As girls return to school here in the United States, Afghan women and girls continue to suffer under the Taliban’s ban on education for females. The Feminist Majority Foundation’s Back to School Campaign is aimed at improving educational opportunities to Afghan women and girls through scholarships to U.S. universities, an adopt-a-school project to support clandestine home schools for girls in Afghanistan and refugee camp schools in Pakistan, and a petition drive to pressure the U.S. and U.N. to increase aid to the region. Just one week after announcing the campaign, 69 groups have signed on, including the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance at Brandeis University. Jesse Mostipak, a founding member of the group, was recently interviewed by the Boston Globe, voicing her opposition to the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women. Groups participating in the campaign range from college women’s organizations to high school groups to junior high classrooms to advocacy organizations.
The Globe acknowledged the U.S. State Department’s recent statement that FMF’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan has produced “as much or more mail than any other foreign policy issue has.” FMF has gathered 211,000 petitions to the U.S. State Department, the White House, and the United Nations, demanding that the U.S. and U.N. put more pressure on the Taliban and the countries that support the terrorist regime.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation and Boston Globe, A1 – September 1, 2000
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. . . .