In a report released yesterday, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan called the security situation in Afghanistan unstable. Annan named the expansion of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) beyond the capital city of Kabul as "the best way to fill in the security gap" that threatens the peace in Afghanistan, according to a UN release.
"The overall situation throughout Afghanistan remains fragile and, in many areas, exhibits signs of deterioration," Annan says in his quarterly report on Afghanistan, Sify reports. "Without security, the accomplishments of the Government of Afghanistan and the significant investments of the international community are at risk," the report states, according to the UN release. Annan emphasizes that the security situation must improve in order for the elections slated for summer 2004 to be held in a fair and free manner that allows Afghans to fully participate in the political process. A report issued by Human Rights Watch this week also called for the expansion of ISAF in an effort to protect women's rights and promote full participation in the elections.
The Feminist Majority has been 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 in order to protect women's rights in Afghanistan.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .