The US Senate on July 29 passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein condemning the treatment of women and girls in Afghanistan.
The resolution states that Congress "deplores the human rights violations," "condemns the targeted discrimination against women and girls and expressed deep concern regarding the prohibitions on employment and education" in Afghanistan, and "strongly condemns the use of rape or other forms of systematic gender discrimination by any party, faction, of power in Afghanistan as an instrument of war." It also provides that Congress calls on the Taliban to respect women's and girl's rights to education, work, and active participation in all social, political, and economic activities, as well as to protect their personal safety. The resolution also calls for the support of the international community in condemning oppressive behavior in Afghanistan and to support Afghan people both within the country's borders and without.
The Taliban has recently undertaken a raiding spree, smashing the television sets, VCRs, and video equipment of shopholders in Kabul. Deputy vice and virtue minister Mawlawi Qalamuddin said that the armed vice squads would not enter private homes unless they receive reports from neighbors' suspecting un-Islamic activity. The latest edict imposed by the Taliban is that parents have been ordered to give their children Islamic names. The Ministry for Fostering Virtue and Suppressing Vice announced over the radio Tuesday that "vice" names "like Rita, Arita, Parkash, Geeta, and Victor" are not befitting of Muslims.
Media Resources: Agence France Press - July 28 & 29, 1998
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. . . .