FM President Leads Call for Expansion of Peace Troops in Afghanistan
Delivering the keynote address at the National Council of Women’s Organizations’ Women’s Equality Summit and Action Day, Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal called for a national women's campaign in support of peace troop expansion and more U.S. resources for Afghanistan's reconstruction. "Peace and security must be established across Afghanistan to enable the restoration of women's rights, the reconstruction of the country, and the establishment of democracy," said Smeal. "In addition, we must not fool ourselves that women's safety in Afghanistan is secure when women continue to fear violence and the imposition of Taliban-like restrictions by regional warlords."
The Bush Administration has rejected pleas from the United Nations and Afghan Interim Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai to permit an expansion of the 4,800 international peacekeeping troops beyond Kabul. UN and Afghan officials believe that the immediate expansion of international peace troops is absolutely essential to disarmament, de-escalation of conflicts among warlords, preservation of women's rights and human rights, delivery of humanitarian assistance, and the success of the loya jirga process that will determine the next stage of the transition government.
Asking, “Where has the American spirit gone?” Smeal also urged the quick delivery of desperately needed resources to the Afghan Interim Administration, especially the Ministry for Women's Affairs. Although the Women's Ministry has received pledges of support from around the world, it has received very little in actual funds to begin the crucial legal advocacy, education, vocational training, and women's health programs necessary to begin to undo the devastation caused by the Taliban regime and the 23 years of unending war.
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. . . .