After significant international pressure, the Pakistani government has removed travel restrictions it had placed on the survivor of an infamous gang rape. Government officials had placed Mukhtaran Bibi on its Exit Control List (ECL) – a measure typically implemented to control political opponents. Pakistani prime minister Shaukat Aziz told The Guardian that the move was a ‘security measure’ intended to protect her from threats against her life after a court discharged 12 men linked to the crime. Christina Rocca, the assistant secretary of state for South Asian affairs, presented the US position, telling the Guardian, “We are dismayed at the treatment being meted out to a courageous woman, Mukhtaran Bibi, who is herself a victim of a horrendous crime and is being denied the right to travel and to tell her story.”
In June 2002, Bibi was gang raped on the order of a council of tribal leaders as punishment for disgrace caused by her brother’s alleged “illicit affair” with a woman of a higher tribal class. Four men, including a member of the court, raped Bibi before hundreds of spectators in the village of Meerwala. Afterwards, the girl was forced to return home naked. Bibi gained international recognition for coming forward publicly after the attack, despite receiving death threats, in an effort to urge the government to help her receive justice. Human rights activists have been pressing Pakistani authorities to strip the tribal councils of their powers for years.
10/21/2014 Afghanistan's New First Lady Advances Women's Issues - Just a few days after moving to the presidential palace, Afghanistan's new First Lady Rula Ghani said that she hopes to encourage greater respect for women.
Rula Ghani already broke tradition by participating in her husband, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai's, campaign for President. . . .
10/21/2014 Hulu Silences Rape Survivor Speaking Out Against Anti-Abortion Amendment 67 in Colorado - Hulu, an online, ad-supported streaming service, has refused to run an advertisement from the "No on 67" campaign in Colorado, citing the company's policy regarding "controversial" political positions on issues like abortion.
In a letter to the CEO of Hulu, dated October 10, the Vote No on 67 Campaign, which is supported by the Feminist Majority Foundation, asked the company to reconsider its unwillingness to air a 35-second spot featuring a rape survivor's testimony about the far-reaching impact of Colorado's proposed Amendment 67. . . .