Womens Rights

USAID Afghan Rug Project Aims to Empower Women and Bolster the Economy

A project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is putting Afghanistan’s traditional rug industry back into the hands of Afghan weavers. This project, based in Kabul, aims to grow Afghanistan’s economy and empower women. The nine-million-dollar project, run by Rob Leahy in South Carolina, acts as the ‘middle man’ between Afghan...

China Using Widespread Forced Birth Control on Uighurs to Suppress Population

The Chinese government is subjecting hundreds of thousands of women to forced birth control methods as part of its campaign to decrease birth rates among Uighurs and other ethnic minorities, according to a report by the Associated Press. This campaign is one part of the country’s far-reaching attack on its Muslim population. In the far...

Afghan Women Ask Global Leaders to Stand by Their Side

In an open letter to global women leaders, a coalition of Afghan women from across the country has asked to “stand by their side to protect women’s rights” in Afghanistan. The letter is addressed to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Ann Wagner, Ambassador Kelly Craft, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, and the Prime Minister of Norway,...

Egypt Arrests Female Social Media Influencers for Promoting “Immorality”

Four young Egyptian women on the popular social media app TikTok have been arrested by state authorities accusing them of spreading “immorality” with their content. These women are the most recent targets of state authorities monitoring social media accounts for “offensive” content. Since President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s election in 2014, hundreds of dissident public persons,...

“Where Are the Women?”: Afghan Women Absent From Peace Talks

In a series of high-profile meetings on the current situation in Afghanistan, as well as the ongoing so-called peace process, Afghan women were noticeably missing. Soon after the news of these meetings, Afghan women were quick to criticize the Afghan government for not including women in such high-profile meetings. These meetings included the signing of...

Chinese Political Advisor Proposes New Law to Expand Women’s Reproductive Rights

A delegate to China’s top political advisory body proposed a law to allow unmarried women access to reproductive health care such as in vitro fertilization and egg freezing. If passed, the new rule will overturn existing laws that ban unmarried women and couples who exceed the legal limit of children from using assisted reproductive technology...

Trump Administration Demands UN Remove “Reproductive Health” From Pandemic Response

The Trump administration sent a letter to the United Nations on Monday urging the UN to remove references to reproductive health and abortion in its COVID-19 humanitarian response plan. The letter was sent from John Barsa, acting administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The letter urges the UN to eliminate all mentions...

Afghan Women: “We Shouldn’t Have To Ask That Babies And Mothers Not Be Killed”

In an Op-ed published on NPR, three Afghan women’s rights leaders once again raised their voices against the ongoing atrocities committed by the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the Op-ed, Mary Akrami, Mahbooba Seraj, and Wazhma Frogh share their concerns and frustrations especially on the crimes committed against the Afghan women at a maternity hospital last...

Global Feminist Organizations Release Policy Priorities for COVID-19 Response

More than 400 feminist organizations and 700 individuals across the globe released a joint statement today outlining how governments can bolster equality in their responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The statement calls on governments to uphold human rights standards in its pandemic response and center marginalized communities that have been disproportionally affected by the disease....

Taliban Targets Maternity Hospital and Funeral Procession

In a wave of attacks yesterday, armed gunmen targeted a maternity hospital in Kabul, killing mostly pregnant women and children. Initial reports indicated that more than 15 people died in the attack on the hospital, including two newborn babies. The number of those dead in the attack stands at 24 now. In the last two...

Afghanistan Remaining a Republic is “Non-Negotiable”

In a virtual event on the intra-Afghan talks at the United States Institute of Peace, Habiba Sarabi emphasized that for Afghan women, negotiating on the structure of the government is “non-negotiable.” Habiba Sarabi, the former governor of Bamiyan province in Afghanistan is one of five women on the team representing the Afghanistan government, formed to...

UN Report: Women Face Barriers When Consenting to Sex, Accessing Healthcare

According to the United Nations, only around half of the world’s women are able to make their own decisions regarding sexual consent and healthcare, limiting gender equality for millions. A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) reported that women’s rights are actually on the decline in some countries, and one in four women...

Taliban Increases Attacks on Afghan Security

Amidst a rising number of COVID-19 cases as well as the ongoing so-called peace talks, the Taliban has further intensified their attacks across Afghanistan. Last week alone, the Taliban launched 300 attacks against the Afghan government and civilians, inflicting heavy casualties. The Afghan government has responded to the attacks, inflicting heavy casualties on the Taliban...

COVID-19 Activates Debate on Abortion Access Around the World

Globally, federal and local governments have adjusted abortion policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, citing shortage of medical supplies and stay-at-home orders as rationale for restriction. The government of the United Kingdom generated confusion among abortion providers, when a government website announced that patients would be allowed to access early medical abortion from home,...

New Laws in Northern Ireland Feature Abortion Stipulations in Wake of Decriminalization

Under new laws to soon be in effect, abortions will be allowed to take place up to 12 weeks “without conditionality” in Northern Ireland. Abortions after 12 weeks will be allowed only under certain circumstances, and the new laws stipulate that in cases of fatal foetal abnormalities there is no time limit for a person...

Afghan Woman Mayor Survives Attack

Updated 3/25/20 @ 12:46pm The mayor of Maidan Shar, a city some 28 miles in the southern outskirts of Kabul, was attacked by four armed men, believed to be members of the Taliban. The armed men opened fire at her car while she was on her way home last Sunday. Mayor Zarifa Ghafari was recently...

New Zealand Decriminalizes Abortion

On Wednesday, March 18, New Zealand lawmakers voted on and passed a bill that treats abortion as health care and not as a crime, with a vote of 68 to 51. In Nick Perry’s Associated Press release published by ABC news, Margaret Sparrow, 84-year-old doctor and advocate for reproductive rights, said that, “it’s been a...

UN Commission on the Status of Women Reaffirms Plan to Achieve Gender Equality

On March 9, the Commission on the Status of Women, the primary United Nations body promoting women’s rights, reaffirmed a 1995 plan to achieve gender equality and has pledged to work rapidly to meet rising levels of gender inequality and conservative hostility. According to a release from the Associated Press, the plan is a “political...

Hillary Clinton: Abandoning Afghan Women’s Rights is Not Just Morally Wrong – It Is Dangerous

At a UN meeting on the recent deal between the U.S. and the Taliban about the role of Afghan women’s rights today in New York, Secretary Hillary Clinton emphasized that “encouraging women’s participation is not only the right thing to do; it is the strategic and necessary thing to do for peace, prosperity and security.”...

UN Secretary-General Points to Gender Equality as Biggest Challenge

On Friday, before the observation of International Women’s Day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asserted that gender equality is “the biggest human rights challenge we face” in the midst of men who abuse their power. Guterres added that he himself is a “proud feminist.” A report by UN Women found that millions of women across the...