As he did in Thursday night’s debate, President Bush repeatedly refers to the number of people registering to vote in Afghanistan for the October 9 Afghan presidential election. Bush said, “Ten million citizens have registered to vote…Forty-one percent of those 10 million are women.” The Feminist Majority is closely following the election process and is now trying to get out the real story of what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan.
In August, the Taliban stepped up its attacks and threats against women, presidential candidates, voters, and aid workers in an attempt to disrupt the elections. Extremist militias are also targeting women and the election. Four women election workers have been killed and ten wounded. Members of the Taliban have been present at registration polls and have been threatening women as they approach to register. Massooda Jalal, the only female candidate running for President, has reported that she has been a target of intimidation and has received death threats as a result of her candidacy.
The violence and intimidation are having a serious impact on the number of women registering to vote as the UN estimates that only 19% of the registered voters in southern Afghanistan are women due to a lack of security. Reports from on the ground reflect that there are areas of the country where not a single woman has registered. The registration process is seriously flawed. Even Afghan President Hamid Karzai has acknowledged that the same individuals are registering over and over again. Underage boys are also registering.
The 10 million reportedly registered to vote is greater than previous UN estimates of the number of eligible voters in the country.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .