Afghan Chief Justice Attacks Male Candidate for Remarks on Women's Rights
The Chief Justice of the Afghan Supreme Court has demanded that candidate Latif Pedram be expelled from the presidential race for questioning marital laws. Speaking at a womenís forum, Latif Pedram suggested that the issue of divorce and polygamy be debated, reports the Washington Post. According to Pedram, it is impossible for a husband to treat all four wives equally and that it is unfair that men can divorce their wives at any time, while women must obtain their husbandís consent.
According to the Washington Post, Pedramís comments created outrage amongst some conservative Islamic scholars who argued that Pedram had spoken against Islamic law. The chief justice of the Supreme Court sent a letter to the elections committee and the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan demanding that Pedram be kicked out of the elections. According to the Washington Post, the letter has no validity and Pedram is still an official presidential candidate.
Meanwhile, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan Jean Arnault announced that while 41 percent of those registered to vote in Afghanistan are women, there are areas in the south where only 19 percent of women are registered due to high levels of insecurity. After the close of voter registration last month, the United Nations and the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission released a report stating that the most basic conditions for a democratic vote in Afghanistan are in danger of not being met. A lack of information and insecurity are making voters vulnerable to intimidation and manipulation. There are reports of women being harassed at polling center and that voters are brandishing multiple voter cards.
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .