Afghan Woman First to Compete in International Sports Event
In August at the world track and field championships in Paris, Lima Azimi became the first Afghan woman to participate in a major international sports event, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations. Afghanistan - previously banned from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee and the international track federation in 1999 - was reinstated soon after the Taliban was ousted from power in 2001. Azimi, an English and literature major attending college in Kabul, began her training three months ago after Afghan officials sought her entry at the event. Appearing for the first time wearing a t-shirt and track pants in public, Azimi finished the 100-meter race in last place with a finish time of 18.37 seconds. "The time didn't matter... My participation was more important," she said according to the New York Times.
Meanwhile in Afghanistan, women continue to face widespread discrimination and oppression. Despite some women and girls returning to school, progress remains slow, due to the lack of funding and security, especially in areas beyond Kabul.
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.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .