Nigerians Demand More Rescue Efforts for 200 Kidnapped Girls
Nigerians are demanding that their government do more to bring home the roughly 200 girls who were kidnapped more than two weeks ago on April 14 by the militant insurgency group Boko Haram.
Protesters took to the streets of Abuja and Lagos this week to criticize the Nigerian government's handling of the mass kidnapping. Rallies are being held in the coming days in the US, Canada, and England in support of the Nigerian families who have lost their daughters, calling on the government to do more and for the terrorist group to release the girls, and a massive social media campaign using the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls and #BringBackOurDaughters has spurred greater international attention.
Armed members of Boko Haram kidnapped about 234 teenage school girls from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, located in the northeast of Nigeria. Although some girls were able to escape, the fate of roughly 200 girls still remains unclear. Some parents in Chibok believe that the girls might have been trafficked into neighboring Cameroon. A group of civilians launched a search party into the forested area near the border to look for the girls. They reported fears that the girls were forced into sex slavery.
"I thought it was the end of my life," Deborah Sanya told reporter Alexis Okeowo from the New Yorker. Sanya is one of the lucky few who was able to escape. She reportedly fled with two friends after being taken only a few villages away from the school. "Nobody rescued them," a government official in Chibok told Okeowo. "I want you to stress this point. Nobody rescued them. They escaped on their accord. This is painful."
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. . . .