Hundreds of protesters yesterday demonstrated in the Afghan capital of Kabul, demanding that the government adhere to the 2001 Bonn agreement, which laid the groundwork for a return to democracy in Afghanistan. Zarmina Akhgar, deputy chairwoman of the Freedom and Democracy Movement (Dari: Nahzat-e Azadi wa Democracy) joined other demonstrators, including members of the National and Islamic Movement (Dari: Jonbesh-e Melli wa Eslami) in calling for "equality of rights for men and women in real sense," saying, "Now, we have the permission to come out of our houses, but we want women to play a more significant role," according to the BBC.
Included in the 11-article communiqué submitted by protesters to the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) was a call to reopen the independent weekly newspaper Aftab, forced to close last month for criticizing Afghan warlords in the current administration. "We need press freedom and we don't want any fundamentalists in government," Jawid Khoystani told the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the situation in Afghanistan remains unstable, with continuing murders of aid workers, attacks on United Nations de-mining operations, Taliban-like restrictions in some provinces, factional fighting, and the bombing of girls' schools. The Feminist Majority continues leading the call for International Security Assistance Force (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.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .