The women prisons established by the Taliban represent yet another facet of the gender apartheid imposed by the brutal regime. Mary MacMakin, an American aid worker who was imprisoned by the Taliban for four days in July, commented, "The jail had four women to a room. New arrivals would sit down on the steps sobbing and sobbing." Taliban authorities refuse to release jailed women until they prove that they have learned passages from the Koran.
According to a report by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights, several Taliban-operated prisons, all in poor condition, arbitrarily detain hundreds of women. In Kandahar province, a women's prison allegedly holds more than 400 women. One woman was imprisoned for speaking to a man in the street. The Taliban, which controls 90 percent of Afghanistan, has prohibited women from leaving their homes without a close male relative. Taliban authorities have beaten women for trying to go to work and for leaving their homes alone or without wearing a burqa.
Media Resources: The Times 29 July 2000 Stop Gender Apartheid in Af
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. . . .