Sunday Radhika Coomaraswamy, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, called for international pressure to force the dissolution of the Taliban government in Afghanistan. She criticized the Taliban for the extensive, systematic abuse of women.
She called the Taliban's Ministry of Vice and Virtue, "the most misogynist department in the whole world." The ministry is the agency responsible for banning Afghan women from work and school, for forcing them to wear the restrictive burqua outfit, for demanding that they travel only in the company of close male relatives, and even forbidding them to wear white socks.
According to Coomaraswamy, violators of these outrageous rules are publicly beaten with various instruments, including radio antennae ripped off nearby vehicles, but typically "with what looks like a leather cricket bat."
Such treatment has resulted in widespread clinical depression among Afghan women confined to their homes. Reports also indicate that forced marriages and prostitution, sexual assault and confinement in camps are becoming regular.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .