Narges Mohammadi Continues Activism in Prison
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi began a hunger strike Monday to protest both the Iranian government’s refusal to provide medical treatment to her and her fellow inmates and the mandatory headscarf laws. According to her family, a prosecutor blocked Mohammadi’s request to transfer from the Evin Prison to a heart and lung hospital for “urgent medical care.” Recently, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for her years of activism. The Free Narges Mohammadi campaign released a statement elaborating that “Narges went on a hunger strike today...protesting two things: The Islamic Republic’s policy of delaying and neglecting medical care for sick inmates, resulting in the loss of the health and lives of individuals. The policy of ‘death’ or ‘mandatory hijab’ for Iranian women.”
Ohio Votes to Protect Abortion Access in Constitution
This Tuesday, nearly 57 percent of Ohioans voted to enshrine abortion rights in the state’s constitution. This will give individuals the “right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including on abortion, contraception, and miscarriage care. Seven other states have passed measures to protect abortion rights after the Dobbs decision, but this is the first time the change will explicitly guarantee the right in a Republican-led state. Ohio will still be allowed to bar abortion after a fetus is viable, or at roughly twenty-three weeks of pregnancy. “Once again, voters sent a clear message to Republicans and anti-abortion extremists: We believe in the right to abortion, and we are the majority,” said Mini Timmaraju, president of Reproductive Freedom for All.
Factory Workers Strike for Livable Wage in Bangladesh
Garment factory workers in Bangladesh, who are mostly women, have been protesting for an increase in the minimum wage. On Tuesday, Bangladesh’s wage board announced a 56 percent increase in the minimum wage, which will result in pay of about $113 per month from the current rate, which can be as low as $80. Despite increasing fear of repercussions from the government and factory owners, union leaders announced that they would continue protesting for an increase to about $200 a month to meet the rising cost of living. Bangladesh has over three thousand garment factories that account for more than 80 percent of annual exports. In response to the strikes, dozens of these factories have been ransacked, with at least three hundred reported being shut down. Over the weekend, at least two workers were killed, and several police officers were wounded. “Garment workers should remember that if they damage factories, they may have to return to their villages and live without employment,” said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.