After negotiations with U.S. and other global officials, the Northern Alliance has postponed its plans to stage a takeover of the Afghan capital, Kabul. Pakistan and the United Nations have been urging that the U.S. not support a military offensive by the Northern Alliance to gain Kabul, fearing that the Alliance will assume control of the country and establish its own government. Northern Alliance leaders have reportedly agreed not to carry out an attempt to seize power and will instead participate in the creation of an interim government. Former Afghan king, Mohammed Zahir Shah, will host a supreme council, which may then call a loya jirga, or grand assembly, to establish a Post-Taliban government if the Taliban regime is ousted. The supreme council will be made up of 120 delegates, one of which will be from the Northern Alliance.
Under the current Taliban regime, Afghan women have been subject to a brutal system of gender apartheid. Under this system, women are banned from employment, prohibited from attending school, and are forbidden from leaving their homes without a close male relative and without wearing a head-to-toe burqa shroud. Before the Taliban came to power, women were over 70 percent of the teachers, 40 percent of doctors, the vast majority of health care workers, and over half of the university students. The Feminist Majority has called for the restoration of Afghan women’s rights and for the establishment of constitutional democracy where women have full representation and a voice in the creation of this new government. Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority President, cautioned that “The United States would be repeating a tragic mistake if it again turns to another set of extremists as it did to repel the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and chooses a dictatorship as the most expedient strategy to replace the Taliban. The restoration of a broad-based democracy, representative of both ethnic minorities and women, with women at the table, is necessary to break the back of a terrorist and a war-torn existence. “
To learn more about the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan and find out how you can help, log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 10/11/01; Feminist Majority
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .