Women's Rights and Gender Equality

Women and girls around the world experience discrimination and ill-treatment in both their personal and public lives at an alarming rate. Sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) can take many forms including but not limited to intimate partner violence, forced marriage, and sex trafficking, and women face challenges in the workplace and education as well as in exercising their reproductive rights. The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women is an international bill protecting the rights of women worldwide, and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights forbids sex-based discrimination in the EU. However, some countries have legal frameworks that actively aid sex-based discrimination or allow SGBV to occur with impunity. Even in countries with legal protections, many challenges remain in the implementation of these laws and in facilitating true empowerment.

HRWF advocates for the rights of all women and girls to live free from persecution and violence, and promotes the equality of men and women within all spheres of society.

India: Dalit woman dies weeks after gang rape, triggering protest

The 19-year-old victim was gang raped by four men in Uttar Pradesh’s Hathras town, about 100km from New Delhi.   Al Jazeera (29.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/34cR2GZ - A woman died in hospital in the Indian capital, New Delhi, on Tuesday, weeks after authorities said...

In conservative Kandahar, new gym creates safe space for Afghan women

Reuters (24.09.2020) - https://reut.rs/3kS9afG - In Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar, rights activist Maryam Durani has found a fresh outlet for her decades of advocacy - a new fitness centre for women.   Durani, 36, is a fierce campaigner for women’s...

CHINA: Xinjiang government confirms huge birth rate drop but denies forced sterilization of women

By Ivan Watson, Rebecca Wright and Ben Westcott CNN (21.09.2020) - https://cnn.it/3hPVa4h - Chinese officials have officially acknowledged birth rates in Xinjiang dropped by almost a third in 2018, compared to the previous year, in a letter to CNN in which they also...

US: More migrant women say they did not consent to surgeries at Ice center

AP review finds no evidence of mass hysterectomies but files show growing allegations of operations women did not fully understand.   By Nomaan Merchant   The Guardian (18.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/3clezJ8 - Sitting across from her lawyer at an immigration...

Pakistan arrests suspect in highway gang rape case amid protests

One of two suspects arrested amid demonstrations over handling of probe into attack on mother travelling with children.   Al Jazeera (13.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/3kfZNGp - Pakistani police say they have arrested one of two suspects in the rape of a woman who was...

Belarus’s female revolution: how women rallied against Lukashenko

Protests aimed at toppling autocratic leader have been led by women and show no sign of slowing.   By Shaun Walker The Guardian (12.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/3bXFJWD - One evening last week, a stylised image of the Belarusian opposition leader, Maria Kolesnikova,...

WORLD: Caster Semenya loses appeal for equal treatment

Swiss Court upholds regulations biased against women athletes.   By Minky Worden HRW (08.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/35oVdBK - The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has ruled that sport regulations that violate women’s rights cannot be struck down as...

Undressing for redress – the significance of Nigerian women’s naked protests

Nigerian women use nudity to turn traditional ideas of protest on their heads. By Bright Alozie The Conversation (03.09.2020) - https://bit.ly/3m76Cf7 - Social media went abuzz on July 23, 2020, when hundreds of women – mostly naked – staged a protest in the...

Zimbabwe makes it illegal for schools to expel pregnant girls

Women’s rights campaigners say new law will help ensure girls have equal rights to an education.   By Farai Shawn Matiashe Thomson Reuters Foundation (25.08.2020) - https://tmsnrt.rs/3hNgYhN - Zimbabwe has made it illegal for schools to expel pupils who get...

Iran’s #MeToo moment: Women’s tweets highlight alleged sexual abuse, rape by prominent figures

By Golnaz Esfandiari   RFE/RL (25.08.2020) - https://bit.ly/32EJNGV - For 14 years, former Iranian journalist Sara Omatali kept quiet about the time she says a prominent painter sexually assaulted her.   Last week, the U.S.-based educator broke her silence...

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