prison bars
mikecogh / Flickr Creative Commons

A plan to target Oklahoma's highest-in-the-nation female incarceration rate with a prison diversion pilot program in Tulsa has unanimously passed the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted Wednesday for the bill by Republican Sen. Kim David of Porter that targets women convicted of drug or other nonviolent crimes. David says female offenders first must enter a plea of guilty, which a judge can withhold and waive if the woman completes the 12-to-18-month program.

In 2012, Oklahoma women who were full-time workers had median weekly earnings of $631 or 83.0 percent of the $760 full-time median weekly earnings of Oklahoma men.
Southwest Information Office / Bureau of Labor Statistics

A report out Tuesday from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows women in Oklahoma earned 83 percent of their male counterparts during 2012.

The study looked at the median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers. That figure is slightly above the nationwide average of women earning 80.9 percent compared to men.

The BLS says the ratio of women's-to-men's earnings fluctuated around 75 percent from 2004 to 2008, until reaching a high of 87.9 percent in 2009.

NPR's Jennifer Ludden recently traveled to the African nation of Malawi, one of many countries in the developing world where child marriage remains prevalent. She found girls like Christina Asima, who was married at 12 and became a mother at 13. She is now divorced and caring for her infant son on her own. You can read Jennifer's full report here. Below are a few more things she learned while reporting on child marriage.

In natural disasters and war zones, food and water aren't the only basic needs, aid and human rights groups say.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the implications of the Roma child found living with a couple in Greece, and the October 26 protest by Saudi women in defiance of the country's traditions against driving.

Later, a conversation about water and sanitation in Africa with the University of Oklahoma 2013 International Water Prize winner Ada Oko-Williams, and University College London hydrogeologist Richard Taylor.

saudi woman in hijab
Edward Musiak / Flickr Creative Commons

On October 26 dozens of Saudi women got behind the wheel in defiance of the country’s traditions. Though no specific law bans women from driving, the rules are enforced by Saudi Arabia's powerful Islamic establishment.

Rebecca Cruise, the Assistant Dean of the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies, says even though the issue seems to be gaining traction, she’s heard critics argue it’s symbolic of larger issues Saudi women face.

Glen Carey

Kelly McEvers spent three years based in Baghdad and Beirut covering the Middle East for NPR. She started her assignment with instructions not to miss a day in Iraq as the 2011 U.S. troop withdrawal deadline approached.

“Then in late 2010, a guy set himself on fire in Tunisia, and everything changed,” McEvers told KGOU’s World Views host Suzette Grillot. “I was swept up with millions of other people in this thing called the Arab Spring.”

Center for American Progress

A new analysis ranks Oklahoma 48th in the nation for how women are faring in 36 different economic, leadership and health indicators.

The report was released on Wednesday by the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C.,-based non-partisan research and educational institute.

Joshua Landis, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about the fear in Japan that the amount of contaminated water at the Fukushima nuclear power plant is getting out of hand, and increasing number of attacks and violence against women in India.

Later, a conversation with about indigenous people and issues in Guatemala with Francisco Calí. He’s the only indigenous member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Ramesh Lalwani / Flickr Creative Commons

A fast-track court will give a verdict next week in the trial of four men accused in the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman on a New Delhi bus last year.

The assault caused nationwide outrage and forced the government to change rape laws and create fast-track courts for rape cases.

University of Oklahoma College of International Studies Dean Suzette Grillot says even though there’s outrage over the increasingly-common attacks against women, there’s not enough push to have an impact on the sentences these young men receive.