UN Reports Large Gender Gap in Education Worldwide
A new United Nations reports shows a majority of the 115 million children worldwide who are excluded from receiving an education are girls. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two countries with the widest gender gaps in education. The “Progress for Children” report states that barriers to achieving gender parity in education include poverty, HIV/AIDS and conflict. Though the report shows that more children are attending school overall, a “quantum leap” and an extra $5.6 billion a year in aid are needed to reach the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015, reports the UN News Service.
According to the Executive Director of UNICEF Carol Bellamy, “The goal of universal primary education with equal opportunity for girls and boys is realistic. It is affordable, it is achievable and what’s more, it’s our children’s birthright. Education is about more than just learning. In many countries it’s a life-saver, especially where girls are concerned. A girl out of school is more likely to fall prey to HIV/AIDS and less able to raise a healthy family,” reports UN News Service.
Meanwhile, the Global Campaign for Education is blaming 22 of the richest countries in the world for failing to provide the necessary funds to educate the world’s poor. According to BBC News, the Global Campaign for Education produced a report card for the 22 countries based on their spending on development aid in total and funding of education programs. Only two countries received an “A” grade – Norway and the Netherlands. The United States and Austria both received “F”s.
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. . . .