After an intense debate in parliament, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak issued a decree to strike down an Egyptian law that allows rapists to go unpunished if they marry the woman they raped.
Proponents of the law argued that eliminating of the law would further victimize women, since a woman who has been raped is considered "unmarriageable" by many in Egyptian culture and would have difficulty finding a husband. Still others contend that marriage is necessary to restore the honor of a rape survivor's family.
Minister of Justice Farouk Seif el-Nasr stated that Mubarak's decision was made based on evidence that the law ``encouraged the criminals to perpetrate their crime instead of deterring them.''
The Egyptian Cabinet has endorsed Mubarak's decree and sent it to parliament for ratification. Member of parliament will consider the issue today. A parliamentary vote has not yet been scheduled.
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. . . .