UN Investigator Confirms Gender Apartheid, Finds Little Hope for Women Living Under Taliban Regime
A United Nations human rights investigator presented evidence of systematic discrimination against women under the Taliban regime. Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women, met with Taliban authorities, non-governmental organizations, refugees, and officials in both Afghanistan and Pakistan and concluded, "I don't have enough optimism to think that the situation of women will change in Afghanistan." Coomaraswamy pointed to the public beating and lashing of women accused of “moral” offenses, a ban on women's employment, and increasing levels of prostitution and begging. She noted that Taliban policy affects every aspect of women's lives, including their health, education, employment, movement and physical security. Coomaraswamy's recommendations to the UN Commission on Human Rights will include a call for the Taliban to withdraw all their edicts against women and to dismantle the Taliban’s Department of Propagation of Virtue and Suppression of Vice, the sex police responsible for carrying out the draconian policies of the Taliban.
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. . . .