Thousands of Women Kidnapped, Trafficked by Taliban
General Mohammed Qasim, an official in the interim Afghan ministry of justice, has pledged to investigate the thousands of female abductions committed by the Taliban. Qasim, however, admitted that many of the women and girls kidnapped by the Taliban would be difficult to locate as many of them have been killed, forced to be concubines of Taliban officers who have fled, or trafficked into areas outside of Afghanistan. According to Qasim, the Taliban regularly sold women as sex slaves to fund its regime.
The total number of women sold into sexual slavery, however, may never be known. Qasim estimates that the number is at least one thousand, but families, fearing reprisal from the Taliban, have been hesitant to report these crimes. Other families, according to Human Rights Watch researcher Farhat Bokhari, fear dishonor. Still many of the abducted are orphan girls without families. In a meeting with the U.S. State Department earlier this week, Dr. Sima Samar, Deputy Prime Minister for the Afghan interim government, announced that creating orphanages to protect young girls from sex trafficking would be one of her goals in her new post.
Even with the end of the Taliban, women and girls might not be completely safe from sex trafficking. According to one official, kidnappings and trafficking were also common practices of mujaheddin leaders that ruled the country before the Taliban took power. Some mujaheddin leaders will have roles in the new Afghan government.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 12/19/01; Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .