The new school year will begin in Afghanistan on March 23, and for the first time since Taliban rule, women and girls will return to their classrooms without fear of reprisal. This week five schools in Kabul received, from Pakistan and UNICEF, stationery for 20,000 students and blackboards, and textbooks for 200 teachers. Millions of textbooks that will be used by Afghan students are now being published in Pakistan, and USAID will supply $9 million worth of textbooks through the University of Nebraska.
Over the course of more than two decades of war, many of Afghanistan’s schools were destroyed, and schools are still in need of basic supplies. Still, in Afghanistan there is optimism. “Through education we can change society,” said Afghan Minister for Women’s Affairs Dr. Sima Samar. “It’s difficult but not impossible.”
To find our how you can help Afghan women and girls receive desperately needed education and health care services, join the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign to Stop Gender Apartheid.
Media Resources: UN Wire, 3/14/02; UN Population Fund, 2/19/02; 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. . . .