Kuwaiti women vote for the first time today, going to the polls to choose a local council member in the district of Salmiya. Reuters reports that the election marks the first time that Kuwaiti women have exercised their right to vote that Parliament granted them last year. In another first, two of the eight candidates running for the open seat are women, reports BBC.
According to Reuters, women make up 16,000 of the 28,000 potential voters. While women’s turnout has been low thus far, Dr. Khalida Khader, one of the female candidates, believes more women will cast their votes later in the day, reports the Associated Press. Polling stations are sex-segregated and women must remove their veil to verify their identity, according to BBC. However, the two female candidates were not permitted to display posters that showed their faces, exemplifying the tensions in a country that severly restricts women's rights and is experiencing what Dr. Khader told Reuters "is the biggest feast we [women] have been waiting for more than 40 years."
A new Gallup World Poll of eight Middle Eastern countries indicates that, in seven of the eight, over 50 percent of those surveyed agreed that "women should be allowed to hold leadership positions in the Cabinet and national council," reports United Press International. The highest percentage of agreement was in Lebanon, where 92 percent of responders agreed that women can hold positions of leadership, while there was only 40 percent agreement in Saudi Arabia. Kuwait was not included in the survey.
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/4/06; BBC 4/4/06; Reuters 4/4/06; United Press International 3/30/06
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .