As the U.S.-led war on terrorism ensues, Afghan and U.S. women continue to urge for the restoration of Afghan women’s rights in post-Taliban Afghanistan. Highlighted in the Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women, drafted at the “Conference for Women of Afghanistan” in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, those rights include the right to personal safety, the right to physical and mental health, the right to institutional education, and the right to equal protection under the law. Barbara Beck, a U.S. feminist and Conference attendee who has just returned from Northern Alliance-controlled Afghanistan, said that “the idea was that whenever the Taliban could be dislodged, there would be a constitution and in it we would be pressing for these rights. We never thought last summer it would come so soon.”
The Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women was derived from the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and the Afghan Constitutions of 1964 and 1977. The Declaration specifically recognizes that “the torture and inhumane and degrading treatment imposed by the Taliban on women, as active members of society, have put Afghan society in danger.” The Association to Support the Women of Afghanistan (NEGAR), a Paris-based Afghan organization, sponsored the June 2000 Conference attended by both Afghan women – including women from inside of Afghanistan, Afghan women living in the U.S. and Europe, and more than 250 Afghan women refugees from Tajikistan and Iran – and non-Afghans from five continents.
The Feminist Majority has supported the Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women and has launched a massive campaign aimed at increasing humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, the restoration of Afghan women’s rights, and the establishment of a constitutional democracy in Afghanistan. To find out how you can help, log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 10/10/01; Declaration of the Essential Rights of Afghan Women; Feminist Majority
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .