Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ultraconservative politician famous for his 30-year assault on women’s rights, announced his retirement today, effective at the end of his 2003 term. Throughout his tenure, Helms orchestrated several major rollbacks against women’s rights, including the 1973 ban on U.S funds to international organizations offering abortions. His most recent attacks have included attempts to defund colleges and universities offering emergency contraception to students and attempts to strip US aid to the U.N. Population Fund.
Through his position as the Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Helms has single-handedly held up floor consideration for several years of the U.N. treaty on gender discrimination, the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). He is also spearheading efforts to scuttle U.S. ratification of an International Criminal Court, which would deal with crimes against humanity, such as genocide, rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced sterilization, forced pregnancy, and other forms of sexual violence.
Media Resources: Washington Post 8/21/01; Feminist News Archives
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .