The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women has voiced concerns that the rights of women in Afghanistan may be compromised in the interest of peace negotiations.
The Afghan government has pledged that women's rights are non-negotiable in the peace negotiations with the Taliban. However, the committee is concerned that without international support women's rights could be rolled back in Taliban sympathetic areas or even by the government in order to reach a peace deal.
At a news briefing, the chair of the committee, Nicole Ameline, told reporters We have had official assurances ... I would like to consider a government's word as credible. But she suggesting that women's rights may be compromised. We are worried about Afghanistan because we're at a decisive moment. If we don't manage to preserve the rights of women after having devoted so much energy, resources and support in all forms in this country, it will mark a failure by the international community, she said.
The committee cited high prevalence of domestic violence, forced marriages, and an increased number of Taliban attacks on girls' schools. Ameline explained, Afghanistan displays a concentration of forms of violence which for the most part are linked to patriarchal and ancestral systems, and which are exacerbated when they occur in zones which are not necessarily under direct state control.
Media Resources: Sources: AFP 7/29/2013; Reuters 7/29/2013; Feminist Newswire 6/20/2013
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. . . .