Women in Afghanistan still face violence and abuse both within their families and at the hands of the police or judicial system, according to a new report from Amnesty International. The report, entitled Afghanistan: Women Under Attack, was based on interviews with women throughout Afghanistan and found that mistreatment is widespread and largely unpunished. This report came out just days after the murder of Shaima Rezayee, a television host who drew the ire of religious conservatives, and after the murders of three aid workers.
The author of the report, Nazia Hussein, stated that "a lot of women told us they had hoped things would change rapidly for the better after the overthrow of the Taleban, so there is a sense of disappointment," according to BBC News. While there have been some improvements in the cities, women in rural areas continue to suffer, and suicides seem to have risen in response to domestic violence or forced marriage, reports Agence France-Presse. Sheila Dauer, Director of Amnesty International USA's Women's Human Rights Program explained in a press release that "resilient social customs that discriminate against women, combined with the lack of an effective criminal justice system, sometimes leave women no where to turn, so they use desperate measures like suicide as a means of escape."
The Amnesty report calls on the government of Afghanistan to undertake an educational program promoting women's rights, and asks the international community to support Afghanistan's efforts to rebuild the country and create security for its citizens. Security was the primary concern of Jamilah Mujahed, director of a Kabul radio station called Voice of Women. Mujahed told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty that "there are still irresponsible armed people in charge in Afghanistan's provinces. They have power. And in such conditions, of course, the situation of women has not improved."
5/1/2015 House Reverses DC Law Banning Reproductive Health Discrimination by Employers - The US House of Representatives voted Thursday night to overturn a Washington, DC, law that makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against employees who use their insurance to cover procedures like in-vitro fertilization or abortion and contraception like birth control pills and IUDs for themselves, their spouses, or their children.
The District's council passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act last year. . . .
4/30/2015 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria - In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram.
On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children.
While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year. . . .
4/29/2015 Hillary Clinton Calls for Criminal Justice Reform and an End to Mass Incarceration - Hillary Clinton delivered the keynote address at the 18th Annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum today, addressing directly criminal justice reforms she would like to see to prevent another "incarceration generation."
"It's time the end the era of mass incarceration," Clinton declared to much applause, citing statistics about the disproportionately higher rate of incarceration that black men in America face. . . .