Following the distribution of pamphlets around mosques near the capital of Sar-i-Pul province in Afghanistan warning women against removing their burqas, two girls’ schools were burned down recently, including their supply of books and blackboards.
The pamphlets that were distributed are reminiscent of similar leaflets handed out in Kandahar in April, which warned of violence to come if parents sent their daughters to school.
Meanwhile, fighting between two rival factions of the former Northern Alliance, allies of the United States against the Taliban, left five or six villages in Northern Afghanistan reeling from injuries and looting and several men dead, the New York Times reports. The United Nations negotiated a new ceasefire late yesterday after a previous truce had been broken a week earlier, according to Reuters. The two groups, Jumbish-I-Milli, led by ethnic Uzbek Abdul Rashid Dostum, and Panjshiri forces under the command of ethnic Tajik Mohammed Atta, have clashed several times since the Taliban was ousted, according to Radio Free Europe.
These reports of violence in the northern regions of Afghanistan come only weeks after the US State Department issued a report questioning the expansion of peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan. The Feminist Majority, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN officials, and women’s rights and human rights organization have urged a full-scale expansion of peacekeeping troops throughout the country in order to ensure security and enable reconstruction efforts.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .