Although the job will not be without risk - a senior police woman was murdered in Helmand last September - Bayaz appeared excited to take on her new role, and hopes it will inspire more women to join the ranks of the police force in Afghanistan. "This is a chance not just for me," said Bayaz, "but for the women of Afghanistan. I will not waste it."
Increasing the number and rank of women in policing will play a critical role in decreasing violence against women in Afghanistan and has been an important goal for the United States and the international community. "I want to thank America and the international community for all of their help and support," said Bayaz. "I would not be here today if it weren't for all of their assistance."
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has yet to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the United States that would help determine the post-2014 role of the US in Afghanistan. The BSA provides that the US will continue to offer assistance to strengthen security, provide humanitarian aid, and support economic and civic development.
In an open letter to President Obama, Afghan civil society leaders asked the President "to ensure that the United States will stand behind the true aspirations of the Afghan people for free, prosperous and democratic future." The letter continues, "Over the coming years, Afghanistan will be completing its political and security transitions as the foundation for the future that we seek. It is our sincere hope that the people of the United States, who were with us during difficult years, will remain with us as we complete the challenging transition period and become more self-reliant."
Media Resources: Reuters 1/16/14; Alliance in Support of the Afghan People 1/15/14; NBC News 1/15/14; Feminist News 11/27/13, 9/19/13
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .