Kuwaiti Women Run for Seats in Parliament for First Time
Women are running for seats in Kuwait’s 50-seat parliament for the first time since the governing body was created in 1962. According to Agence France Presse (AFP), 32 of the 380 candidates are women, who were granted the right to run for office, as well as to vote, in May 2005. Women have been actively involved in other aspects of Kuwaiti public life, reports BBC, and a woman was appointed as minister after the 2005 vote.
According to AFP, 8 of the 15 constituencies in which women are running for office are extremely right-wing and women are required to veil their faces. However, there are more female than male voters in 21 of the 25 total Kuwaiti constituencies, since members of the military are not permitted to vote and the military is mainly staffed by men, reports AFP. Women candidates are hoping for a high turnout among female voters, though candidate Rula Dashti told an audience recently that "I want you to vote for me not because I am a woman but rather because I carry your concerns."
Kuwaiti women first voted in April 2006, going to the polls to choose a local council member in the district of Salmiya. However, the two female candidates were not permitted to display posters that showed their faces, exemplifying the tensions that remain even as women’s rights advance.
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
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. . . .