In Saudi Arabia, recent changes to business regulations will now allow women to launch and register businesses by themselves. The Saudi Ministry of Commerce has simplified the procedures so that women can apply for and receive a business license and complete the registration process alone. Women will not be allowed to start businesses in some fields considered unsuitable for women, such as construction and real estate. Muhammad Atiq Al-Harby, the director general of the Ministry of Commerce, said, "For some businesses, women need the help of a man,” according to Arab News.
These changes follow a conference that addressed women’s rights and commerce issues in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia this spring. The Gulf Businesswomen’s Forum was held at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry produced 11 recommendations to further protect and promote the interests and rights of women, according to Gulf News.
Women in Saudi Arabia face systematic discrimination and human rights abuses. Traditionally, women and children in a Saudi household are considered to be the “household property” of the Saudi male head of household, according to the US Department of State.
Media Resources: Arab News 7/7/2006; Gulf News 6/22/2006; US Department of State 8/2005
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. . . .