The House Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), launched an investigation this week into mismanagement of the Rabia Balkhi Women's Hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The investigation follows a report by the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) that highlights the serious concerns of health experts about the situation at Rabia Balkhi. A contractor's assessment of the hospital found that Afghan physicians at the hospital often did not have basic knowledge of anatomy and physiology and lacked skills needed to resuscitate women and infants, reports the Daily Women’s Health Policy Report. The hospital also routinely lacked basic supplies, including surgical gloves and antibiotics.
"The (Atlanta Journal Constitution) reporting on the Rabia Balkhi Hospital raises serious questions about how the Bush administration responded to concerns raised about dismal conditions at the hospital," said Waxman. "Millions of dollars have been spent on this initiative, and those funds should have been spent in ways that most effectively improve the quality of care for Afghan mothers and their babies."
Media Resources: Atlanta Journal Constitution 11/18/07, 12/07/07; Daily Women’s Health Policy Report 12/7/07
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .