US Military May Focus on Reconstruction in Afghanistan
Top-ranking Pentagon officials are talking about shifting the war on terrorism in Afghanistan toward reconstruction efforts. General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the nation’s top military officer, said that the military may need to shift its focus from military operations to more nation-building type activities, according to the Washington Post. This statement came after the CIA released a report that concluded: “Reconstruction may be the single most important factor in increasing security throughout Afghanistan and preventing it from again becoming a haven for terrorists,” the Post reported.
The Feminist Majority, Afghan women, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, humanitarian aid organizations and others have been asking the US government to commit to greater reconstruction funding and expansion of international peacekeeping forces beyond the capital of Kabul in order to promote security. Despite President Bush’s early promise of a Marshall Plan for Afghanistan, very little reconstruction funding has reached the Afghan government for the rebuilding of the country's health and education systems and physical infrastructure. As of October 2002, less than two-thirds of the $1.8 billion pledged for 2002 had been received, and only $1 of every $5 has gone to the Afghan government. While the US has exceeded its $297 million pledge for 2002, the pledge is too small, and no US pledges have been made beyond 2002.
In an effort to promote security in the outer regions of the country and stem the tide of terrorism, Karzai exerted the control of the newly elected central government last week by dismissing 15 generals and commanders, accusing them of abuse of authority, corruption, and in some cases participation in the drug trade, according to the New York Times. Recently, attacks on 12 girls’ schools have made it clear that the security situation in Afghanistan is a major concern, especially for girls and women. In many of the attacks, including the four most recent, handwritten notes or pamphlets have appeared warning of future violence if parents send their girls to school. Many of the attacks have occurred in the remote regions away from the capitol of Kabul without peacekeeping troops.
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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. . . .
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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. . . .