A deal has been struck between the provincial government and local officials and militants in a northern part of Pakistan known as the Swat Valley that will allow girls to return to school there.
In December, regional Taliban leader Mullah Shah Doran announced an education ban on women and girls in the Swat Valley. The directive set a deadline of January 15 for all girls, both in single-sex and co-educational schools, to be withdrawn. The Taliban threatened to bomb schools that ignored the directive and to severely punish violators. At the time, teacher Mohamed Osman told the Times of India that "we have no choice but to follow the orders. The government cannot give us protection. Taliban runs a parallel government in 90 percent of the area of the district and they execute everyone who opposes them."
In recent months, thousands have fled the Swat Valley, formerly a tourist destination. Shahnaz Kahn, a mother who fled the region, told Irin that "All the best teachers from my children's schools have left. I do not think they will go back…According to my relatives there, many children have gone back to schools but there are now too few teachers"
Enrollment of women and girls in schools and colleges in the Swat Valley region before the ban was only a quarter of what it was only three years ago, before the Taliban gained strength there, according to the The Australian. In the past year, more than 180 schools, many of which were all girl institutions, have been destroyed in the area. During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which lasted until 2001, Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 1/5/09, 2/19/09; The Australian 2/20/09; Times of India 1/4/09l; Irin 1/1/09, 3/4/09
9/12/2014 Violence Against Women Act Turns 20 - Saturday will be the 20th Anniversary of the groundbreaking federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Passed in 1994, VAWA was the first piece of federal legislation to specifically address domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and to provide federal funding to improve local response to violence against women, including training and resources for law enforcement and judges.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday issued a proclamation commemorating the VAWA anniversary. . . .
9/12/2014 Indiana Woman Charged With Feticide For Premature Delivery - An Indiana woman has been charged with feticide after she delivered prematurely and sought hospital treatment.
Purvi Patel, 33, sought help at an emergency room for vaginal bleeding where it was discovered that she had delivered prematurely at home. . . .