The House International Relations Committee
held a hearing on the Convention to Eliminate
All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
(CEDAW) yesterday. Representative
Carolyn Maloney, (D-NY) spoke at the
hearing calling it "an absolute embarrassment"
that the U.S. has not ratified the 20-year old
Representative Lynn Woosley, (D-CA) held
a news conference following the hearing
where three women spoke who did not get a
chance to testify to how sex discrimination in
their homelands harms women.
Zieba Shorish-Shamley, founder and director
of Women's Alliance for Peace and Human
Rights in Afghanistan, spoke about conditions
for women in Afghanistan and CEDAW.
Shorish-Shamley described the system of
gender apartheid that exists for the women
and girls in Afghanistan under the rule of the
extremist Taliban militia, and how the U.S.
has failed to be a global leader in human rights
"The United States who sees itself as the
leader in the world for equality, human rights
and justice for all, is reluctant to ratify
CEDAW and fully implement its provisions to
eradicate discrimination of all kinds against
women," said Shorish-Shamley.
Media Resources: The Associated Press - 4 May, 2000, and Statement on
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. . . .