Governments Fail to Protect Women from Violence During War
A leading human rights group has issued a global call to action to challenge violence against women and the failure of governments to prevent it. According to Amnesty International, women and girls bear the brunt of war while governments have failed to protect them.
Amnesty International released a report today, “Lives Blown Apart,” which examines conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nepal, Chechnya, Sudan and Columbia, citing that women are not only victims of the violence that comes with war, but are often victims of a deliberate military campaign that has targeted women, such as in ethnic cleansing campaigns. Irene Khan, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International, said, “Women and girls are not just killed, they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated … Disparaging a woman’s sexuality and destroying her physical integrity have become a means by which to terrorize, demean and defeat entire communities, as well as to punish, intimidate and humiliate women,” reports Amnesty International.
Amnesty is calling for governments to publicly support the International Criminal Court (ICC), to publicly condemn violence against women and girls in any circumstances, and to ensure that women play a major role in designing and implementing all peace-building activities.
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. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .