In Chiniot, Pakistan, five men have been arrested for the gang-rape of Fauzia Altaf. Eight men kidnapped and gang-raped Altaf for two days to punish her cousin for having an affair with a woman whose father did not approve. The father was among the arrested suspects. One suspect fled, another was released on bail, and two have yet to be found. Police reported that within the week, the case would be sent to a provincial anti-terrorist court in Faisalabad, Reuters reports.
The gang-rape occurred in the central Punjab province, the same location of the gang-rape of Mukhtaran Mai (also known as Mukhtaran Bibi), whose high-profile case called international attention to violence against women in Pakistan. Mai won an appeal last week that overturned acquittals of her 13 gang-rape perpetrators.
Altaf, the latest victim of an honor crime in Pakistan, said she wanted “the same justice” that Mai received. “I want the men who kidnapped and raped me to be punished,” she told Reuters.
Reuters reports that honor killings and rape are common occurrences in some regions of Pakistan.
Media Resources: BBC News 7/7/05; Reuters 7/7/05, 7/6/05
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. . . .