Woman Declares Intention to Run For Afghan Presidency
Fawzia Koofi is the first person to announce an intention to run for the presidency in Afghanistan. Koofi, a women's rights advocate, was elected to parliament in 2005 and was reelected in 2010. Earlier this year, she received acclaim for her memoir, "The Favoured Daughter," in which she details how she was left outside to die immediately following her birth because she was a girl and how she became the first woman in her family to receive an education.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai must step down in 2014 due to term limits. Some western officials and women members of parliament have expressed concern that Karzai is trying to broker a power-sharing compromise with the Taliban to bring an end to the war. Koofi told Reuters, "He has lost the trust of this part of society - women, the civil movements, the activists, the Afghan youth and the intellectuals. That is why he is trying to now rely on conservative forces."
Koofi is outspoken against the Taliban and has decried Taliban rule. In an article for the Daily Beast, Koofi wrote, "can anyone really believe the Taliban will share power and be willing to sit in a democratic Parliament alongside a woman? I do not believe it."
Media Resources: Reuters 4/14/12; The Daily Beast 1/6/12
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. . . .
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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. . . .