Spain's New Prime Minister Makes Women's Equality a Top Priority
The new Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, appointed half of his cabinet seats to women and is making female empowerment a top priority. According to Women's eNews, a leading Spanish feminist hailed the prime minister's push for women's equality stating that "we didn't want them to appoint just any women...we wanted women who think like feminists and who use their posts to fight for equality and all the aspirations that we Spanish women have."
According to Women's eNews, Zapatero has promised to legalize Spain's restrictive abortion law that is highly influenced by the Roman Catholic Church. Abortion is illegal in Spain except in cases of rape and severe birth defects. In addition, the new government is planning on making gay and lesbian marriage legal, opposing the Church's stance against the legalization of gay and lesbian marriage.
The Prime Minister also promised to pass legislation to fight domestic violence. Spain's Federation of Separated and Divorced Women's Associations has reported 97 women who were killed by their husbands or boyfriends in 2003.
In comparison, the United States Department of Justice reports that, in 2000, 1,247 women were killed by an intimate partner in the United States. According to the Family Violence Prevention Fund, more than three women are murdered by their male companions in the United States every day.
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. . . .