Senate Committee Approves Funding Earmarks for Afghan Women
The Senate Appropriations Committee last week approved an $18.2 billion FY 2004 Foreign Operations package, which included $600 million for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan. The bill includes earmarks of $4.5 million for the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, $10 million for the Ministry of Women's Affairs, and $2.5 million for the Judicial Reform Commission. The House Foreign Operations package also contains $600 million for Afghanistan, and in its report language supports earmarks for the Ministry of Womenıs Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
The Feminist Majority has been leading efforts to win higher levels of funding for the Ministry of Women's Affairs, the Independent Human Rights Commission, and Afghan women-led NGOs.
In other news, Hamid Karzai, the Transitional Administration Chairman of Afghanistan, has established the procedures for choosing delegates for the October Loya Jirga that will adopt a new Constitution. The 500-member loya jirga will will include 70 women. Some additional women may be elected through the regular delegate selection process.
Women's rights advocates expressed disappointment that the number of women delegates would not be much higher than at the 2002 Loya Jirga, when women comprised 13 percent of the delegates. "We hope the low representation of women in the United States Congress is not providing a quota ceiling for women in other countries," said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal, citing that women are also only 12 percent of the 25-member Iraq Council.
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. . . .