The state of Afghan women and girls and the need for better US policies in Afghanistan were the focus of a community forum hosted by Ms. magazine yesterday morning. Dr. Sima Samar, chair of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the UN Special Envoy to Sudan, offered important insight into the reality of the corruption and poverty that is being experienced in Afghanistan today, more than five years after the US first attacked in October 2001. Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar -- who spoke with Dr. Samar for an exclusive interview in the Winter 2007 issue -- joined Dr. Samar, along with Ms. Publisher and Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign for Afghan Women and Girls Mavis Nicholson Leno, and Christian Delsol of the United Nations Populations Fund. funny gifs
Each panelist explained the dire need for money and resources to reach Afghanistan. The US claims that its involvement in Afghanistan is a success, but clean water and electricity are still scarce for Afghan citizens, Smeal reminded the audience. She called for a differentiation in funding allocated to Afghanistan and Iraq. Currently, funding for projects in both countries are part of the same legislation, and the vast majority of US dollars goes towards fighting the war in Iraq, instead of rebuilding projects. funny pictures
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .