The British newspaper, The Observer, reports that within the last five years there have been at least 20 deaths in Britain that are linked to so-called crimes of "honour". The United Nations Population Fund estimates that, globally, as many as 5,000 women and girls are murdered by members of their own families, usually a close male relative, for acts that so-call "dishonour" their families. Across the globe in countries like Bangladesh, Brazil, Ecuador, Egypt, India, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sweden, Turkey and Uganda women and girls have been brutally killed because they were raped, suspected of loosing their virginity, looking at a male who is not their husband or close family relative and taking walks without the permission of their family.
The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, the only United Nations body that exclusively addresses women's rights, has condemned such "honour" driven violence as gruesome. The committee monitors global compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and recently won a major victory with the ratification of the Optional Protocol to CEDAW, which will take effect in December 2000. The protocol grants the committee legal authority to seek redress for gender discrimination on the behalf of women and women's rights groups who have exhausted their national systems. Legal prosecutions for perpetuators of so called "honour" killings remain few and largely without stiff penalties. Perpetuators of these crimes often go without any jail time but in a few cases some may receive sentences from zero to six months in jail, oddly in countries where persons charged with murder are often sentenced with death.
Media Resources: The Observer 8 October 2000, Feminist Global News Wire
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. . . .