Several Iraqi women have been burned by acid attacks during recent weeks in Baghdad and the western province of Anbar. Acid attacks are a form of violence against women where acid is thrown at or sprayed on women’s faces, legs, or other exposed body parts, in order to punish women in this case for not wearing the ‘abaya,’ a long black cloak that only reveals the nose, mouth, eyes, and hands.
Hania Abdul-Jabbar, a university student, had acid thrown on her face and legs by three men for not wearing the veil out in public. “They cut all my hair off while hitting me in the face many times, telling me it’s the price for not obeying God’s wish in using the veil,” according to IRIN News. Today Abdul-Jabbar is blind in one eye, and her face is completely deformed due to the acid attack.
Since Hussein’s removal in 2003, at least five women have been killed in Anbar for not obeying orders by religious extremists to wear the veil and women continue to be threatened today, IRIN News reports.
Despite such threats, many Iraqi women refuse to be intimidated by religious extremists. Hiba Zuheir, who is 24 years old, explained, “I won’t force myself to use something that I don’t feel comfortable with. Women in Iraq are losing their place in society and we have to fight that and determine who we are and how we should dress, despite these dangers,” according to IRIN News.
Media Resources: IRIN News 7/6/05; Associated Press 6/5/04; Wikipedia 6/5/05
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. . . .