Women's Rights Groups Praise New Afghan Shelter Regulations
In a victory for Afghan women's rights groups, President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet approved new draft regulations that will allow women's shelters in Afghanistan to remain independent and not come under government control. The regulations will also allow the shelters to receive money from donors without government intermediation. The government has not published the changes to the regulations to avoid controversy; however, Georgette Gagnon, director of human rights for the UN mission in Afghanistan, called the regulations "a victory for women's rights in Afghanistan."
Gagnon stated that women's groups were "able to convince the government and others that shelters were needed [and that] they needed to be independent to preserve women's rights and dignity."
In February, the Afghan government proposed other regulations, which were not passed, that would have allowed it to take over battered women and girls shelters, which were run by non-profit women's organizations. The proposed regulation would have required women fleeing domestic violence situations to appear before an eight-person government panel before obtaining shelter. A government committee would then determine whether women could be admitted to a shelter or if they should be jailed or returned to their families. If admitted to the shelter, women would have been required to submit to physical examinations, which could include a virginity test. Moreover, women could be forced to leave the shelter if their families requested that they return.
Ten years ago there were no shelters for abused women in Afghanistan. Currently, there are approximately 14 shelters.
Media Resources: NPR 9/26/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/17/11
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .