Three hundred Afghan demonstrators staged an anti-US, anti-British protest in Kabul today-the capital's first since the Taliban fell in 2001. Shouting sentiments like, "We want Islam to rule. We want security. [The US and Britain] have failed to bring it to us and we want them out," the protesters confirmed warnings that religious fundamentalism is on the rise in Afghanistan, according to Reuters. The demonstration, led by native philosopher Sediq Afghan's "Scientific Center," insisted that international donors have repeatedly failed to deliver what they promised: security, economic growth, and infrastructure construction. For example, progress on the Kabul-Kandahar-Herat highway remains slow, with the project suffering a series of setbacks including inadequate funding, complex management, and equipment failure, according to the Boston Globe.
As US Army Lt. Gen. Dan K. McNeill gave indication last week to the Los Angeles Times that coalition forces could leave Afghanistan beginning summer 2004, reports by the Associated Press and the New York Times depict an increasingly unstable security situation throughout the country. Last week, a council comprised of 350 Islamic scholars passed a resolution urging working Afghan women to wear the hijab, a head scarf and long dress, and said publications violating Islamic values should be punished, reported the AP. In areas bordering Pakistan, fundamentalist groups are holding regular meetings, calling for the restoration of an Islamic government, according to the NY Times. Throughout the rest of the country, militias continue to form, purporting to keep the peace. Currently, local warlords command an estimated 100,000 militiamen.
The Feminist Majority continues leading the call for ISAF expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .