Domestic Violence Gains Increased Attention in Angola
Angola's Ministry of Family and Women Promotion (Minfamu) met this week to collaborate on a draft law intended to combat violence against women. Domestic violence is not criminalized in Angola and is rarely prosecuted in rape or assault cases. According to the Angola Press Agency, local women's rights advocates aim to guarantee protection for victims and to establish criminal punishments for domestic violence.
At the same time, Minfamu launched a year-long project aimed at developing a statistical analysis of the prevalence of domestic violence in Angola. This project also aims to improve and standardize the response to domestic violence incidents by counseling centers, according to the Angola Press Agency.
A 2006 US State Department report on human rights practices lists discrimination and domestic violence against women and children as one of Angola's existing human rights abuses that is rarely prosecuted and widely underreported. The report found that "under the constitution and law women enjoy the same rights as men" in Angola, but that "societal discrimination against women remained a serious problem, particularly in rural areas."
Media Resources: Angola Press Agency 12/8/08, 12/8/08; US State Department
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. . . .