women have been with Juanita for almost a decade, others are just beginners.

They leave their jobs or school, and at 6 o'clock begin to wander into the wide, open room. Each woman grabs a coin-covered hip scarf from a basket Juanita has brought in, ties it around her waist, and they keep dancing until the church choir kicks them out for rehearsal. Juanita says belly dancing is for all ages--she's had a 78-year-old woman take lessons, and a current member of her group began when she was just eleven.

Juanita started belly dancing in 1973 when she was living in Ulster County. When she first started offering classes in the late eighties, the belly dancing landscape here in the North Country was pretty barren. But since then, belly dancing classes and groups have popped up all over. Producer Natasha Haverty came to one of Juanita's rehearsals and has this profile.  Go to full article
Madeleine Kunin in her Burlington home
Madeleine Kunin in her Burlington home

Women and the Workplace: An interview with Madeleine Kunin

Discussion of women in the workplace was reinvigorated several weeks ago when Democrat Hilary Rosen chastised presidential candidate Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney, for--quote--"not working a day in her life." That set off another round of "mommy wars": sharp discussion of whether women are better off working to provide for their families or staying home with their children. And it raises an important question - why, 40 years after the women's movement, it's still so difficult for women to balance their families and their jobs.

Madeleine Kunin was Vermont's first female governor in 1985. She's now 78 years old and has published a new book - "The New Feminist Agenda: Defining the next revolution for women, work, and family." The book issues a clarion call for women, men, businesses, and government to make sure that workplace and family rights for women top their agendas.

Sarah Harris spoke with Kunin about her book.

Correction: Madeleine's age was initially reported as 79. She is in fact 78 years old.  Go to full article

Heard Up North: Women's Clothing Swap

They say fashion is cyclical. On today's Heard Up North, Tasha Haverty takes us to one of the North Country's most glamorous evenings of the year: the semi-annual Women's Clothing Swap at the Canton Free Library.  Go to full article
Historically, Republican women, such as First Lady Betty Ford, shown campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment, have held progressive views on women's health issues.
Historically, Republican women, such as First Lady Betty Ford, shown campaigning for the Equal Rights Amendment, have held progressive views on women's health issues.

North Country Republican leaders worried about "war on women"

The Obama administration set off a firestorm when it released rules requiring employer-provided health insurance to cover the cost of contraceptives. Leaders in the Catholic Church said the policy violates their right to religious freedom.

Meanwhile, states around the country are considering hundreds of bills addressing women's health care: everything from forcing women to carry dead fetuses to term, to forcing women who seek abortions to go through invasive ultrasounds, to cutting funding for health clinics. Many women say these bills violate their right to to make their own health care decisions, and will limit access to quality health care..

The New York State legislature is considering a bill called the Reproductive Health Act. It codifies a woman's right to contraception and abortion. But even so, some women see a trend, and they're worried.  Go to full article
Crossroads Catholic Community service with Father Cox at The Episcopal Church of St. Luke the Beloved Physician in Saranac Lake. Photo: Mark Kurtz
Crossroads Catholic Community service with Father Cox at The Episcopal Church of St. Luke the Beloved Physician in Saranac Lake. Photo: Mark Kurtz

New church offers hope to those who feel marginalized

A new, ecumenical church community has been formed in Saranac Lake that's trying to appeal to those who feel marginalized by the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The Crossroads Catholic Community, founded by the Rev. Christopher Courtwright-Cox, bills itself as a non-judgemental, independent religious community that welcomes gays and lesbians, and women as priests, yet still retains most Catholic traditions and practices. Chris Knight attended a Crossroads service on Saturday and filed this report.  Go to full article
Erica Macilintal
Erica Macilintal

Away from glare of politics, one woman's struggle to balance faith and sexuality

This week, North Country Public Radio has been talking to religious leaders and politicians in our region about the national debate surrounding birth control and sexuality. It's become a big issue for Republicans in the 2012 presidential primary.

Republicans in Congress are also advancing national legislation that would allow all employers, not just religious groups, to deny health insurance coverage for things like contraception if those services violate the beliefs of the company's owners.

These culture-war debates could shape big races here in the North Country this November, including the battle for the 23rd district congressional race. Republican challenger Matt Doheny has accused Democratic congressman Bill Owens, of working "to violate the free exercise of religion."

Republican Assemblywoman Janet Duprey from Peru is also expected to face a strong primary challenge, in part because of her support for same-sex marriage, which is now legal in New York.

This political debate may, at times, seem disconnected from the reality of modern American life. According to the widely-respected Guttmacher Institute, roughly 90% of fertile, sexually active women in the United States are using contraception. But for some women, religious teachings play a profound role in shaping and defining their sexuality. Away from the glare of politics, faith and intimacy can be closely intertwined.

Our Plattsburgh correspondent Sarah Harris sat down recently to talk in-depth with Erica Macalintal. She's a 22-year-old nursing student at SUNY Plattsburgh who will graduate this May. Macalintal is a devout Roman Catholic who says her sexual life has been deeply influenced by the theology of her Church.  Go to full article
Bishop Terry LaValley. Source: Diocese of Odgensburg
Bishop Terry LaValley. Source: Diocese of Odgensburg

As social issues shape 2012 campaign, North Country bishop speaks out

After the long recession, most pundits expected the 2012 political campaign to revolve around economic issues.

But politicians on the right and left have instead been reviving some surprising social questions, ranging from contraception to prenatal testing to the role of religion in politics and public life.

In an interview with Newsweek magazine, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, argued that opposition to insurance coverage for those services amounts to "an attack on women."

"Many of us are outraged, really outraged," Sen. Gillibrand told the magazine. "In the year 2012, we should not be debating access to birth control. No boss should be making a decision about what health care their employees should be eligible to take."

Polls show that the vast majority of American families use contraception and think contraception should be widely available. Surveys also suggest that a smaller majority of Americans think religious groups should provide full insurance benefits to employees.

But Bishop Terry Lavalley, who heads the Diocese of Ogdensburg, sees this very differently.

He argues that Federal changes to healthcare laws proposed by the Obama administration threaten the religious freedom of groups like the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop LaValley met recently with Brian Mann to talk about the Church's prominent role in this year's political campaign and about the difficulties of teaching Catholic doctrine in an age when even many Roman Catholics are making very different moral choices.  Go to full article

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