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
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .