The United Nations has warned that Afghanistan's disarmament program is in "serious jeopardy." According to UN News, the top UN official in Afghanistan warned that the disarmament program is in danger because of obstruction by militiamen in the country.
According to the spokesperson for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Afghanistan, “the Afghan people know from bitter experience that the country will not enjoy lasting peace until rival armies have demobilized and been replaced by one national army under central government control,” reports UN News. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense had a plan to disarm 40 percent of the 100,000 fighters by the end of June, reports the Associated Press. However, the UN has asserted that the plan still has yet to begin.
Meanwhile, despite the recent killings of three election personnel, voter registration in Afghanistan is continuing. According to IRIN News, only 1.9 million out of the 10.5 million Afghans eligible to vote have been registered due to the rise in security threats around the country. Thirty percent of those registered are women.
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. . . .