Women Arrested In Zimbabwe for Protesting Bill that Bans Human Rights Groups
Sixty-one Zimbabwean women were arrested in the capital for protesting a bill that will ban international human rights groups and will cut off funding for local organizations promoting human rights and democracy. The women represented the organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and marched nearly 280 miles to the capital to protest the bill.
A WOZA spokesperson asserts that the bill strikes “at the lives and very survival of women and their families who are beneficiaries of donor food and have HIV/AIDS orphans to care for,” reports IRIN News. A Zimbabwean police spokesperson said that the women faced charges under security laws which require protestors to have police clearance before holding political gatherings. The penalty for these charges is up to six months in jail.
According to Voice of America, approximately 300 WOZA members have been arrested for demonstrating since the organization was formed two years ago.
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. . . .