An eyewitness to the bombings in Kabul reported that Afghans greeted the U.S.-led military strikes in Afghanistan with silent enthusiasm. According to the eyewitness [as reported in the New York Times], a twenty-five year old man now living in a Pakistani refugee area, Afghan women were the most hopeful that U.S. attacks would lead to the end of the Taliban and its brutally restrictive system of gender apartheid. “Among women, there was optimism, 100 percent,” he told reporters. Under the Taliban, women have been banned from schools, barred from working, prohibited from meeting in groups, and forbidden to leave their homes without a close male relative or without a head-to-toe burqa shroud. Women make up sixty to seventy percent of the Afghan population, and before the Taliban rose to power, were the majority of teachers, healthcare workers, and university students.
The eyewitness also spoke of the uncertainty that many Afghans feel about the fate of a possible post-Taliban Afghanistan. He reports that in Kabul, many worry that the Northern Alliance will advance into the city and assume control of Afghanistan. Part of the hopefulness of the Afghan people over the attacks, the man explained, was the hope for a return to constitutional democracy. “People saw those bombs, and they said, ‘We can bear these things because finally we may get a government of the people, for the people and by the people.’”
The Feminist Majority 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: New York Times, 10/14/01; Feminist Majority
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. . . .