Feminists Protest Taliban Official’s Visit to State Department
In violation of a recent United Nations Security Council sanction against the Taliban regime, which currently occupies 95 percent of Afghanistan, a senior official from the Taliban Foreign Ministry traveled to the U.S. on Tuesday and spoke at the Atlantic Council of the United States (ACUS). The UN sanction imposed on the Taliban included restricting the travel of top Taliban officials except for the purposes of peace negotiations, humanitarian reasons or religious obligations. The Feminist Majority and other women’s rights groups, Afghan refugees and Afghan-American supporters rallied outside the ACUS in protest of the reception given to the Taliban official.
The Taliban has violated international human rights laws and has imposed brutal gender apartheid on the women of Afghanistan, barring them from school and work, forcing them to remain in their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative, and requiring all women to wear the oppressive burqa garment with only a mesh of fabric through which to see and breathe. The warring and gender apartheid has driven hundreds of thousands of Afghan women and children from their homes to overcrowded refugee camps. At least 1 million Afghans, mostly women and children, face death from famine and drought.
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. . . .