While Afghan women are in the midst of a refugee health crisis that threatens the lives of millions, the Vatican has criticized efforts by the United Nations to provide sound healthcare information and services. At issue is the UN Inter-Agency Field Manual on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations which the Holy See offices condemn because it encourages healthcare workers to provide information on emergency contraception and sterilization to women who are at high-risk for rape and maternal death. The Vatican also criticized the manual for taking a “nonjudgmental” approach to extramarital sex and homosexuality.
Kris Janowski, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, defended the manual. “Basically we are telling our people in the field they need to give options to those exposed to rape and AIDS,” said Janowski. “We cannot impose a moral solution. We’re just trying to save lives and protect people, trying to make their lives less miserable.” Afghans have one of the highest rates of maternal mortality as well as child and infant mortality in the world. According to U.N. agencies, refugee women are also more susceptible to rape and other types of sexual violence which can lead to even higher mortality rates, an increase in the spread of sexual transmitted diseases, and an increase in unsafe abortions.
The Feminist Majority is leading a massive campaign to increase humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees, the majority of which are women and children. To find out how you can help, log on to www.HelpAfghanWomen.com.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .