A meeting of international donors in Paris last week revealed many disconcerting facts related to the redevelopment in Afghanistan, after the Bush Administration promised a Marshall Plan for the country. The country continues to face corruption and violence disrupting the rebuilding process, and creating a hostile environment for women and children.
Washington Post reports that Afghanistan maintains one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world: 16 deaths per 1,000 live births. Half of Afghanistan's children do not attend school, and Afghan girls make up only 35% of those that do.
"So far international aid to Afghanistan has not gone far enough to alleviate the poverty and suffering of the Afghan people. The amount of international aid has been wholly insufficient given the huge job of reconstruction in Afghanistan. Of the aid that has been given too much has been driven by the priorities of the international community and its security concerns rather meeting the needs of the people and building a more effective state," said Matt Waldman, Afghanistan policy advisor for Oxfam International in a press release.
Media Resources: Washington Post 6/13/08; Feminist Daily Newswire; Oxfam International press release 6/11/08; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .