Senators Urge Inclusion of Afghan Women in Rebuilding of Afghanistan
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (D-KS) held a press conference at the Capitol yesterday to urge the Bush Administration and the United Nations to ensure that the women of Afghanistan play a central role in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Senators Boxer and Brownback, both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, were joined by Senators Jean Carnahan (D-MO), Hillary Clinton, (D-NY), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) in calling for the inclusion of women in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
>Senators Boxer and Brownback sent a letter to President Bush on Wednesday requesting that he work to ensure the involvement of Afghan women in the planning and reconstruction of a post-Taliban Afghanistan. The two senators also spoke with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan on Wednesday to discuss the need to include women women in a post-Taliban Afghanistan.
In her statement Senator Boxer said "The women of Afghanistan have taken off their veils and we can see their faces. Now we want to hear their voices as Afghanistan rebuilds its future. I hope that the Bush Administration hears our voices and works with us to ensure the rights of these women."
Media Resources: Senator Boxer News Release; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .