New York Times: Here's a no-nonsense approach to quickly improving the lot of Kenyan women and girls: Provide them with pads. Thomas L. Friedman's Op-Ed suggests that access to sanitary napkins is much more than an issue of comfort or convenience. Naisiae Tobiko, a native of Kenya's Masai region, told Friedman that around puberty she started to notice that some girls would miss a few consecutive days of class each month. Friedman writes, "When she finally asked, they confided that they did not come to school when they were menstruating -- because their parents could not afford sanitary napkins." Some tried to make do with "rags or soil or mud," says Tobiko. But ultimately, many of her classmates dropped out of school because they had already missed too many days.
Reuters: The ultimate source of childhood fairy-tale fantasies has finally acknowledged that sometimes little girls dream of one day meeting that special princess. Disney is officially opening its Fairy Tale Weddings packages to same -sex couples (though, of course, they will technically be commitment ceremonies). Right on -- that means equal access to this total weirdness.
Associated Press: Eritrea's government announced Wednesday that it will ban all female circumcision. It "is a procedure that seriously endangers the health of women, causes them considerable pain and suffering besides threatening their lives," the government said in a press release. "Anyone who requests, incites, promotes or witnesses female circumcision is subject to a fine and imprisonment," reports the AP.
Los Angeles Times: A judge acquitted the publisher of Playboy Indonesia on charges of publishing indecent material and said the magazine -- which does not actually feature any nudity! -- "could not be categorized as pornography."
Washington Post: Everyone's still talking about Nancy Pelosi's decision to occasionally wear a scarf around her head during her recent Middle East trip. Luckily, amid the vitriol, some sane people have stepped up to say the obvious. As the Post's Robin Givhan puts it: The scarves "allowed her to be respectful of the day's hosts while maintaining her own public identity. She looked like herself and she maintained control of the visual message." The AP simply calls the scarves a "diplomatic fashion accessory."