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.
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. . . .