Three women were killed in Indian-controlled Kashmir by Islamic militants for not wearing burqas, United Press International reports. Two sisters, aged 18 and 21, were shot dead in their house by unidentified gunmen while a third woman, 22, was kidnapped from her house and beheaded. Her body was found in the jungles. “There is a possibility these killings are linked with the … dress code. We have sent a police party,” an official told Reuters.
The violent killings took place just days after handwritten flyers appeared warning women to follow an Islamic dress code or face consequences. Police suspect a small local group, Lashka Jabbar, to be responsible for the attacks. Last year they sprayed two women in Kashmir’s main city, Srinagar, for going against its dress code. The group threatened to shoot Muslim women if they disobeyed, demanded that women from the Hindu minority community wear the traditional red colored dot on their foreheads, and ordered women in the Sikh community to cover their heads with a saffron-colored cloth, Reuters reports.
Over a dozen Islamic rebel groups have been fighting for the independence of Kashmir from Indian rule. India accuses Pakistan of arming and sending Islamic militants to Kashmir, while Pakistan denies any “direct involvement” with the militants, according to Reuters. The 13-year-old uprising has claimed more than 37,000 lives, according to UPI.
Media Resources: Reuters 12/20/02; United Press International 12/20/02
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. . . .