One Year After Taliban, Afghanistan Still Struggling
Despite some improvements in the quality of life in Afghanistan one year after the Taliban fell, especially for women, there are still many challenges facing the war-torn country. Dr. Sima Samar, head of the Human Rights Commission in Afghanistan, also emphasized that “security is the biggest problem,” according to the Associated Press. “Yes, things are much better for women. No one is beating them. There is no law to wear the burqa. Girls are in school. But still there a lot of problems,” she told AP. In fact, there have been attacks on at least 12 girls’ schools over the past few months, indicating a fundamentalist backlash against the education of girls and women in a country that had under the Taliban forbidden it.
In addition, the country has not seen the aid that was promised at the January meeting of international donors in Tokyo. Karzai has criticized the global community for failing to provide Afghanistan with not only emergency assistance and humanitarian aid but also aid for reconstruction, to rebuild Afghanistan’s tattered infrastructure. The United States has exceeded its promise this year, giving Afghanistan $588 million since 2001—however, Bush has not earmarked any funding for Afghanistan for next year and he killed $150 million for Afghanistan health and agricultural programs when he rescinded a $5 billion emergency foreign aid spending package in August. Moreover, $588 million falls far short of the resources necessary for a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Afghanistan.
Such officials as Afghan President Hamid Karzai, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and US Army General Tommy Franks have noted that the biggest problem facing Afghanistan is security. Outside of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, there are no international peacekeeping troops and the country is mostly run by warlords, former allies of the United States against the Taliban, who rule by force. Karzai recently dismissed several commanders in an effort to strengthen his rule over the fractured country. However, no commitment has yet been made to expand international peacekeeping forces. The Feminist Majority has been leading the push to increase humanitarian and reconstruction aid to Afghanistan as well as to expand peacekeeping troops outside of Kabul.
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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. . . .