Indian Women Protest “Unprecedented Violence” in Gujarat
Thousands of women in state capitals throughout India – including New Delhi and Chennai – demonstrated yesterday, denouncing the violence committed against women in Gujarat following the religious riots in late February. The protests, which included sit-ins and public meetings, highlighted the continued reluctance of Gujarat police to register complaints of sexual abuse. Brinda Karat, general-secretary of the prominent women’s group All India Democratic Women’s Association, explained, “The law usually requires a medical report to determine rape. But in a situation like Gujarat, medical reports are not there because women who have been sexually abused have had no access to doctors.”
Many women’s rights groups called Gujarat a display of “unprecedented violence.” Eight hundred people died during the religious rioting. According to Sehba Farroqi, head of the National Federation of Indian Women, “…in the carnage, hundreds of women were killed or raped.” In its report released in April, the anti-sectarian campaigns group Communalism Combat estimated 3,000 Muslim deaths – 250 to 300 of which were also rape victims. Various women’s and human rights groups, including Joint Women’s Programme, Saheli, The Muslim Women’s Forum, and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, called for justice in Gujarat.
Media Resources: OneWorld.net, 5/14/02; BBC News, 4/26/02
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .