The Taliban's Ministry of Justice has worked with more than 2000 religious scholars to draft a constitution based on Islamic Sharia law. The constitution is currently pending approval from the Taliban's leadership.
A representative of the Taliban stated that the new constitution concentrates on three fundamental objectives -- enforcement of Islamic principles, restoring peace in Afghanistan, and clearly defining the country's borders and territories.
On the issue of women's rights leaders and other forces opposing the Taliban, envoy to Pakistan Maulvi Saeed-ur-Rahman Haqqani told reporters "We will not snatch rights from women that have been given to them by Islam. After the war is ended in Afghanistan, we will present a model for womenfolk." Noting that there is no possibility of co-education in Afghanistan because "Islam does not allow such a system," Haqqani added, "We do not want to make women as animals. We will keep them nicely in a box like pearls."
Haqqani also declared the Taliban's desire for international recognition and for friendly relationships with other countries. He urged countries opposing the Taliban to stop their interference, saying "We have no aggressive designs against any country. We do not believe in aggression."
Taliban soldiers regularly beat women for things like laughing, walking loudly, or failing to cover their entire bodies while in public. Women accused of adultery are stoned to death and suspected thieves have their hands amputated at public ceremonies.
After recent military gains by opposition forces, the Taliban now reportedly controls 75% rather than 90% of the country.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .