New Law Attempts to Fight Domestic Violence in India
A new law to address domestic violence in India took effect late last week. This is the first law in India specifically addressing the problem of domestic violence, targeting husbands, live-in partners, and family members who abuse or threaten women verbally, physically, sexually, emotionally, and/or economically. The punishment for offenders ranges from a prison sentence of up to a year to a fine of up to 20,000 rupees ($435), or a combination of the two.
This is certainly a giant step for women in India, where every three minutes crimes against them are committed, according to India’s National Crime Records, BBC reports. In addition, the Associated Press reports that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) found that an astonishing 70 percent of women who are married are beaten and sexually abused. Furthermore, BBC News paraphrases Indian officials as saying, “every six hours, a young married woman is burned, beaten to death, or driven to commit suicide.”
Women’s rights advocates in India are praising the new law, but are calling on the government to provide the funds needed to fully implement the law. Women’s rights groups also plan to launch an educational campaign to inform women of their new rights and options, according to BBC.
Media Resources: BBC News 10/26/06; Associated Press 10/26/06
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. . . .