Over 50 People Killed in Afghanistan; UN Envoy Urges the ISAF Expansion
Afghanistan this week has experienced its most violent 24-hour period in nearly a year. A bomb exploded on a bus in the Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, killing 15 people including six children. Two Afghan aid workers working for the Afghan Red Crescent were killed and another three injured in southeastern Afghanistan, and more than 40 others were killed in factional fighting in eastern and southern Afghanistan on Wednesday. According to the Associated Press, a rocket landed 400 yards away from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Asadabad on Sunday.
These attacks came only two days after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took over peacekeeping in Afghanistan. The top U.N. envoy to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi told AP that he and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan are urging the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) "to consider what the options are to extend security, and thus the reach of the state, beyond the capital." He warned that the lack of security would impede the implementation of the agreement reached in Bonn, Germany in 2001 calling for elections in 2004, AP reports. Almost 200 Afghan women gathered in Kabul this weekend to urge the expansion of ISAF.
The Feminist Majority is 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. . . .