Afghan Editor Receives Courage in Journalism Award
Afghan journalist Farida Nekzad was honored by the International Women's Media Foundation with a Courage in Journalism Award for her support of women's rights and freedom of the press in Afghanistan. As the managing editor and deputy director of Pajhwok Afghan News, the leading independent news agency in Afghanistan, Nekzad has fought to increase opportunities for women in journalism. "I am working for women to play a role in society and am driven by being a role model for women so they can be encouraged to play an important role and not be silenced, which is not an easy task," said Nekzad when receiving her award.
"For the last year, the situation is worse for women. There are no rights for women and they don't like women to be journalists," she said. Nekzad frequently changes cars while traveling to work and sleeps in different rooms of her house because she fears an attack. Despite repeated death threats and harassment, Nekzad has continued to report on the deteriorating security for women in Afghanistan and on the influence of Afghan warlords.
In a letter to Afghan President Karzai, Reporters Without Borders noted a steady increase in abductions, attacks, death threats and forced resignations by Afghan journalists within the last year. Nekzad encouraged continued pressure from the international community on Afghanistan's government. "This is a manís country and I want to defend women's rights. I'm frightened but I continue in my job and my life."
Media Resources: Reporters Without Borders 12/18/09; International Womenís Media Foundation 12/18/09, The Middle East 12/18/08
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. . . .