Timothy Mubhawu, a member of parliament (MP) in Zimbabwe, is insisting that the national assembly reject a bill that would criminalize domestic violence. He stated, “I stand here representing God the Almighty. Women are not equal to men. This is a dangerous bill, and let it be known in Zimbabwe that the rights, privileges, and status of men are gone,” IRIN reports.
The bill in question has drawn widespread support from the international and women’s communities. It strives to address the serious problem of domestic violence in Zimbabwe, where over 60 percent of murder cases are connected to domestic violence, and more than 8,000 rapes are reported annually.
Mubhawu’s sexist remarks have sparked the protests of 35 women’s organizations in Zimbabwe. Betty Makoni, founder of the Girl Child Network, a nongovernmental organization in Zimbabwe, told IRIN, “The MP made some very outrageous and gender-insensitive statements, and we have to express our anger by marching against him – he has made a lot of people angry. It is unfortunate that such statements should come from an official who should be representing both women and men in parliament.”
Media Resources: IRIN 10/11/06; Feministing.com 10/13/06
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. . . .