An Afghan girls school was attacked yesterday in the Logar province, the most recent in a series of attacks on girls' education in Afghanistan. Armed men tied up two school guards and set the Padkhwai Raghani School building and two tents on fire. Local men are being questioned, but authorities do not yet know who is responsible for the attack, according to BBC.
Girls were prohibited from attending school under the Taliban and were permitted to return to school when the Taliban were ousted in 2001. However, over 40 girls schools have been bombed, set on fire, or violently attacked in Afghanistan since 2001, causing some families to keep their daughters at home out of fear. Currently, the resurgence of the Taliban, the continuing influence of extremist warlords, and lack of security are placing women and girls at extreme risk of violence and intimidation.
School Principal Zaher Din plans to resume classes on Saturday for the 665 girls aged seven to 15. One 12-year-old student, Farida, grieved, “Why did they only burn the girls school? Why not the boys’ school next door? The police must protect us. We want to be able to study,” reports The Times.
The continued intimidation of girls returning to school demonstrates the need for the expansion of peacekeeping and security forces in Afghanistan.
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. . . .