The first post-Taliban elections that were scheduled to take place in September have been delayed due to slow voter registration and insecurity created by Taliban-like militia and so-called warlords. According to the Associated Press, Afghan officials have said that they are looking at the end of September or October to hold the elections, though no date has been set. The Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Said Tayeb Jawad, stated he is “hoping to be able to have both elections on time as scheduled. But if there will be any delays, that delay will most likely affect the parliamentary election,” reports Voice of America.
This is the second time the elections have been delayed in Afghanistan. The elections were originally set to take place in June. According to Voice of America, over 20 Afghan and three foreign election workers have been killed during the current voter registration process. Another school being used to register voters near Kandahar was attacked by over thirty Taliban fighters earlier this week, reports the Pakistan Tribune and earlier today a female Afghan worker registering voters for the election was killed when her car hit a landmine in Eastern Afghanistan, reports Reuters. In June, three other female election workers were killed when Taliban fighters attacked their bus with a bomb.
Meanwhile, the US Army News Service has reported that women make up fifty percent of the registered voters in the central highland region of Afghanistan. However, in areas where the militants are most active, such as the southern and eastern parts of the country, women are registering in very low numbers. Afghan women make up approximately only one-third of those registered to vote.
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. . . .