Yugoslav International Tribunal Prosecutes Bosnian Serbs for Wartime Rape Crimes
The international war crimes trial of a Bosnian Serb accused of raping four Muslim women marks the first international prosecution for wartime sexual enslavement. On July 3rd, the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal rejected the defense's motion to dismiss 11 torture counts against two defendants. The prosecution, supported by the courageous testimonies of 16 Muslim women, charged that rape was a military tactic designed to "ethnically cleanse" the region, and intimidate and traumatize women and girls. Witnesses described how dozens of women and girls - one as young as the age of 12 - were captured, beaten and raped nightly. The International War Crimes Tribunal of Yugoslavia mandates a maximum life sentence for crimes of rape and enslavement.
Media Resources: Washington Post 5 July 2000, Associated Press, Was
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. . . .