Fifty Afghan women leaders will convene in Brussels, December 4-5, to attend an Afghan Women’s Summit for Democracy. The women represent a wide range of ethnic backgrounds and hail from all sectors of society, including the fields of education, healthcare, and politics. Three of the participants, Sima Wali, Seddige Balkhi, and Amini Afzali, are now serving as delegates to the meetings in Bonn. Other women leaders from around the globe will also be present at the summit to show their support for the involvement of Afghan women in the reconstruction and peace process in Afghanistan. Several women’s rights organization are hosting the Summit, including the Feminist Majority, the European Women’s Lobby, Equality Now, V-day, and the Center for Strategic Initiatives of Women, which will be held at the European Commission in Brussels in collaboration with the United Nations’ Gender Advisor to the Secretary General and UNIFEM. Judge Navanethem Pillay, South African President of the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, will chair the Summit.
A delegation of Afghan women plan to meet with the European Parliamnet, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and the UN Security Council in the weeks immediately following the Summit.
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. . . .