High-Profile Case Highlights Problem of Rape in Mexico
A high-profile case involving the conviction of 15 former policemen on charges of kidnapping and rape in Mexico City has focused public attention on the lack of protection for rape victims in Mexico. In this case, two girls, aged 13 and 15, were abducted and raped by the police officers, then publicly harangued by the defendants’ supporters and the media.
Although in this case the officers were convicted, an atmosphere of hostility and shame prevents many other rape victims from ever filing charges. Investigators and lawyers often ask victims to prove that they were virgins prior to the rape and whether they “enjoyed” it. Women are frequently threatened by rapists’ relatives and friends, and accused by their own families of “provoking” the attack. One woman who identified the godson of the state attorney general as an attacker was illegally jailed and beaten by police. She later committed suicide.
Women’s rights organizations in Mexico have responded by calling for the implementation of laws that protect victims’ privacy. However, Rivera said, “As long as men continue to be taught that women are sex objects, something to have power over, nothing is going to change.”
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. . . .