In last month's U.N.-sponsored peace talks, Afghanistan's fundmentalist Taliban militia agreed with the northern opposition alliance to establish a panel of 40 religious scholars who would rule the country. The Taliban has now rescinded this agreement.
The Taliban and the northern opposition had disagreed on qualifications necessary for members of the religious panel. Taliban officials demanded that panel members must be graduates of a recognized Islamic seminary, while opposition groups pushed for allowing scholars and tribal leaders.
The Taliban, which controls about 85% of Afghanistan, has issued decrees prohibiting women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a husband, brother or son, forbidding girls from obtaining an education and denying women adequate access to healthcare. The U.N. has refused to grant recognition of the Taliban as the official ruling power in Afghanistan until women's human rights are restored.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .