Afghanistan: School Funding Needed as Number of Students Increases
The number of students enrolled in Afghanistan’s schools has increased dramatically over the last eight months, according to an ongoing survey by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) back-to-school program. With a campaign target of 1.78 million child enrollees nationwide, the survey — which started in May and will end in September — shows that 1.25 million children are already attending schools in 20 of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces. “The latest information shows that 30 percent of pupils now attending school are girls, and the ratio between girls and boys is relatively similar across the country,” said UNICEF spokesman Edward Carwardine. In addition, women now account for 36 percent of the 27,000 teachers in the surveyed regions. Under the repressive Taliban regime, girls were not allowed to attend school and women were prohibited from teaching.
However, this data also shows a continued need for more educational funding. UNICEF requested a total of $57 million for the 2002 education campaign in Afghanistan and nearly all of the $33 million received has been exhausted, according to UNICEF. An additional $24 million is estimated as needed to pay for teachers, training, curricula development, books, and supplies, among other needs.
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. . . .