When the loya jirga opens on June 11, some 200 women will participate as delegates. As active participants in the long-anticipated national assembly to decide the future of Afghanistan’s government, these female delegates will be championing the rights of their fellow female citizens, who lost their rights under the Taliban’s six-year-long repressive rule. “The rights of women should not just be a slogan, but a reality,” Razia Hydari, a delegate from the Bamian province told the Boston Globe Sunday. “And if our rights are not given, we will come on the floor [of the assembly] and fight for them.”
Of the 1,551 slated delegation slots, 160 had been reserved for women. Approximately 50 more women were elected nationwide in secret ballots, Mahboba Hoquqmal, a member of the Loya Jirga Commission overseeing the appointment and election of delegates told Reuters last week. The loya jirga did not start today as planned; a dispute over the role of the country’s former king Zahir Shah caused the first meeting to be delayed for 24 hours.
Media Resources: Boston Globe 6/10/02; Agence France-Presse 6/9/02; Reuters 6/7/02
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. . . .