The Herald Magazine recently published an article contending that "scores" of Afghan women have turned to prostitution in order to support themselves. Widowed by decades of civil war, forbidden from work , and largely confined to their homes, Afghan women have few opportunities to gain income.
Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) spokesperson Zarghuna Hashemi stated, "There are hundreds of prostitutes roaming the streets of Kabul and their numbers are rising every day. They are not the regular professionals we had in Kabul before or during the war. These women are a product of the economic turmoil of the last three years."
A former member of the Taliban's religious police explained that many prostitutes approach potential customers by pretending to be beggars, then make appointments for sex. He said clients "are mainly shop keepers and their trading partners in Pakistan, Iran and the Gulf," and said that storerooms and attics are often the site of the exchanges. Other women live in brothels, of which there are about 25-30 in Kabul.
Prostitutes and johns who are caught by authorities often avoid serious punishment through the offering of judicial bribes. Taliban soldiers, who are allowed to frequent brothel prostitutes at no charge, are unlikely to crack down on the practice.
Media Resources: The Herald Magazine - August, 1999
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. . . .