Activists Protest Murders of Young Women at the Mexican Border
Over 1,000 Mexicans and dozens of American and Canadian activists are demanding justice for the hundreds of women and girls murdered in Mexico's border town of Juarez.
The majority of victims, usually workers at US-owned assembly plants and factories known as maquiladoras, are found raped and strangled.
Over 200 US companies have located in Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas, to exploit primarily young female workers at wages of approximately 40 cents an hour. The American companies have not provided adequate lighting, transportation, and other safety measures for these exploited workers as they travel to and from work. Lately, companies are pulling out of Juarez to find even cheaper labor in Southeast Asia.
Ramona Morales, whose 16-year-old daughter was killed in Juarez in 1995, has been traveling to cities across the United States to raise awareness about the problem. “Maybe with all of this we can get the support of the United States to finally find who killed our daughters,” she said, according to the Associated Press.
Meanwhile, angering women’s rights activists, the Mexican government released a report last week that argues that there is little evidence that the murdered women were victims of serial killings or gangsters. Human rights and women’s rights groups have been accusing the Mexican authorities of responding to the murders incompetently and of failing to take the necessary actions to investigate the abductions and brutal murders of women and girls in Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua, Mexico. “I think [the Mexican government] already know[s] who the killers are,” Maricela Ortiz, director of Return Our Daughters Home, told the New York Times. “I believe they know what is happening, and this network of complicity will not permit an easy solution, because the people who kill are rich and powerful.”
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. . . .