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.
7/1/2015 Women's Rights Activists are Suing the Kenyan Government for Reproductive Rights - A woman in Kenya is suing the Kenyan government for failure to provide safe and legal abortions, which caused her daughter - a 15-year-old rape victim - to suffer a kidney failure after undergoing the procedure illegally.
Currently, there are four petitioners on the case: the mother of the survivor, the Federation of Women Lawyers-Kenya, and two other women's rights advocates. . . .
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .