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.
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. . . .