Fear Of Ethnic Cleansing By Taliban Displaces 100,000
Earlier this month, Taliban forces captured the northern city of Taloqan that borders Tajikistan. Taliban take over of Taloqan sounds the alarm in an already catastrophic situation for Afghans with the Taliban close to capturing the remaining 10% of Afghanistan. Taloqan was the major strong hold of the Northern Alliance, the major force opposing the Taliban inside Afghanistan. More than 100,000 ethnic minorities are reported to have fled Taloqan to escape the Taliban's brutality. United Nations officials and other non-governmental relief agencies are gravely concerned about the plight of those fleeing Taloqan because neither can transport food or medicine due to Taliban block of roads accessing the region. "With a drought already severe, and winter fast approaching, thousands of people could die in the next few weeks," remarked a relief worker in Afghanistan quoted by Electronic Telegraph. United Nations officials are currently invoking talks with Taliban leaders in Kabul to convince the transport of aid convoys to refugees in the Pamir Mountains in preparation of winter that is only six weeks away.
Since 1996, when the Taliban militia took control of Kabul, women in areas under Taliban rule have been oppressed by a strict system of gender apartheid, under which they have been stripped of their visibility, voice and mobility. The edicts imposed by the Taliban, which have been brutally enforced, banished most women from the work force, closed schools to girls in cities and expelled women from universities, and prohibited women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan works to fully and permanently restore the human rights of Afghan women and girls.
Media Resources: BBC News 12 September 2000, Electronic Telegraph 12 September 2000, AFP 12 September 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. . . .