Afghan Commission to Establish Loya Jirga Will Have 3 Women
Afghanistan’s interim government leader, Hamid Karzai, announced Friday that there will be three women in the 21-member commission he has selected to help establish the country’s loya jirga.
Women appointed to Karzai’s commission include:
·Mahbooba Hoquqmul, Deputy Chairman of the Commission, is a Kabul University law professor, and prior to the Taliban takeover, served as director of the University’s law faculty. She was also director of the Afghan Women’s Association in the mid 1990’s and did social service work in Pakistan from 1996-2001.
·Surya Parlika, is a long-time Afghan women’s rights activist. She holds degrees in economics and international relations.
The loya jirga, or grand council, is scheduled to convene in approximately five months to elect a two-year interim government for Afghanistan. In the meantime, members of Karzai’s commission will travel to various parts of Afghanistan to help people choose their representatives to the loya jirga, which will be composed of more than 500 representatives.
Media Resources: Washington Post, 1/27/02: US News and World Report 12/31/01; and Feminist Majority Foundation
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. . . .