Afghanistan's Elections Postponed Because of Security Concerns
The first post-Taliban elections in Afghanistan, which were scheduled to take place in June, have been postponed until September. According to BBC News, poor security has delayed voter registration, resulting in only 1.5 million of an estimated 10.5 million people being registered.
According to the New York Times, more than 200 people have been killed this year including aid workers and government employees. In addition, new violence has erupted in Afghanistan after President Karzai announced the postponement of the elections as a gunmen killed two soldiers and a suicide bomber wounded six people in a southeastern town.
Despite the dire security situation in Afghanistan, peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan remain a small contingent of some 5,500 soldiers. Without security, women in Afghanistan will never be able to obtain their rights and the country will never have sustained peace and democracy.
The Feminist Majority is leading the call for international peacekeeping force (ISAF) expansion, increased reconstruction funding, and more resources to support the work of the Ministry of Women's Affairs and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
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. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .