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.
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .