South Africa: Women Celebrate Historic Women's March
In celebration of Women's Day, thousands of South African women re-enacted an historic march through South Africa's capital, Pretoria, on Wednesday. In addition to honoring the 20,000 women who marched against apartheid laws 50 years ago, the march was held in protest of South Africa’s high rate of domestic violence, reports BBC News.
Today in South Africa, women comprise a third of the parliamentarians and 43 percent of the President’s cabinet, and they have made limited gains in the corporate world, according to IRIN News. In spite of advances in gender equality in the past 50 years, South Africa still has high levels of violence against women and one of the highest rates of rape in the world, reports IRIN News.
South African President Thabo Mbeki spoke at the march, saying, “…[W]e must uphold the perspective that none of us is free unless the women of our country are free — free from race and gender discrimination, free from poverty and loss of human dignity, and free from fear and violence,” Business Day reports.
Media Resources: IRIN News 8/7/06; BuaNews 8/9/06; BBC News 8/9/06; Business Day 8/11/06
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. . . .