Ten Taliban insurgents have been arrested in the case of an acid attack against schoolgirls that took place in November outside of the Mirwais Nika Girls High School in the southern city of Kandahar. In the attack, two men on motorcycles sprayed at least 15 Afghan girls and teachers who were walking to school with battery acid using toy squirt guns. During the Taliban regime, which was ousted in 2001, Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school.
The Taliban has denied involvement in this particular attack, but Afghanistan's Deputy Interior Minister, General Mohammad Daud, told the BBC that "the attack was the work of the Taliban" and that the attackers "were taking orders from the other side of the border [with Pakistan] from those who are leading terrorist attacks in Kandahar."
Afghanistan's President, Hamid Karzai, has reportedly called for public execution of the perpetrators in this attack, according to the Independent. Public support in Afghanistan for capital punishment has grown in recent years. One of the teachers injured in the attack told the Independent that "If these people are found guilty, the government should throw the same acid on them. Then they should be hanged."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 11/13/08; Al Jazeera 11/12/08; BBC 11/25/08; Agence France Presse 4/21/08; The Independent 11/26/08
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. . . .