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Vox Sentences: Women’s soccer on offense

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Violence is hurting Ebola response efforts; the US women’s national soccer team files a gender discrimination lawsuit.


At the front lines of the Ebola fight

Alexis Huguet/AFPGetty Images
  • The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo is second-largest yet, with nearly 600 reported deaths. The DRC’s northeastern regions are also currently conflict zones, and threats of violence have endangered response efforts. However, upping security for health responders has stirred fear and distrust. [NYT / Denise Grady]
  • Ebola treatment units have been attacked in Butembo, a dense area in the DRC where isolation of the disease is extremely important to treat the epidemic. Organizations like Doctors Without Borders have struggled to work with communities to reduce fear and feelings of helplessness, especially when a family member is isolated, people are forced into treatments, or vaccines are delivered en masse. [New England Journal of Medicine / Vinh-Kim Nguyen]
  • Violence against responders is also political. The DRC government prevented millions of people from infected regions from voting in the national election last year, prompting protesters to rob and burn an Ebola treatment facility in Beni. Security concerns have detracted from the treatment efforts, too. Forty percent of the dead have been found in their homes, not in isolation, according to the World Health Organization, heightening focus on concentrating the virus. [Nature / Amy Maxmen]
  • The most recent cases of violence happened last week: Two treatment centers were torched in Butembo and Katawa in the North Kivu province. The attack led Doctors Without Borders to suspend their resources in the area, even as diagnoses of the virus climb. Spokespeople for the country’s health ministry have said the containment and treatment efforts are “quite positive.” [Al Jazeera]
  • Zika, dengue, and yellow fever are also concerning health officials. Climate change and urbanization have led to spikes in mosquito populations that will carry these diseases throughout the US and Europe. [Vox / Kelsey Piper]

A key play on International Women’s Day

  • All 28 members of the US women’s national soccer team filed a lawsuit in the US District Court of Los Angeles against the United States Soccer Federation on Friday, citing gender discrimination. The suit represents current and former players on points that include players’ paychecks, quality of coaching, training, and team travel. [NYT / Andrew Das]
  • The suit is timely. The US team is headed to the Women’s World Cup in just three months — but the players aren’t threatening a boycott. They are asking for equitable pay and damages including back pay, citing that they’ve earned more championships and gained a larger following than the US men’s team. [WSJ / Rachel Bachman]
  • The suit, filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, is seeking class-action status. Players for the team since February 2015 are permitted to join the case. The mission behind this suit has been in the works since 2016, when five players registered a similar complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. [ESPN]
  • The US women’s team has won three World Cups, while the US men’s team failed to even qualify for the last World Cup. Yet the male players were reportedly paid about $262,320, while women apparently make an average sum of $99,000. [Washington Post / Will Hobson]
  • ”Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much,” said player Alex Morgan. “We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of [winning the World Cup in 2015]. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.” [Bleacher Report / Tim Daniels]

Miscellaneous

  • Chelsea Manning was taken into federal custody on Friday after she refused to testify before a federal grand jury. Manning is a former US Army intelligence analyst who provided WikiLeaks with classified information in 2010. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013. [ABC News / Ali Dukakis]
  • March is Women’s History Month. Politico asked notable women, including 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris, about the biggest issues facing women today. [Politico Magazine]
  • The February 2019 jobs report shows employers added 20,000 new jobs — the lowest number since September 2017. At the same time, the underemployment rate is the lowest since 2001, at 7.3 percent. [Bloomberg / Katia Dmitrieva and Carlyann Edwards]
  • A power outage beginning at rush hour swept across Venezuela on Thursday. President Nicolás Maduro blamed the United States for starting an “electricity war,” following President Trump’s support of interim President Juan Guaidó. The power loss follows a humanitarian failure after Maduro’s forces blocked aid deliveries at the border. Energy is nationalized in Venezuela, leaving citizens vulnerable to government control of vital resources. [NPR / Sasha Ingber]
  • Ireland on Friday became the 34th nation to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence, a.k.a. the Istanbul Convention. It took three years since signing the convention for Ireland to ratify the agreement, which addresses inequality, discrimination, and approaches for reducing gender-based violence. Some members of the Council of Europe, including the UK, have yet to ratify the convention. [Irish Times / Kitty Holland]

Verbatim

“CBP does not target journalists for inspection based on their occupation or their reporting. CBP has policies in place that prohibit discrimination against arriving travelers and has specific provisions regarding encounters with journalists.” [Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Andrew Meehan in response to reports that the agency was tracking journalists and activists who focus on immigration]


Watch this: How bicycles boosted the women’s rights movement

Susan B. Anthony said the bicycle did “more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” [YouTube / Dean Peterson]


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