Pakistan Coup Bodes Poorly for Afghan and Pakistani Women
Senior US officials today expressed concern that Tuesday’s military coup may be the next step in the “Talibanization” of the Pakistani government. They linked the coup to growing fundamentalism within the army since US military aid was cut off in the early 1990s.
Deepa Ollapally of the US Institute of Peace shared their concern that the military government will follow in the footsteps of the Taliban, the ruling terrorist regime in neighboring Afghanistan, by using a distorted and militant version of Islam to gain support from the military and civilian Islamic-Right.
The key, said Shirin Tahir-Khely of the Johns Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute, is “what role the Islamic-Right will take on in the coming days.” Although fundamentalists have always had supporters in Pakistan, she said, they have never before been respected in the political institutions.
Media Resources: New York Times, Nando Times and BBC - October 13, 1999
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. . . .