A group of Iranian feminists and activists are asking women's rights groups and feminists worldwide for support in demanding "an end to state-led violence and repression" and "immediate release of all political detainees in Iran." Thus far, more than 40 women's rights groups from 9 countries are supporting partners. Under the name Gender Equality for Iran, the Iranian activists are asking for international solidarity through the organization of initiatives using the slogan "freedom and gender equality in Iran" throughout March of this year. The Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine are supporters of Gender Equality for Iran.
In a petition, the group states: "Over the past thirty years, the Iranian women's movement has been at the forefront of the struggle for freedom and equality in Iran. Gender discrimination intersects with other forms of subordination - whether based on class, ethnicity, political orientation, religion, and so on. Thus, the peaceful resistance of women and men in defense of gender equality in all social spheres - legal, political, cultural, economical, etc. - has profoundly impacted the Iranian movement for democracy. Iranian women have long demanded freedom and gender equality; they have employed both individual and group strategies, initiated various campaigns, and faced insults, threats, arrests and imprisonment in the process. Many of these women are currently in prison."
The petition continues and says, "Over the past eight months, the grass-roots protest movement that emerged following the disputed presidential elections has been suppressed by mounting violence. Physical and psychological violence - through arrest, torture, rape, extended imprisonment, and even execution - has been exercised against civil and political activists in Iran. As of now, numerous women activists from various movements - women's, workers, students, civil, and political - are detained and/or have received heavy sentences. The list of detainees grows everyday."
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. . . .