In yet another attempt to enforce its brutal system of gender apartheid, the Taliban militia ordered the United Nations to close down bakeries run by Afghan women in Afghanistan's capital city of Kabul. The bakeries employ a number of Afghan women and provide bread at subsidized prices for 7,000 of Kabul's poorest women and their families. When the Taliban militia took power in Kabul in 1996, they banned all women from working, forcing widows to rely on begging and charity in order to survive. Only a few women are allowed to work in the health and state sectors, and the UN had hoped that Kabul's bakeries would be exempt from a recent edict forbidding Afghan women from working for relief and aid organizations.
The closing of the bakeries will affect women who were employed in the bakeries, as well as widows who relied on the subsidized bread for survival. Currently, there are tens of thousands of widows in Kabul as a result of two decades of war, many of whom are not sure what they will do now that bread is no longer available. This new decree comes at a particularly difficult time as the drought in Afghanistan is causing many Afghans to face extreme hunger. Feminist Majority Foundation president Eleanor Smeal stated, "we condemn the Taliban's latest atrocity denying women their livelihood as well as denying food to a nation that is literally starving to death."
Since 1996, when the Taliban militia took control of Kabul, women in areas under Taliban rule have been oppressed by a strict system of gender apartheid, under which they have been stripped of their visibility, voice and mobility. The edicts imposed by the Taliban, which have been brutally enforced, banished most women from the work force, closed schools to girls in cities and expelled women from universities, and prohibited women from leaving their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. The Feminist Majority Foundation's Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid in Afghanistan works to fully and permanently restore the human rights of Afghan women and girls.
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. . . .