Feminist Majority Calls Attention to Gender Apartheid in New York Times
As the Taliban puts aid workers on trial for “proselytizing Christianity” and Afghan refugees off the coast of Australia finally gain asylum in New Zealand and other countries, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal calls attention to gender apartheid in Afghanistan in a letter to the editor in today’s New York Times. Smeal focuses on the Taliban’s horrific treatment of women and girls, as well as their targeting of ethnic and religious minorities in Afghanistan, and calls on the United States and the United Nations to pressure Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to withdraw their support of the Taliban.
In other news, the world is finally responding to the refugee crisis off the coast of Australia where refugees have now been moved to an Australian navy vessel that can better serve the needs of the large group. New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark announced this weekend that her nation would accept 150 of the 450 refugees - most of them from Afghanistan - awaiting asylum aboard a ship in Australian waters. The island republic of Nauru will accept the other 300 people temporarily. They will be resettled to other countries, which may include Australia, Norway, and Canada, although Australian Prime Minister John Howard is still determined to keep the refugees off Australian soil, despite public outcry against his position. Clark is now appealing to the UN for more financial support for the 3.6 million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan and other nations around the world.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .