Earlier this month, Hamas released a new set of restrictions that will sex segregate co-ed classrooms in Gaza. The law passed by Hamas, the Islamic group that rules the Palestinian territory, states that classes must be divided by gender beginning at age nine and also bans male teachers from girls' schools. Government run schools within Gaza have previously been separated by gender. The law will take effect with the new academic year in September and is expected to mostly effect private institutions, including the few Christian and international schools in Gaza.
A member of the education committee and Hamas lawmaker, Yousef Al-Sherafi, said in an interview: "This law is a safety valve for our national principles... One male staffer among 20 female teachers in a girls' school would not allow our sisters to feel comfortable."
The Center for Women's Legal Research and Consulting, the only legal-aid organization for women in Gaza, warned that the law is "based on a culture of discrimination against women, by reinforcing gender separation which takes our society back to ancient times when there was no respect for women's rights and women were eliminated from public life."
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/3/2013; New York Times 4/1/2013; Reuters 4/1/2013
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. . . .