Saudi Arabian Judge Makes Domestic Violence Comments
Hamad Al-Razine, a Saudi Arabian Judge, made statements indicating that men can hit their wives as punishment for overspending during a recent seminar on domestic violence. According to the Arab News, his comments caused immediate outrage from those attending the seminar. Attendees included Princess Adila bint Abdullah who is Saudi Arabia's deputy chairperson of the National Family Safety Program.
Al-Razine said "if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment," according to CNN. He also reportedly said that women's use of offensive words and indecent behavior are causes of domestic violence in the country.
Wajeha Al-Huwaider, a Saudi Arabian women's rights activist told CNN "This is how men in Saudi Arabia see women....It's not something they read in a book or learned from a friend. They've been raised to see women this way, that they're less than a person."
Women's rights in Saudi Arabia are currently limited on a number of fronts including marriage rights, freedom to travel, property ownership, education, and work. At a meeting earlier this year, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council urged Saudi Arabia to actively work to end pervasive human rights violations in the country, particularly those against women and children.
Media Resources: CNN 5/10/09; Arab News 5/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/17/09
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. . . .