Taliban Militants Kill Three Women Aid Workers, Girls School Attacked
Taliban militants killed three women working for Action Aid, a German-funded non-governmental organization, in the Jowzjan province today. Reuters reports that the three women were traveling a car when they were attacked by militants on motorcycles. Their driver also died in the attack.
This attack comes following one of the most violent days since the fall of the Taliban, when a United States military convoy traveling in the capital city of Kabul caused a 12-car traffic accident that killed five Afghan civilians and wounded many others. The accident sparked a riot in Kabul, and witnesses have reported that US troops fired on the crowd, though the US military claims to have only fired warning shots in the air to break up the riot, according to the New York Times. At least 14 people are now dead, and scores were treated at the Khair Khana Hospital with gunshot wounds, the Times reports.
Pent-up grievances in the Afghan population are mounting. Conditions in Kabul are dire. Over a million people are homeless. The city, which had a population of 500,000, has ballooned with refugees returning to around 4 million, with many jobless and homeless.
In addition, another school for girls was arsoned in the past two weeks, bringing the total of schools attacked to more than 300.
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. . . .