Study Reveals Harsh Conditions for Women in Afghanistan
Physicians for Human Rights published a recent study on the conditions Afghanistan women have suffered under Taliban rule. Its findings show that women in Afghanistan continually face heinous abuse and are suffering from lack of health care and education.
"We are not aware of any place in the world in recent history where women have so systematically been deprived of every opportunity to survive in the society -- from working to getting an education to walking on the street to getting health care," said Leonard Rubenstein, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights.
The report gave accounts of women who died from easily curable diseases such as appendicitis because hospitals turned them away. Many women have also died during labor because they have no access to medical aid. Even in instances where a woman is allowed access to treatment, she is not allowed to communicate directly with her doctor. The doctor instead speaks to a male relative, who is reponsible for communicating her symptoms.
Feelings of desperation continue to grow amongst women in Afghanistan. Reports of suicide and depression have increased as women are stripped of their rights and their hope.
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. . . .