International Women's Alliance Condemns Religious Fundamentalism, Extremism
At a weekend meeting in Copenhagen regarding the status of women's rights around the world, the International Women's Alliance called for an end to religious fundamentalism and extremism.
"Fundamentalism -- be it Christian, Jewish, or Moslem ... is a constant threat to women," the Alliance asserted. "It is a major obstacle to accomplishing our goals of equality between the sexes," said the group's head, Pat Giles.
The International Women's Alliance listed the "ratification and application, without reserve" of CEDAW, the Convention to Elimination All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, as one of the group's primary goals.
Afghanistan's Taliban regime is an example of just how pernicious religious fundamentalism can be for women. Claiming to be carrying out the will of God, the repressive Taliban regime has exacted its own, harsh interpretation of Islam on Afghan women. Under the brutal regime, women are banned from working, attending school, and even leaving their homes without a male relative to chaperone them.
An Afghan refugee who has lived in Denmark since 1997 and participated in last weekend's conference urged "international solidarity to help Afghan women repressed on a daily basis by the Taliban regime."
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .