Tuesday, March 14, 2006

At Least There's Some Things We Can All Agree On!

Human Rights Watch:

Iranian police and plainclothes agents charged a peaceful assembly of women’s rights activists in Tehran and beat hundreds of women and men who had gathered to commemorate International Women’s Day...

“This was a completely peaceful gathering with no political overtones or slogans,” one participant told Human Rights Watch. “We just held up signs in solidarity with the international women’s rights movement.”

Within minutes, after agents photographed and videotaped the gathering, the police told the crowd to disperse. In response, the participants staged a sit-in and started to sing the anthem of the women’s rights movement, one participant told Human Rights Watch.

The security forces then dumped cans of garbage on the heads of women who were seated before charging into the group and beating them with batons to compel them to leave the park ...

Ms. Magazine:

Acts of violence against Iraqi women who do not wear headscarves have more than tripled in the three years since the US invasion, according to the Women's Rights Association in Iraq. Many of the attacks are carried out by family members to protect the family's "honor," reports IRIN News, the United Nations News Service.

"Women are being killed because they don't wear headscarves and veils," said WRA spokeswoman Mayada Zuhair, IRIN reports. "A life is being taken because of a simple piece of cloth, and someone should prevent more women from being killed by these ignorant people who believe that honor depends on what you're wearing."


A series of protests and rallies for women's rights occurred in several Asian countries in the days leading up to International Women's Day, March 8. Nearly 2,000 women and men protested acid attacks, of which women are the primary target, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 7, according to the Associated Press. Monira Rahman, spokesperson for the Acid Survivor’s Foundation, told the AP that women made up 75 percent of the 268 victims of such attacks last year.

In Jakarta, Indonesia, hundreds of women protested a so-called anti-pornography bill, reports the AP, which would make illegal showing skin on either the shoulders or legs and would make kissing in public an offense that carries a ten year prison sentence.


New legislation signed earlier this week by (South Dakota) Governor Mike Rounds makes abortion illegal in every circumstance except where the life of the woman is threatened. There are no exceptions, even for cases of rape or incest, though in these circumstances women could receive emergency contraception. Doctors and medical staff who provide an abortion face up to five years in prison.

New Haven Register:

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who often takes a conservative line on social issues, is facing a liberal Democratic primary challenge from wealthy Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont. But that hasn't stopped Lieberman from supporting the approach of the Catholic hospitals when it comes to contraceptives for rape victims. Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.


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