Anti-Women Broadcasting Official Refuses to Give Up Post
In defiance of the new Afghan government, Abdul Hafiz Mansoor, president of Kabul TV and radio, refused to leave his post after he was ordered to do so by Information Minister Sayed Makhdoom Raheen. Mansoor is said to have ripped up the order and refused to leave his office, according to the United Kingdom’s Independent.
One of the reasons that may have sparked his removal was Mansoor’s enactment of a ban against women singing on all Kabul broadcasts. Mansoor claims that Islamic law directed him to enact the ban. In Kandahar, broadcasts of women singing are allowed.
Mansoor, who is a member of the Northern Alliance that fought against the Taliban, is also believed to be behind a complaint of alleged blasphemy filed last month in the Afghan Supreme Court against former women’s affairs minister Dr. Sima Samar. The case was thrown out for lack of evidence.
In other news, US airplanes dropped a bomb on a cave complex in southern Afghanistan yesterday and inflicted an unknown number of casualties at a nearby wedding party. Afghan officials and area residents estimate that 40 people were killed and another 100 were wounded, which would make this incident “the worst loss of civilian life at American hands since the war in Afghanistan began,” the Washington Post reported.
US officials have yet to confirm the number of casualties or determine the reason behind the tragedy. Initial reports say that the bomb may have malfunctioned during a raid on suspected hiding places of fugitive Taliban leaders in Uruzgan Province, according to the Washington Post.
Dr. Gulbuddin, an Afghan Defense Ministry official, told Reuters that the celebrants at the wedding party were firing weapons into the air, as is traditional in Pashtun weddings. “Americans have confessed they made a mistake,” he said.
Media Resources: Independent.co.uk 7/2/02; Washington Post 7/2/02; New York Times 7/2/02
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. . . .
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. . . .