Woman Delegate Protests Selection of Committee Chairmen
Protesting the selection of male commanders as committee chairs at the Loya Jirga in Afghanistan, a female delegate argued on the floor of the Loya Jirga that these mujahadeen fighters brought war to Afghanistan and should be tried in international courts. Malalai Joya, a delegate from the Farah Province, asked the Loya Jirga why they selected as committee chairmen "those criminals who have brought these disasters for the Afghan people," according to the Associated Press. According to Agence France Presse, dozens of angry mujahadeen delegates stood up and rushed the stage shouting,"Allah akbar" (God is great) and demanded her expulsion.
Women delegates protested earlier this week arguing that their male colleagues are trying to shut them out of leadership positions and that the men treat the women like second-class citizens.
The Loya Jirga is meeting in Afghanistan to debate the current draft of the constitution. The draft does not contain provisions that adequately protect women's rights and human rights. Women's rights and human rights advocates are worried that even the limited rights guaranteed in the current draft of the constitution may be negotiated away in an attempt to win votes for a strong presidential system. According to Agence France Presse, formal debates on the 160-article constitution have yet to begin.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .