Militants in Somalia Targeting Women Without Veils or Socks
Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia are allegedly rounding up and beating women who are not wearing veils or socks. In total, over 130 people have been detained in the past three days for violating Al-Shabaab's interpretation of sharia law, according to CNN.
"Just today, Al-Shabaab dispatched men with whips to the streets around Bakara market and they are flogging any woman who is found not wearing socks," an anonymous female maize trader told CNN. She also said that many who have been detained because they were not wearing veils "were vegetable traders, so they are poor and can't afford to buy veils for 600,000 shillings [about $23 U.S.]."
Militants have committed a number of human rights violations in Somalia recently. Earlier this month, China View reported that members of Al-Shabaab executed two men on charges of spying, and the South African Star reported that Al-Shabaab flogged women who were wearing bras and then forced the women to remove their bras and "shake their breasts." Last year, a 13-year old rape victim was stoned on charges of adultery after her family tried to report the rape.
Media Resources: CNN 10/29/09; China View 10/25/09; South African Star 10/17/09; Feminist News Wire 11/7/2008
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. . . .