Ireland Consider Reforms in Handling Violent Crimes Committed Against Women
A working group established in 1995 by the National Womenís Council of Ireland and funded by the Department of Justice has recommended eighty-four reforms to the Minster of Justice in dealing with violent crimes against women. Minister of Justice Mrs. Owen has pledged that some of the recommendations will go into effect immediately. Some of these reforms include giving rape victims their own teams in court and keeping them appraised of each step in the legal process. The report found that, "menís violence against women and children is at crisis levels" in Ireland. It also found that too little attention is focused on the violence women face in the home (most of the legal and media attention is focused on "stranger danger"), only ten to fifteen percent of domestic abuse if reported. And, while half of rapes are reported, the conviction rate remains small.
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. . . .