10,000 activists from around the
globe are meeting at the United
Nations this week to review the
world's progress toward
women's equality since the
Beijing conference in the 1995.
Five years since Beijing, U.N.
officials believe that half of the
world's female population
endures some type of domestic
abuse, and the U.N. estimates
that more than 1 million women
are victims of sex trafficking
worldwide. In politics, only 8
governments out of 189 have
met their Beijing commitment to
increase women's participation
in parliamentary positions to 30
percent. However, U.N.
Secretary General Kofi Annan
and U.S. secretary of state
Madeline Albright addressed the
delegates, saying that the world's
governments have made some
positive strides. "It is no longer
possible, after Beijing, to deny
that women's rights are human
rights," Albright declared today.
"When a woman is raped,
beaten or mutilated, it is not
cultural, it is criminal."
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. . . .