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.
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. . . .