Parliament in Kuwait Rejects Women's Right to Vote
Kuwait's Parliament voted down women's right to vote and run for office 41-22 as an act of protest against the emir Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah who issued the decree shortly after he dissolved Parliament in May.
Five liberal lawmakers in the newly elected Parliament, comprised of 50 members, have proposed almost identical legislation giving women the right to vote and run for office. Some Parliament members claim they will vote for this measure after voting down the emir's decree in protest.
The second law will face opposition from Muslim fundamentalist lawmakers, who form a substantial faction. However, the parliamentary elections in July tripled the number of liberal lawmakers, raising hopes for the bill that would enfranchise women.
In Kuwait only 10% of all citizens are eligible to vote - adult males who have been naturalized for 30 years or more or have resided in Kuwait since before 1920 and their male descendants at age 21. No immigrants are allowed to vote.
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. . . .