Former Afghan King Supports Taliban Role in New Government
Afghanistan's former king Mohammed Zahir Shah has agreed that moderate factions of the Taliban should play a decision-making role in the re-formation of Afghan government. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf have also endorsed this position while Russia and India remain opposed to opening any leadership roles to the Taliban. Reports have suggested that possible allowances are being made for the Taliban at the insistence of Pakistan, which is trying to dilute the influence of the Northern Alliance in the reconstruction process.
Pakistan had been the primary source of support to the Taliban before the U.S.-led war on terrorism began, supplying military aid and personnel. Many Afghans interviewed by the Feminist Majority believe that the Taliban is principally a Pakistan-led and supplied occupying foreign military force.
The Feminist Majority is conducting a major campaign urging that Afghan women's rights be restored and that a constitutional democracy in Afghanistan be re-established. Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority President, has noted that the discussion of incorporating so-called moderate elements of the Taliban into the reconstruction process in Afghanistan is of increasing concern. The Taliban has committed horrific crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, including the institution of gender apartheid, a system under which women have lost the most basic human rights.
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. . . .