The Kenya chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA-Kenya) found that women suffer the most during ethnic conflicts. A fact-finding mission revealed that women living in and around areas of repeated civil conflicts experience increased violence, poverty and health and hygiene problems.
FIDA-Kenya member Njoki Ndung’u reported, “There are many internally displaced people in Kenya today and it is unfortunate that the most affected are women .... We have even encountered cases of rape but the women are too poor to litigate.”
Interviewers talked to widows who are losing property because they have no way to prove that it belongs to them. FIDA also reported on 150 women and 400 children that are camped at a Catholic church in Lamurdiac. The women are being forced to protect the camp themselves, and are living on one meal a day.
Ndung’u added, “Special needs of women concerning personal hygiene and their health and dignity are undermined in such situations.”
FIDA-Kenya is urging the Kenya government to set up a relief fund for victims of the violence that would enable the women to gain access to their land and rebuild their homes.
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. . . .