Taliban insurgents are suspected of bombing a coeducational primary school last Tuesday in Peshawar, Pakistan. The bombing destroyed the small three room school building, but no casualties were reported because the school was closed at the time of the attack for Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim festival that marks the end of Ramadan.
Hamzullah Khan, a local police official, told the the AFP that "the nature of the blast shows that Taliban are behind the incident." According to The Nation, approximately 200 schools have been destroyed by radical militants in the past few years in the Swat Valley, which borders Peshawar.
In Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violence against schools that educate girls has been part of Taliban campaigns that oppose the education of women. A girls' school was bombed in northern Pakistan earlier this year and last December the Taliban announced an education ban on women and girls in the Swat Valley. The bans were later lifted. During the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which lasted until 2001, Afghan girls were forbidden to attend school. To date, approximately 1,000 girls' or co-educational schools have been bombed or burned in Afghanistan.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 6/23/09, 1/5/09; The Nation 9/22/09; Agence France Presse 9/22/09
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. . . .