A second woman has decided to run for president of Yemen. On March 15, Rashida al-Qaili joined Sumaya Ali Raja, who had announced her candidacy in December, as the first two women candidates ever to seek the position. Rashida Al-Qaili, a satirical columnist, will run as an independent candidate. She said she would rely on her "community of intellectuals" to support her bid for office, rather than the more traditional family tribe or political party, reports IRIN.
Both women will face opposition from the country's conservative and Islamist movements, as "There are a lot of constraints facing women's political participation," political science professor Dr. Bilqis Abu-Osba'a told IRIN. "This includes… traditional tribal society, as well as a lack of earnest support from political parties, which don't push a good number of women into leading positions."
Currently there are only two women in the Yemeni cabinet and one woman in the 301-seat parliament. Women's organizations have urged the government to reserve 30 percent of the seats in the upcoming election for women. Elections will be held in September.
Media Resources: Feminist Daily News 1/6/06; IRIN (Integrated Regional Information Networks) 3/15/06, 3/8/06
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. . . .