UN Meets with Afghan Women on Reconstruction Process
Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, met with Afghan women in Pakistan yesterday to discuss the reconstruction of post-Taliban Afghanistan. The women, many of whom were working for nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Pakistan, strongly expressed the need for the restoration of Afghan women’s rights. The Director of the UN Information Center quoted one woman as saying, “There should be space for women’s development and education in the future of Afghanistan.” Brahimi is scheduled to meet with another group of Afghan women today.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday also highlighted the importance of women in ensuring peace and global security worldwide. In a statement adopted by the Security Council, the body announced that it “reaffirms its strong support for increasing the role of women in decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and resolution and renews its call on States to include women in the negotiations and implementation of peace accords, constitutions and strategies for resettlement and rebuilding.”
The Feminist Majority leads a major campaign aimed at restoring the rights of Afghan women, assuring that women have a role in the reconstruction process, and re-establishing a constitutional democracy in Afghanistan in which women have equal rights. To learn how you can help and to join the Feminist Majority’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan, log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
Media Resources: United Nations Press Release, 10/31/01; United Nations Information Center Press Briefing Transcript, 10/31/01
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. . . .