Afghan Women Bring Brussels Proclamation to the U.S.
Six delegates from the Afghan Womenís Summit, held in Brussels December 4-5, will meet with members of the U.S. House and Senate as well as the State Department to garner support for the Brussels Proclamation, the Summitís plan for Afghan reconstruction. The delegates, hosted by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS), will present the Proclamation to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today and attend a lunch meeting with other members of the Senate, hosted by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). The women also plan to meet with State Department officials this afternoon. Tomorrow, the delegates will brief members of the House on the Proclamation, which addresses education and culture, health, human rights, and refugees and internally displaced women.
The six delegates in the U.S. are Leila Enayat-Seraj, co-founder of the United Nations Committee on the Prevention of Discriminatory Practices Against Women, Safiqa Habibi, former Afghan broadcast journalist, Adeena Niazi, former professor at Kabul University and founder of an Afghan womenís group, Soraya Paikan, formerly with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, Sahar Saba of the Revolutionary Association of Women in Afghanistan (RAWA), and Sima Wali, CEO of Refugee Women in Development and member of the Rome delegation to the United Nationsí sponsored talks in Bonn.
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. . . .