Deployment of Extra Peacekeeping Troops to Afghanistan Still Unclear
Earlier this week, the French and German-led military unit, Eurocorps, took command of NATO peacekeeping forces (ISAF) in Kabul. The transition occurred two months before Afghanistan’s first post-Taliban elections are scheduled to take place. In June, NATO stated that it would increase the size of peacekeeping troops from 6,500 to 10,000 for the elections. It is as yet unclear when the extra troops will be deployed to Afghanistan, according to BBC News. NATO has also said that 40 percent of the force will not actually be deployed, but instead will be based either outside of the country or in barracks in Kabul rather than in the provinces where there is the greatest threat of insecurity.
With limited deployment of peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan, the Taliban and other extremists have become more active. The Taliban have threatened, kidnapped, and killed women’s rights activists and aid workers as a way to derail the first post-Taliban elections scheduled to take place in October. Over the past year, more than 30 aid workers have been murdered. Even with new commitments to ISAF expansion, concerns remain over whether the expansion will be large enough, and also whether the troop size in Kabul will be reduced, a move that many experts say would destabilize the already fragile Afghan central government.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is leading the call for a significant increase in the number of peacekeepers throughout Afghanistan to provide security and stability. Without adequate resources and security, women in Afghanistan will never be able to obtain their rights, and the country will never have sustained peace and democracy.
1/23/2015 #HeForShe Campaign Launches Pilot Effort Aimed at Institutional Equality - The United Nations' gender equality campaign #HeForShe has launched a new program called IMPACT 10X10X10.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson, together with UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, introduced the one-year pilot effort aimed at encouraging corporations, universities, and governments to play an active role in enhancing women's empowerment and equality in Davos, Switzerland today at the World Economic Forum.
"Women need to be equal participants in our homes, societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces," Watson said.
First introduced in September, HeForShe is a solidarity movement that calls on men and boys to confront gender inequalities that face women and girls globally. . . .
1/22/2015 BREAKING: House to Vote on Abortion Coverage Ban - After they were forced to scrap plans for a 20-week abortion ban, House Republican leaders decided late last night to instead ram through a vote today on a different extreme anti-abortion bill.
House Republicans are now pushing HR 7, a bill promoted as a ban on federal funding of abortion that would actually prevent women from using their own money to purchase health insurance that includes abortion care. . . .
1/22/2015 House Cancels Abortion Ban After GOP Congresswomen Drop Support - House Republicans cancelled plans to vote on a 20-week ban on abortion after Republican Congresswomen removed their names publicly as co-sponsors of the bill.
The vote on the unconstitutional 20-week ban had originally been scheduled for today, the anniversary of Roe v. . . .