UN Secretary Kofi Annan this week condemned the Taliban decree ordering Hindus to wear a yellow identification badge. The US, India, and other countries have also denounced the badges, likening them to the yellow stars Jews were forced to wear in Nazi Germany. The badge is the most recent of the Taliban militiaís extreme and oppressive decrees. The Talibanís religious police, the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, are responsible for patrolling the streets, shops, and hospitals of the Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan (about 90% of the country). They are empowered to jail a man for having a beard smaller than his fist, lash a woman for showing bare skin, or close a shop if the owner fails to attend mosque five times a day. Women are barred from working outside the home, except in hospitals. Recently, the Taliban raided a hospital where men and women were working because they dined in the same cafeteria (separated by a curtain). Television, independent radio, and musical instruments are also banned.
The Feminist Majority Foundation continues to encourage the U.S. government to send increased aid to Afghan refugees fleeing from the Taliban. Take Action Now
Media Resources: Reuters, Azadi Afghan Radio, Feminist Majority Foundation
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .