>Maria Angelina Lopes Sarmento, coordinator of Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute (Small Stream Causes a Big River), Dili, East Timor "We train people to respond without violence when resolving conflicts or matters of land ownership. We don’t tell them what to do. They have to find their own solution. Freedom from violence can only happen when each of us refrains from violence. In the case of America, you need some very big changes. The government needs to understand that what they have done to other people or countries will be paid for by the blood of its own people. I speak from experience in East Timor. We won’t have peace until inequalities have been addressed."
Leyla Yunus, M.D., co-chairwoman of the Council of the Transcaucasus Women’s Dialogue Project, Baku, Azerbaijan "We have lived in conflict with Armenia for 12 years, and have suffered horribly. But we have tried to avoid positioning this as a conflict between Christians and Muslims. We have mixed families. We looked for peaceful solutions. We are disappointed that in a nation like the U.S., which has more rule of law than our own, relations between Muslims and Christians have deteriorated as a result of this war on terrorism. I am worried for Azerbaijan. I think we may end up with an Islamic dictatorship. After the attacks, the government limited free speech. Maybe religious extremism will come out of our struggle against dictatorship, poverty, and economic crisis."
Dasa Duhacek, coordinator of the Centre for Women’s Studies, Belgrade, Yugoslavia "Many Serbians are somehow satisfied at the U.S. getting attacked. But when you ask them to realize what this means-thousands of people killed- they are surprised at their own violent reactions. There was public resentment here against the U.S. after they bombed Belgrade. Obviously, this comes with nationalist Serbian feelings that rely on compartments: all Albanians equal terrorists. It’s a politics called 'us versus them.' Yet that politics will always end up in expanding circles of violence."
Cassandra Balchin, program coordinator for Women Living Under Muslim Laws, Paris, France There are two immediate worries: 1) shady political and religious groups are getting too much airtime, giving them more legitimacy and publicity than they deserve; 2) the invisible geopolitical problems. There are fears that the U.S. will try to establish military bases on Sri Lanka, which could have a direct impact on that country’s civil war. The announcement that there will be U.S. bases in Pakistan means that country will once again have a military regime backed by the U.S. It took 11 years to dislodge the last military regime. Meanwhile, they passed all sorts of antiwomen legislation there that we have yet to get rid of. The people of Afghanistan have to deal with all this plus the bombs. And the Northern Alliance has a terrible human rights record. This doesn’t concern the U.S. Afghan women are not going to get a government that supports women’s rights. And despite all this, there are women who struggle and carry on.
Navanethem Pillay, judge, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, based in Arusha, Tanzania Terrorism is a crime. I speak from my experience in South Africa, where we have been victims of terrorism. I also speak from my experience in trying the crimes against humanity arising from the massacres of more than 500,000 people over a 100-day period in Rwanda in 1994. "We hear President Bush talk of going after not only the actual perpetrators but those who shelter them. The world, particularly Africa, has always wondered why serious criminals who have killed many people should be living comfortably on the French Riviera, with millions of dollars stashed away in Swiss banks.
To some degree, international tribunals globalize accountability. The U
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
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. . . .