Global

Sima Samar: Afghan Women Should be a Part of Peace Talks

The chairwomen of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Sima Samar, stated that she supports women being a part of the Afghanistan peace talks. Samar presented on the role of women in securing peace at the “Women’s role in ensuring justice and human rights” Conference in Kabul. Samar pointed out the fear that many women...

Maria Ressa, CEO of Philippine News Site Critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, Arrested

Maria Ressa, an outspoken critic of Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, who has previously threatened reporters, was arrested Wednesday with “cyber libel” charges against her news site, Rappler. The charges were in relation to a Rappler report that connected a former judge in the Philippines’ top court to a businessman involved in human trafficking and illegal...

New UK Bill Seeks to Incorporate Economic Abuse into Domestic Violence Legislation

A proposed domestic violence bill in the UK is the first legislation to include economic abuse and its clear legal definition, which will better serve victims as well as prosecute offenders. The Home Office and Ministry of Justice submitted the bill in late January that also includes a “domestic abuse commissioner” to oversee and develop...

Pope Admits Reports of Clerics Sexually Abusing Nuns

During a trip to the Middle East, Pope Francis admitted that some clerics were sexually abusing nuns, stating that the sexual abuse of nuns has been an ongoing problem that the church is working on and that many clerics have been suspended. In two weeks, Pope Francis will be hosting a gathering of bishops and...

Four Women Are Killed Everyday in Brazil

Since the beginning of 2019, on average, four women per day have been killed in Brazil and 126 women have been killed so far this year, causing increased pressure on the government to crack down on femicide cases. There have been an additional 64 attempted murders recorded. The high rate of women being killed is...

Thwaites Glacier Melting at an Alarming Rate, Sea Levels Rise

This week, scientists released a report detailing their discovery that the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica has a 1,000 feet deep and six mile long cavity, roughly the size of two-thirds of Manhattan, due to higher levels of glacier melting than previously expected or calculated. The cavity held 14 billion tons of ice, which melted...

United States Withdrawing from Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia

The United States is withdrawing from a 1987 Cold War era nuclear arms treaty with Russia that bans ground-launched cruise missiles with a range from 500km-5,000km. These missiles take minutes to launch and leave little time for leaders to plan a defense strategy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has stated that the U.S. is withdrawing...

New Brazilian Gun Laws May Pose Risk to Domestic Violence Victims

New Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a decree to loosen gun laws throughout the country, despite public safety experts concern, a decree that makes it easier for Brazilians to have guns in their homes, as well as waives old standing safety checks such as federal police approval. In addition, Bolsonaro increased the validity period...

Afghan Women Concerned Over Possible Agreement With Taliban

Afghan government officials have reportedly negotiated a draft peace framework with the Taliban, raising concerns among women’s rights activists in Afghanistan and around the world that any reemergence of the Taliban on the political scene could mean a rollback of women’s advancements in the country, as it did under the Taliban’s previous reign.

Japan’s Supreme Court Upholds Law Requiring Sterilization to Legally Change Gender

The Japanese Supreme Court unanimously upheld Law 111, which requires transgender people looking to officially change their gender to undergo sterilization by removing their original reproductive organs, causing human rights and LGBT activists to immediately denounce the ruling. The Supreme Court denied Takakito Usui, a transgender man, an appeal against the 2004 law, citing that...

Afghan Woman Appointed to Key UN Post

Sima Samar, a top Afghan human rights and women’s rights advocate, was appointed to the United Nations High Level Advisory Board of Mediation. Dr. Samar has been a leading advocate for human rights and women’s rights and has served in high ranking roles since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Since then, she...

Taliban Threatens To Pull Out Of Afghan Peace Talks

This week, the Taliban threatened to pull out of the Afghan peace talks, led by Zalmai Khalilzad--former US ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan and current envoy assigned to bring the negotiators to the table--impeding progress to negotiating the end of the war.

Afghan Women Athletes Report Assault

Women athletes on the Afghanistan national football team have come out with serious allegations of sexual and physical assault against leaders of the Football Federation of Afghanistan (AFF), an affiliate of FIFA, including its president Keramuudin Karim.

Education for Displaced Girls Signed into Law

The Protecting Girls’ Access to Education in Vulnerable Settings Act was signed into law yesterday. The Act seeks to provide quality primary and secondary education for children, especially girls in displaced areas. The bill authorizes the State Department and USAID to support efforts with other multilateral and civil society organizations in providing access to education....

Indian Women Continue Their Struggle to Access Temples

Last week, around five million Indian women formed the “Women’s Wall” in the southern state of Kerala to draw attention to their continued fight to have equal access to religious sites. The five million woman wall stretched 620 kilometers or 385 miles across Kerala, India.

Saudi Woman Desperately Seeking Asylum in Australia, Trapped in Thailand

This weekend, 18-year old Saudi woman Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was fleeing to Australia to seek asylum when she was stopped from boarding her connecting flight in Bangkok by Thai Police. Thai Police claim she did not have a proper return ticket from Australia, though she did have a 3-month tourist visa.

Afghanistan’s Art Industry Experiencing a Revival

Recently, Afghanistan hosted the Mehrgan International Film Festival in Kabul, where films were screened at the Academy of Arts and Cinema Sciences of the Afghan Film. At the international film festival, 48 short films from Afghanistan and other countries were selected, 24 of which were produced by Afghans.

Would Peace in Afghanistan Be Possible Without Women’s Rights and Participation?

The Afghan government and other parties involved in the peace efforts in Afghanistan have shown optimism to a possible peace deal in the near future. The negotiations, led by US representative to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been held in various locations with the Taliban, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Afghan government.

7 Year Old Child Died from Dehydration While in ICE Custody

8 hours after 7-year-old Guatemalan girl Jakelin Caal and her father were taken into US Border Patrol custody, the young child died from dehydration after having seizures and her body temperature rose to 105.7 degrees. Emergency responders rushed her to a hospital in El Paso but she died within 24 hours. The hospital’s initial report...

Annual Survey of Afghan People Shows Progress for Women and Girls

The Asia Foundation has released their annual Afghanistan survey titled Afghanistan in 2018: A Survey of the Afghan People. It showed an improvement in the perception on the rights and participation of women and girls in society, but there are still many challenges faced by women in the region.