Afghan women candidates in the upcoming September 18 parliamentary elections are running despite threatening letters and phone calls demanding that they withdraw from the election. In Logar province, one female candidate’s door was set on fire, while in Helmand province, letters offering a US $4,000 reward for killing female candidates were given out, according to The Washington Post. Mahmoud Shah, a cousin of and campaigner for candidate Noorzia Charkhi, received a death threat letter at his home. Commenting on the incident, Charkhi said, “I’m not going to quit, because I want to show people that a woman should be able to do these things. But definitely I fear for my life…,” reports The Washington Post.
Female candidates also face limited access to resources to pay for registration, lack of information about nomination criteria and process, and restricted mobility, as well as cultural norms not supportive of women in public role, according to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) elections report. As a result of these problems, 50 female candidates have resigned their candidacy, and in some conservative provinces such as Uruzgan, no women are signed up to run at all.
Some 237 women are running for seats on provincial councils, which will then appoint one-third of the seats in the upper house of parliament. Only 12 percent of candidates for the lower house of parliament are women, though 27 percent of seats in that body are reserved for women.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defundÂ Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).Â Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell asÂ out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of twoÂ heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .