Hillary Clinton Condemns Taliban Abuses in U.N. Speech
In a speech to United Nations staff and delegates yesterday, Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke out against the Taliban's abuse of Afghan women and girls and the trafficking of women in children for use as prostitutes in Thailand and many other nations.
"There probably is no more egregious and systematic trampling of fundamental rights of women today than what is happening in Afghanistan under the iron rule of the Taliban," said Clinton. "We have heard all of us the stories of women being flogged with metal cables because a bit of ankle would be showing. We have heard of women being taken to hospital after hospital and finally dying ... because there were no women doctors and no male doctor could be permitted to treat the women," she continued.
Clinton vehemently declared, "It is no longer acceptable to say that the abuse and mistreatment of women in cultural. It should be called what it is -- criminal." Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright has made similar remarks in the past in reference to the treatment of Afghan girls and women under the repressive Taliban regime.
Clinton also condemned the sexual trafficking of women and girls. She told the audience of how she had met with girls who were sold into sexual slavery by their families in Thailand. "I met the girls who had come home after they had been used up, after they had contracted H.I.V. and AIDS. If you've ever held the had of a 13-year-old girl dying of AIDS, you can understand how critical it is that we take every step possible to prevent this happening to any other girl, anywhere, in the world."
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. . . .