Political demonstrations in Guinea have led to the circulation of cell phone snapshots depicting rape against Guinean women. Guinean human rights activist Souleymane Bah told Reuters, "I saw soldiers strip women naked, spread their legs and stamp on their privates with their boots."
Approximately 50,000 unarmed civilians assembled on September 28th to protest Captain Moussa Dadis Camara's plan to run in the January election. Captain Camara leads a military junta whose personnel opened fire on the crowd, beating and stabbing hundreds and brutally raping dozens of women in broad daylight.
Sidya Toure, a former prime minister who was part of the protest, told the New York Times, "This time, a new stage has been reached. Women as battlefield targets. We could never have imagined that." The use of rape as a weapon of war is a common and prevalent tactic. France's foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said France would no longer work with Camara and called for "international intervention." Captain Camara has repeatedly denied responsibility for the attacks.
Media Resources: New York Times 10/5/09; Reuters 9/29/09
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. . . .