U.S. State Department Says Taliban Unable To Govern
The Taliban have demonstrated that they unable to effectively govern, said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Alan Eastham. Eastham cited the Taliban's refusal to address the needs of the Afghan people and the fact that the Taliban have not taken into account the wishes of the international community with respect to terrorism, narcotics, and protection of human rights. “We feel strongly that a country which discards half of its population, which rules out any productive role outside the home for half the population, the female half, is not doing itself much of a service,” Eastham said. “If you deny the ability of half of the population [to be] educated, you're condemning the country to backwardness essentially. That is the point of dispute with the Taliban. It's not a question of disputing their basic societal tenets or even debating Islam with them. It is that to become a country which participates in the world, Afghanistan needs its women. That is our point on human rights.” Eastham also cited the Taliban’s role in opium production and terrorism as further evidence of their inability to govern.
The Afghan people are currently living under a brutal system of gender apartheid and ethnic and cultural genocide, and the situation is further exacerbated by the region’s most severe drought, which has left thousands of people without adequate food, water, and shelter.
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. . . .