News reports indicate that at least 15 people died during election-related violence in Afghanistan on Saturday, where parliamentary elections were held. The Governor of Kandahar Province narrowly escaped a roadside bomb attack while traveling between polling locations, reported the Los Angeles Times. Throughout the country, dozens of rocket attacks targeted the polls. Turn-out was relatively low, as expected. More than 1,000 of nearly 7,000 polling centers did not open on Saturday due to an inability to ensure safety at the locations.
A record number of women ran for Parliament in this election. In total, approximately 385 of about 2,500 candidates, who ran for the 249 seats in the lower house were women. Sixty-five of the lower house seats are reserved for women. One woman candidate, former Olympic Athlete Robina Jalali, told the Express UK that "of course we are worried about losing our freedoms but if the Taliban accept the constitution, if they let women work and play sport and go to school and go to university, then we won't have any problems with them." She continued, "I was a champion athlete for 10 years but I am far more nervous about this than about my races. People must go out and vote to make sure that we get a true and representative result and that the country gets a chance to heal and to grow."
The Free and Fair Election Foundation, which monitors Afghan elections, said in a statement that "Though there were numerous attacks, none were severe enough to disrupt voting on a wide scale," reported the Los Angeles Times.
Taliban violence towards candidates and campaign workers has been lethal in recent months. Five campaign workers who had been working for a woman parliament candidate were killed in Afghanistan's Herat province in August. The workers had been campaigning for incumbent Fauzia Galani, who is one of the few women candidates in the upcoming September elections. Other recent incidents include the murders of at least four candidates.
In last year's presidential elections, women were unable to vote in some parts of Afghanistan and women's voting cards were used to stuff ballot boxes in some polling locations. There is also preliminary evidence of voter fraud in Saturday's election.
Media Resources: Los Angeles Times 9/18/10; Express UK 9/19/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 9/17/10
10/12/2015 Report Finds Texas' HB2 Increases Abortion Wait Times - A new report released by the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Policy Evaluation Project found patients seeking abortions in Texas have experienced an increase in wait times since the passage of HB2, the 2013 Texas omnibus anti-abortion bill that attempts to cut off abortion access by requiring abortion providers in the state to fulfill medically unnecessary ambulatory surgical center requirements and secure hospital admitting privileges.
More than half of 42 clinics providing abortion in Texas have been forced to shut their doors since HB2 passed two years ago, leading Texas women to wait up to 20 days for a first consult at one of the surviving 18 reproductive health clinics operating in the state, the second most populous in the nation. . . .
10/9/2015 Federal Judge Orders Anti-Abortion Group to Cede Footage to NAF - On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress (CMP) and its leader David Daleidan must turn over all previously unreleased "sting" videos and outtakes of National Abortion Federation (NAF) meetings the group obtained surreptitiously as part of a smear campaign against the abortion provider.
U.S. . . .
10/9/2015 Women Scientists Receive Less Funding Than Their Male Peers, Study Finds - According to a new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, male scientists receive twice as much financial support to kickstart their careers in science and medicine as their female counterparts, an early career inequity that could limit professional opportunities for women scientists throughout their working lives.
Conducted by Health Resources in Action (HRiA), analysts studied 219 biomedical researchers who had applied for early-career grant funding at 55 New England hospitals, universities and research facilities between 2012 and 2014. . . .