Amnesty International Urges Pakistan to Protect Activists
Amnesty International urged Pakistan's government to take steps to protect the women who will protest against the Taliban's abuse of Afghan women and girls on International Women's Day, March 8.
Amnesty International reported that a particular activist group, Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), has received "continued threats" from warring factions in Afghanistan and may be especially vulnerable. RAWA has been very vocal in its protest of Afghanistan's repressive Taliban regime and provides education and health care to Afghan women and children at refugee camps in Pakistan.
Agence France Press reported today that Taliban officials has not marked International Women's Day with any special statement or activities, as happened in major Afghan cities before the Taliban gained power in 1996. Instead a Taliban official disparaged Hillary Clinton for criticizing the regime's treatment of Afghan women and girls. The official stated. "It is surprising that Hillary Clinton, shamelessly ignoring the recent White House sex scandal and inhuman treatment of female prisoners in her country, has deemed it fit to talk of Afghan women's rights."
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. . . .