Afghan Women to Join Kabul Police Force, Country Still in Shambles
Afghan government officials on Tuesday announced the reintroduction of female cadets to the Kabul police academy, reported the Associated Press. Women officers—who comprise 600 of the capital’s current 8,000-strong force—were last trained in 1992 before the civil war.
Come March 2003, over 60 women will graduate from a half-year-long training program and join Kabul’s police force, working at checkpoints, the airport, in jailhouses, and on criminal investigations throughout the city, interior ministry spokesperson Alishah Paktiawal told AP. Interior Minister Mohammed Wardak welcomes the change: “We need more policewomen, and we’re asking more to come… Eventually we want 50 percent of our police forces staffed by women,” he said. Eventually, Wardak anticipates that female officers will be deployed beyond Kabul as well.
Security remains a key concern in Afghanistan. In the last year, attacks against US and its allied forces have grown increasingly frequent, with nearly 55 incidents in the last month alone, reported the Washington Post. In 2002, at least 12 girls’ schools also were subject to bombings, rocket attacks, and other violent attacks.
The Feminist Majority and others have questioned why the US has continued to withhold support for expanding international peacekeeping troops beyond and within Kabul, which many believe would be the most effective strategy for immediately improving security.
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. . . .