UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Met with Iranian Women's Rights Activists
During a recent trip to Iran, United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Louise Arbour met with women's rights activist and Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi on the status of women in Iran. According to Reuters, Dr. Ebadi wrote to the United Nations earlier this summer, asking for a UN investigation of Iran's treatment of women and the country's detainment of some 50 activists who are involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, a petition asking Iran to reform laws that discriminate against women.
On September 3, Commissioner Arbour met with Dr. Ebadi and several other human rights activists, according to Radio Free Europe (RFE). Some family members of political prisoners were prevented by police from accessing the meeting, but Dr. Ebadi told RFE that she informed Commissioner Arbour of their demands. "I gave her the name of the people who wanted to meet her and I informed her about the problems of the families who wanted to meet her� I also gave her their letters," Ebadi told RFE. funny picturesfunny imagesfunny photosfunny animal picturesfunny dog picturesfunny cat picturesfunny gifs
In the past year, Iran has been criticized for its treatment of women's rights activists. At protests in June 2006 and March 2007, activists faced police abuse and detainment. Most recently, Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, an Iranian-American scholar and women's rights advocate who was detained for eight months on charges that she was a threat to national security, was permitted to leave the country.
Media Resources: Reuters 8/27/07; Change for Equality; Radio Free Europe 9/4/07, 9/3/07
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. . . .