Gender inequity persists in forms such as "honor killings," trafficking and sexual exploitation, and legal restrictions on property rights, reported members of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the only UN human rights body that exclusively addresses women's rights. The committee spotlighted the gruesome nature of "honor killings," which occur when men kill a female relative suspected of actions perceived as shameful and damaging to family honor. Women have been killed for speaking to a man, being raped, and being suspected of adultery or pre-marital sexual intercourse. In over 90 percent of the cases families of the women had ordered or performed the killing themselves. This killing is often glorified as a necessary duty, and in countries where legal punishments exist, the perpetrators face lenient sentences for the murders.
The 23 experts convened for three weeks at the United Nations headquarters to review studies on women's status in seven countries and offer recommendations for eradicating gender inequality. CEDAW committee monitors global compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, which has been ratified by 165 countries, excluding the United States.
Take Action Now on CEDAW.
Media Resources: UN News, 3 July 2000, AP 1 July 2000
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .