Zakia Zaki, the owner and manager of Peace Radio and a headmaster of a girls' school in Parwan province, was shot dead inside her home early this morning. Three gunmen fired seven shots before fleeing her home. Police have begun an investigation, but no motive has been determined. Rahimullah Samander, the head of the Independent Association of Afghan Journalists (IAAJ), condemned the murder, which illustrates the difficulties that reporters -- particularly women reporters -- face in Afghanistan. "She believed in freedom of expression, that's why she was killed," Samander said, according to the BBC.
Zaki has managed the station since its inception in October 2001, following the fall of the Taliban. According to the Middle East Times, Zaki was a critic of "warlords" during the anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s that led to Afghanistan's civil war. She spoke out against the Taliban during its rule and was involved in Afghanistan's recent reconstruction, attending the 2003 meeting to draft Afghanistan's new constitution. According to the BBC, the IAAJ reports that Zaki did receive threats but had no known enemies. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
The murder of Zaki comes six days after another female reporter in Afghanistan, Shokiba Sanga Amaaj, was shot dead in her house. While the motive in Amaaj's murder has not been determined, police are exploring the possibility that it is "family-related," the BBC reports.
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. . . .