Women Demand Punishment for the Killers of Four Afghan Women
A group of 200 women from 26 Afghan women's groups protested in Kabul on Thursday to demand that the killers of four Afghan women be punished for their crimes. Three women were recently found raped and strangled to death in an attempt to scare women away from working for aid groups in the northern province of Baghlan earlier this week. Another young Afghan woman named Bibi Amena was sentenced to death by stoning by local religious leaders for allegedly committing adultery in the northeastern province on Badakhshan.
The United Nations is urging Afghan authorities to find the killers of the three Afghan women. Three suspects have already been detained. Jean Arnault, special representative for the UN’s Secretary-General Kofi Annan, said, “In a context where violence against women remains too often unprosecuted and unpunished, it is particularly important that the authorities spare no effort to bring swiftly the perpetrators to justice,” reports Reuters. Arnault went on to say that “the seriousness of the crime is compounded by the fact that a note was left at the scene implying that the killing of the three women was linked to their work with a non-governmental organization,” according to Reuters.
Aid workers, particularly women, have been the targets of Taliban-led attacks and some organizations have withdrawn staff due to Taliban threats.
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. . . .