Two women’s names have been released as candidates for posts in the transitional Afghan government. Negotiators meeting in Bonn named Dr. Sima Samar to be one of five deputy prime ministers as well as the minister of women’s affairs. Samar, a women's rights advocate and medical doctor, fled the country in the 1980s during the Soviet occupation and is the director of Shuhada Organization, which runs 50 schools for girls and boys, 12 clinics, and 2 hospitals in Afghanistan as well as 4 schools for girls and boys, a hospital, and a clinic in Quetta, Pakistan. In addition, Samar runs numerous other health, income-generation, and relief programs for Afghan women living inside of the country and those living as refugees in Pakistan. Negotiators also named Suhaila Seddiqi, a physician and retired general, to lead the ministry of health. Seddiqi served in the Afghan military during the Soviet occupation.
In Quetta, Pakistan, Afghan women and men interviewed by the LA Times showed support for the appointed women, especially Samar. Mahzawar Angoor, an elderly Afghan woman, told reporters, “I thank God that now we have a woman in the government,” and when asked for his reaction, Haji Ali Jan said, “Why shouldn’t we be enthusiastic about her? She is educated and she is patriotic, whereas those Taliban, I cannot even call them Afghans.”
Media Resources: LA Times, 12/6/01; Feminist Majority Foundation
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .