In another deadly attack against civilians, two Afghans working for a German aid agency were killed in southeastern Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, a field officer and a driver working for the aid group Malester were killed in their car from gunshots.
These murders were the latest in a string of deadly attacks on relief workers, government employees, and private contractors in a Taliban-led movement to derail the democratic elections scheduled for October and to oust the US-backed government of President Hamid Karzai. Aid workers, both foreign and Afghan, have been the targets of Taliban-led attacks that have left more than 30 aid workers dead.
Meanwhile, according to IRIN News, 90 percent of eligible voters in Afghanistan have been registered, of which 41 percent are women. However, voter registration is very low in several provinces in the south and southeastern parts of the country. Due to the deteriorating security situation, as little as 9 percent of people have been registered in these areas. Another concern is that there is unbalanced female registration, reports IRIN News, with only 22 percent of women registered in the south compared with the 41 percent as the national average.
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. . . .