Girls in southern Afghanistan, a former stronghold of the extremist Taliban, are facing stiff opposition to returning to school, according to the Boston Globe. Afghan officials and educators say that the enrollment of girls has generally been poor despite an aggressive door-to-door campaign to convince parents to enroll their children in school, according to the Globe. “I want my girls to get an education, but my husband won’t allow it,” said Bibi Jan, a mother of nine who is herself illiterate and who still wears the burqa. “I will never allow my girls to go to school. Islam says women should not be allowed outside. The boys need an education so they can work or serve the country but the girls will be married soon. They don’t need it,” said Mohibullah Zawuddin, a 30-year-old shopkeeper in Panjwai and father of two girls.
Under the repressive Taliban regime, girls were not allowed to attend school and women were prohibited from teaching - Afghan schools were reopened to women and girls in April. The number of students – male and female – has increased nationwide, a UNICEF survey released last month shows that 1.25 million children were already attending schools in 20 of Afghanistan’s 32 provinces. However, in the five southern provinces in Afghanistan only 16,604 girls are enrolled in classes out of a total of 159,159 students, according to UNICEF. In contrast, about 45 percent of school age girls in Kabul are enrolled in school, according to the Globe.
Media Resources: Boston Globe, 8/7/2002; Feminist News 7/22/02
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. . . .