About 1,000 women marched through the streets of Peshawar, Pakistan to protest the Taliban militia group, which rules of two-thirds of Afghanistan. Protesters, organized by the Revolutionary Afghan Women’s Association, cried out against Taliban decrees that strip women of their basic human rights. Dozens of young men, including members of the Taliban, approached the women and started fights that resulted in minor injuries.
Since the Taliban gained control of the capital city of Kabul in September 1996 they have passed decrees that forbid girls from obtaining an education, deny women adequate access to healthcare and prohibit women from working outside their homes.
The protestors were also demonstrating against the Taliban opposition group and the Northern Alliance’s so-called “peace talks” that are underway in the capital city of Pakistan, Islamabad, according to the Voice of America.
Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban militia and opposition groups agreed on criteria for choosing ulema, or Islamic scholars, who will participate in a commission designed to negotiate peace in the country. Delegates for each side agreed to nominate 20 members who will be bound to implement the commission’s decisions. Neither side will have veto power over nominations.
European Union delegates held talks this weekend with Taliban leaders, including the second-in-command Mullah Mohammad Rabbani, the minister for public health and the deputy foreign minister. EU Delegates threatened to place severe restrictions on humanitarian aid to the country unless restoration of women’s human rights and other violations are considered.
Mukesh Kapila of Britain’s Department for International Development said, “While the European Union is committed to continuing assistance, the nature and volume of assistance is influenced by operating conditions.” He said, “There is a bottom line: if aid cannot be effectively given there is clearly no point in providing it.”
The European Union, composed of 15 member states and commissions, is the largest donor to Afghanistan, granting 150 million dollars to the country in 1997.
Feminist News Stories on Afghanistan
Stop Gender Apartheid Now!
Media Resources: Voice of America, Washington Post - April 28/30, 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. . . .