Afghanistan: Another School Attacked, Girls' Teachers Threatened
A coed elementary school was set on fire on Tuesday, and leaflets were distributed saying that girls should not be allowed to go to school. According to Reuters, this brings the total number of schools that have been attacked in the past year to more than 20. The leaflets distributed by the attackers also threatened teachers who taught girls, according to the Associated Press. Almost two years after the fall of the Taliban, most girls are still not in school.
Tuesday's fire, as well as attacks on three schools in late August, took place between 30 and 40 miles south of Kabul. Currently, Kabul is the only city or province with members of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). NATO assumed control of the 4,800-mmeber force in August. Even in Kabul, lack of security has led many women to continue wearing burqas out of fear.
Germany has recently announced that due to the lack of security in Afghanistan, it will deploy 250 troops in the northern city of Kunduz; however, this deployment is contingent on a United Nations mandate for expanding ISAF beyond Kabul, according to Radio Free Europe. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi, German Chancellor Gerard Schroeder, the Feminist Majority, and women's and human rights groups have repeatedly urged the US to support expansion of ISAF. The Feminist Majority is also leading the call for increased reconstruction funding and for more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Independent Human Rights Commission.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .