Women Are Casualties of World's Early Indifference Towards AIDS Epidemic in Africa
According to a Washington Post report, global organizations and national governments ignored the warnings of an imminent AIDS plague in Africa. Despite the World Health Organization's warnings that tens of millions would be infected with the HIV virus by 2000, the Washington Post charges that the US Congress, global organizations, and foreign capitals resisted funding resources that could have prevented the health crisis in Africa. "If this would have happened in the Balkans, or in Eastern Europe, or in Mexico, with white people, the reaction would have been different," remarked Peter Piot, executive director for the UN Program on HIV/AIDS.
Women in Africa suffer the brunt of the AIDS epidemic. For example, hundreds of women during the pre-election violence in Zimbabwe were raped and infected with the disease, which will undoubtedly worsen the exploding pandemic. Patriarchal values place taboos on the usage of contraceptives, and women who defy the norms are frequently shunned. The infection rate in the sub-Saharan region is 20 percent higher among women than men. The AIDS epidemic has also orphaned more than 13 million children.
Media Resources: Washington Post 5 July 2000, The Independent (Lond
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. . . .