An influential group of Canadian and American women is asking Ottawa to take steps to restore women's rights in Afghanistan. The Taliban fundamentalist regime has denied women their basic human rights including education, work, and the ability to leave their homes without a close male relative.
The group, including Sally Armstrong, editor-at-large of Chatelaine magazine, and The Body Shop Canada president Margot Franssen, has asked Ottawa Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy to be more of a leader in addressing the abuses of women in Afghanistan.
Armstrong recognized American, Canadian and European women have protested this treatment to the United Nations, but the conditions for women in Afghanistan remain "worse than ever."
The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan has over 150 leading human rights and women's organizations, in the U.S. and around the world. The Campaign has already had a major impact on U.S. policy towards Afghanistan, helping to double the number of Afghan refugees allowed in to the U.S. each year and to stop the U.S. and U.N. from recognizing the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan.
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. . . .