The Washington Post featured today the
appalling plight of women in Pakistan who are
mutilated or killed by husbands or family
members for so-called "honor crimes," which
sometimes includes seeking a divorce.
The story of Zahida Perveen, whose husband
gouged out her eyes, and cut off her earlobes
and nose because of an alleged affair,
illustrates the horror women face in countries
such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia where
violence against women in the name of male
honor has been largely socially sanctioned.
There were 20 killings reported in Jordan in
1998, 36 honor crimes in Lebanon between
1996-1998, 200 women attacked with acid
by husbands or relatives in Bangladesh
between 1996-1998, and 52 violent crimes
against women reported in Egypt in 1997,
some of which perpetrated by the victim's
mother or sister, according to UNICEF and
national women's groups.
Women's rights advocates in Pakistan say that
many cases are never brought to trial because
police are bribed by the men's families, or the
cases are dismissed as domestic accidents.
The military ruler of Pakistan, Gen. Pervez
Musharraf, condemned honor killings as he
launched a national human rights campaign in
the hopes of increasing awareness of this
tragic issue, but women's rights advocates
point out that no steps have been taken "to
bolster investigations or prosecutions."
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan
has reported that in the past two years, more
than 850 women suspected of immoral
behavior were killed by their husbands,
brothers, fathers or other relatives in Punjab,
Media Resources: The Washington Post - 8 May, 2000
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. . . .