Report: Afghanistan Could Implode With Terrible Consequences
A recent British Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs report asserts that the improvement of security in Afghanistan is one of the highest priorities in the world. The report concludes that more resources for the current International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are desperately needed. According to the report, “There is a real danger if these resources are not provided soon that Afghanistan – a fragile state in one of the most sensitive and volatile regions of the world – could implode, with terrible consequences.”
According to the report, attacks and assassinations of aid workers, including women working to register women to vote, have been undermining the reconstruction process in Afghanistan. Over 30 aid workers have been killed in Afghanistan since last March, reports BBC News. At least two people were killed, including a member of the Afghan election coordinating body, by an explosion at a polling center last week. In June, three female election workers were killed in Jalalabad, and 16 Afghans were shot dead because they had voter registration cards.
Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch issued a statement urging for the immediate expansion of NATO forces in Afghanistan to provide security for the elections scheduled to take place in October. According to Sam Zarifi of Human Rights Watch, “Recent experience in Afghanistan shows that the warlords will take power when there is a security vacuum … For the elections scheduled later this year to come off, NATO will need both to provide additional security for vulnerable candidates and voting sites, and to help disarm militia.”
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. . . .