Women’s Rights News in Brief – April 17th, 2017

women's rights news in brief

Image source: Vice News

Trump Signs Order Allowing State to Defund Planned Parenthood

Photo by Ron Sachs – Pool/Getty Images

On the 13th of April, President Donald Trump signed a resolution allowing states to defund and withhold Title X family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other such abortion providers.

This resolution, in effect, overturns former President Obama’s Health and Human Services rule which was passed last year and prevented states from defunding Planned Parenthood and sexual health and abortion providers for reasons other than the lack “of ability to deliver services to programme beneficiaries in an effective manner.”

The Title X federal family planning programme was established by President Nixon in 1970 and subsidises contraception, Pap smears and other preventative health care services for 4 million low-income Americans. Title X grants serve 1.5 million patients annually and Planned Parenthood uses the $70 million it receives. Without Planned Parenthood and other similar health organisations, it has been reported that many families will experience great difficulties in accessing health care and sexual health and abortion providers.


Women-only ‘Pink Taxis’ Hitting the Streets of Pakistan

Image source: The Independent

In Pakistan’s Karachi, women are now able to call the cab service Pink Taxi by phoning, using the app or even hailing a cab on the street. Ambreen Sheikh is launching the service with her husband Zahid Sheikh to protect female customers from the sexual harassment they face daily when travelling around the busy streets of the city.

Pink Taxi recruits women drivers, and according to a study performed by the International Labour Organisation the majority of women in conservative Pakistan do not participate in the workforce, with a lack of safe transportation as one of the main obstacles.

Sheikh announced that the Pink Taxi initiative will be extended to other major cities including Lahore and Islamabad in the next three to four months. Pink Taxi is expected to provide women with safe, sexual-harassment-free mobility within Pakistan.


1,000+ Women Flee Saudi Arabia Annually Due to Sexism

Image source: The Independent

Saudi Arabia, a country that has been criticised as having deeply ingrained misogynistic attitudes and practices,  sees at least 1,000 women fleeing the country every year, according to a study performed by sociologist, Mansour al-Askar, of the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud University in Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia subjects women to a high level of sexism as the country adheres to a harsh version of Wahhabi Sunni Islam and is notorious for the strict Sharia law it employs. In addition, Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving and where women are subject to walis, or male guardians, throughout their lives.

A Saudi Arabian woman’s freedom is therefore largely dependent on the good will of her male guardian, as explicated in a 2016 Human Rights Watch report. The guardian system has largely affected the realisation of women’s rights in the country.

About Dominic Lauren 18 Articles
Dominic is a Greek/American writer & editor; English and Theatre Studies Graduate

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