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5/22/2015 - Senate Votes to Advance "Fast Tracking" of Dangerous Trade Agreement
The US Senate voted 62 to 38 yesterday to advance "fast track" trade legislation, just one week after Senate Democrats filibustered the controversial bill that would allow President Obama to force Congress to vote up-or-down on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The TPP is a far-reaching trade agreement that has faced staunch opposition from a broad coalition of labor, environmental, women's rights, and human rights groups....

5/12/2015 - Pregnant Women Left Vulnerable After Devastating Nepal Earthquake
A large earthquake hit eastern Nepal today, two weeks after a quake killed 8,000 people in the country....

4/30/2015 - 400 Women and Children Have Been Rescued From Boko Haram in Nigeria
In two different operations in under a week, Nigerian troops have rescued more than 400 women and children who had been kidnapped by Boko Haram. On Tuesday, Nigerian troops announced they rescued 200 girls and 93 women from Boko Haram - and today news has come out that troops rescued another 160 women and children. While the news is promising and shows progress made in Nigeria to combat Boko Haram, the girls rescued were not the Chibok girls who inspired the #BringBackOurGirls movement last year....

4/20/2015 - Four Women Were Just Approved to Join the Cabinet of Afghanistan's Unity Government
President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah of Afghanistan held their promise to appoint four women in the new cabinet, and the nation's lower house of Parliament approved them along with the rest of the 16 cabinet nominees introduced by the Afghan government on Saturday. Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, speaker for the lower house of parliament, confirmed on Saturday that there are four women among that the 25 member Cabinet of President Ashraf Ghani....

4/14/2015 - Afghan Woman Awarded International Women of Courage Award
Niloofar Rahmani, the first woman to serve in the Afghan military since the fall of the Taliban, was honored by the US State Department with the International Women of Courage Award last month. Rahmani was one of ten women recognized by the State Department for this prestigious award....

4/10/2015 - US Ranks 16th Worldwide on 2015 Social Progress Index
The United States ranks 16th in the recently released 2015 Social Progress Index, which assesses and scores countries worldwide across three categories: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity....

4/7/2015 - Iranian Women Can Now Attend Major Sporting Events
Iranian women will now be allowed to attend major sporting events, Iran officials announced on Saturday. Although the new policy still holds barriers for women attending specific sports - those considered to be more "masculine" such as wrestling or swimming - this announcement reverses an antiquated rule that forbid women to watch matches attended by men. Abdolhamid Ahmadi, the deputy minister for sports, told the state news agency on Saturday that the country's national Security Council had approved a government proposal to allow women to watch games this year....

2/3/2015 - Northern Ireland's Human Right Commission To Review Abortion Ban
The Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Northern Ireland won its call for a judicial review on the region's restrictive abortion law. The High Court in Belfast ruled that the HRC could seek a review of current law....

2/2/2015 - Women Who Protested Saudi Arabia's Driving Ban Remain in Prison
Women's rights activists who protested Saudia Arabia's driving ban in November remain imprisoned. Loujain al-Hathloul, 25, and Maysa al-Alamoudi, 33, were arrested while they were crossing into Saudi Arabia on November 30....

2/2/2015 - Two Imprisoned Women's Rights Activists in the Middle East Have Been Freed
Women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia and Iran were freed last week....

1/26/2015 - Egyptian Court Sentences Doctor In Female Genital Mutilation Case
An Egyptian appeals court convicted and sentenced a doctor today for performing female genital mutilation (FGM) that lead to a 13-year-old girl's death....

1/9/2015 - Trans People Can No Longer Obtain Driver's Licenses in Russia
Russia has banned transgender people as well as "those who suffer from disorders of sexual preference" from obtaining driver's licenses. The new regulations put trans folks and anyone suffering from "fetishism, exhibitionism, and voyeurism" among those with primarily physical impairments such as blindness who are barred from driving....

1/5/2015 - Transgender Woman Elected Mayor in India
Raigarh, a city of 300,000 in the state of Chhattisgarh, India has become the first city in India to elect a transgender mayor. On Sunday, independent candidate Madhu Kinnar was elected mayor over Mahaveer Guruji of the popular Bharatiya Janata Party by more than 4,500 votes. Nine months before, the Indian Supreme Court declared transgender people, known as hijras, as a legal third gender in a landmark ruling that legally recognized the identities of an estimated two million people in the nation....

11/21/2014 - UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators....

9/9/2014 - Court Sentences Seven Men for Gang Rape in Afghanistan
An Afghan court convicted seven men for the gang rape and robbery of four women in Paghman district near the city of Kabul. According to reports, a group of men - some dressed in police uniforms and carrying assault rifles - stopped a group of cars traveling in Paghman last month, pulled the women from their cars, and raped them in a nearby field....

9/8/2014 - Ecuador Will Now Recognize Same-Sex Civil Unions
As of September 15, same-sex couples in Ecuador will finally be able to register their civil unions....

9/5/2014 - Afghan Girls Compete in Bike Race to Raise Awareness About Violence Against Women
Over a hundred people celebrated the August 25th "Orange Day to End Violence" with a bicycle race in Bamyan, Afghanistan hosted by the nonprofit organization Shuhada. Fifteen girls participated in the race to raise awareness about violence against women....

8/8/2014 - Close to Two-Thirds of Cameroonian Women Have Unmet Need for Contraception
Approximately 63 percent of sexually active Cameroonian women who want to avoid pregnancy do not have access to a modern form of contraception, according to a recently released report by the Guttmacher Institute and the French Institut de Formation et de Recherche Demographiques (IFORD). Around 6,000 Cameroonian women die each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth....

8/7/2014 - Study Finds Sexual Health Education Should Begin As Early As Age 10
Children should begin receiving formal education about sexual health as early as age 10, according to a new study published in the journal Global Public Health. The study's researchers note that although sexual health programs typically focus on older adolescents, sexuality and gender identity begin emerging between the ages of 10 and 14....

8/7/2014 - US-Africa Leaders Summit Closes With Funding Commitments and Focus on Women
After three days of unprecedented meetings between the US and leaders from nearly 50 African countries, the US Africa Leaders Summit ended Wednesday....

7/31/2014 - First World Day Against Human Trafficking Encourages International Action
The first World Day against Trafficking in Persons took place Wednesday in an effort by the United Nations to bring attention to the continuing need for international support to help trafficking victims and end impunity for perpetrators. Millions of people are still trafficked every year, sold to work in brothels, fields, and sweatshops....

7/18/2014 - Nigeria Secures $15 Million Grant from Norway to Reduce Maternal Mortality
Norway has provided a $15 million grant to the Nigerian government to help the country reduce maternal and child mortality....

7/16/2014 - Church of England Votes to Allow Women Bishops
The General Synod, the decision-making body of the Church of England, voted Monday to allow women to become bishops....

7/14/2014 - Study Shows High Rates of Child Marriage and Maternal Death Across Nigeria
The Nigerian Demographic Health Survey of 2013 (NDHS) revealed persistently high child marriage rates and a need for increased family planning resources in Nigeria. Nigeria accounts for 13 percent of global maternal death rates, with 36,000 women dying in pregnancy or child birth each year....

7/8/2014 - Pope Begs Forgiveness of Sexual Abuse Survivors, But Survivors Want Action
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called on Pope Francis yesterday to take "tangible steps" to prevent widespread sexual abuse by clergy members instead of asking for forgiveness from victims. Yesterday Pope Francis met with six people who were sexually abused by clergy members as children to ask for their forgiveness....