By a vote of 420-0, the U.S. House of Representatives, with the concurrence of the Senate, passed a Resolution “Condemning the recent order by the Taliban regime of Afghanistan to require Hindus in Afghanistan to wear symbols identifying them as Hindu.” Referencing the requirement in Nazi Germany that Jews wear the yellow Star of David, the resolution strongly condemned the “Taliban’s use of Nazi tactics” and demanded that the Taliban regime “immediately revoke its order stigmatizing Hindus and other non-Muslims in Afghanistan and conform its laws to all basic international civil and human rights standards….”
Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, applauded the action taken by the House. On May 22, when the Taliban requested this religious edict, Smeal compared the Taliban’s treatment of minorities to the Holocaust. “This latest edict is reminiscent of the Third Reich that required Jews to wear a yellow star of David on their clothing, and we all know what that led to," said Smeal. "The treatment of minorities in Afghanistan is bordering on a Holocaust. The civilized world must do more.”
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation, HCON 145 EH
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. . . .