After most of the aid agencies in Kabul pulled out, the Taliban announced that people should not worry because the UN would fill the void. The UN, however, says that the agency simply does not have the resources to fulfill the need created by the aid pullout. UN aid is actually being reduced to show support for the aid agencies that pulled out.
The UN has remained in Kabul because they were excluded from the Taliban's order that aid agencies either leave Afghanistan or move into a broken down slum that lacked utilities and water. In May, the UN had negotiated with the Taliban to avoid this fate. The agreement at the end of these negotiations stated that female access to health care and education "will need to be gradual." The other aid groups besides the UN say they did not accept that and regularly butted heads with the Taliban over the militia's treatment of women. The groups that pulled out wanted women to have the same access to aid resources as men did . Many of the groups felt that the order to move to the slum was a masked expulsion to avoid the continued conflict over the Taliban's treatment of women.
Although the Taliban denies that the pullout will harm the people of Kabul, many drinking water pumps have since stopped and city residents will soon start to use wells located to close too latrines, which is likely to result in a major outbreak of disease. Already, just a few days after the pullout, disease is on the rise without aid groups to provide medicine and medical staff. The Taliban's money and resources are directed towards gaining more territory from opposing forces.
Media Resources: Agence France Presse - July 22, 1998
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. . . .