Global

#MeToo Activist Released by Chinese Authorities

After being detained for nearly three months, a Chinese #MeToo activist and journalist, Sophia Huang Xueqin, has been released by authorities in China. Police detained Huang in mid-October of last year in Guangzhou on the vague charges of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.” Huang has been a prominent figure in China’s emerging #MeToo movement, which...

First Woman Appointed to Management Position in the Vatican

This Thursday, Pope Francis named Francesca Di Giovanni the Undersecretary of Multilateral Affairs for the Secretariat of State, an important Vatican office. Di Giovanni will be the first woman to hold a management position in the Roman Catholic Church.  Leadership positions in the Vatican are largely male-dominated, in part because many are reserved for priests,...

Women Lead Protests in India Over Islamophobic Law

Women are leading the charge with protests against India’s new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which provides a path for citizenship for many “persecuted minorities” – but specifically leaves out Muslims as one of those minorities. People are upset that India, an officially secular nation, is singling out Muslim people and not providing them the same...

For Afghans the Drive for Education is Stronger than Ever

News from Afghanistan and about the Afghan people is often associated with violence in the western media, especially lately in the U.S. media. News of progress and success is rarely of any interest to the media or often taken with a grain of salt or dismissed as not enough to justify the investments made in...

Afghanistan Woman Takes Action with Kabul Recycling Plant

Zuhal Atmar, 35, has set up a recycling plant in the city of Kabul where she processes 33 tons of garbage weekly. She is the first woman in Afghanistan, a country with deeply rooted conservative values, to have started such a business. Her determination stems from her wish to live “greener,” she says, and from...

Survey: Growing Support for Women’s Education and Employment in Afghanistan

The Asia Foundation’s survey of 2019 shows a growing support for women’s education and their employment in Afghanistan. The survey released on Tuesday shows the progress made in the views of Afghans in regards to women’s rights and their position in public life. The approval and support for women’s education has continued to rise over...

Afghan Civil Society Highlights Human Rights and Social Justice Issues

Building civil society (non-governmental and non-profit organizations) has been one of the major achievements in Afghanistan in the last 18 years. This flourishing new field gained recognition early on and became influential in addressing issues in the interest of the public. These issues have often included human rights, women’s rights, government accountability, foreign assistance, and...

All-Male Feminism Panel in Pakistan Receives Backlash

The Arts Council of Pakistan received backlash for its discussion titled “Feminism; The Other Perspective,” which featured an all-male panel. After receiving criticism on social media, the Arts Council of Pakistan changed the name of the discussion, the makeup of the panel, and the graphics promoting the discussion. Originally, “Feminism; The Other Perspective” featured all-male...

Afghan Saffron in High Demand

In an attempt to replace opium cultivation in Afghanistan, the Afghan government has continued to increase its efforts to replace the deadly plant with saffron cultivation. Saffron cultivation began in Herat, in the western part of the country, and is now being grown in 33 provinces of the 34 provinces in Afghanistan. Farmers are being...

Taliban Releases Two Kidnapped AUAF Professors in Zabul

The Taliban has freed two Western hostages Tuesday, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks, after holding them hostage for more than three years, a U.S. official and the prime minister of Pakistan said Tuesday. Kevin King, 63, from the United States, and Timothy Weeks, 50, from Australia, were professors at American University of Afghanistan...

Australian Woman’s Stalker Used an App to Track Her Phone and Control Her Car

An Australian woman’s ex-boyfriend used multiple apps to stalk her, including an app that controlled the functions of her car. The 38-year old man pleaded guilty on charges of stalking his ex-girlfriend, to whom he dated for six months. After police searched his home, they found a notebook tracking his ex-girlfriend’s information, including places she...

Japanese Companies Ban Glasses For Women At Work

Some Japanese companies are enforcing sexist dress code policies, including banning glasses and makeup requirements, sparking a social justice movement amongst Japanese women. Women are reporting on their companies’ sexist dress code policies and the lengths they have had to reach to comply with them. These policies range from shoe styles to hair and nail...

Director Roman Polanski Accused of 1975 Rape by French Actress

Valentine Monnier, a 62 year old French actress, revealed in an interview with Le Parisien that director Roman Polanski violently raped her in 1975 at his skiing chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. At the time, Monnier was 18 years old while Polanski was 42. She told Le Parisien that she went to Polanski’s skiing chalet with...

International Criminal Court Sentences Man to 30 Years in Prison for Sexual Slavery

Bosco Ntaganda, a former rebel leader in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been sentenced by the International Criminal Court to 30 years in prison after being convicted of 18 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including rape, murder, sexual slavery, and the use of child soldiers. Ntaganda is the first person to...

Transgender Cyclist Wins Cycling Championship, Gets Criticism from Competitors

Rachel McKinnon is dominating the women’s cycling field, yet is receiving backlash from her fellow competitors. This 37-year old Canadian woman won at the Masters Track World Cycling Championships in Manchester, England in the 35-39 age category 200-meter sprint. McKinnon is celebrating breaking a world record and her second consecutive world title. Her success was...

Dozens of People Blinded by Chilean Authorities in Violent Response to Protests

More than 140 people have suffered severe eye injuries since protests in Chile began on October 18th. At least 26 people have completely lost vision in one eye, according to the Salvador Hospital ophthalmology unit in Santiago, the nation’s capital, and many others are still being treated. “Last Monday, we got 10 people with these...

UN Passes Resolution to Implement Women Peace and Security Agenda

Nearly 20 years after Resolution 1325 was adopted, today the UN passed a resolution calling for the full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda. The agenda, referring to Resolution 1325, was first adopted in October of 2000 and addressed the disproportionate impact of armed conflict on women, and acknowledges the role of women...

An All-Women Landmine Clearing Team in Afghanistan Provides Jobs and Hope

 Afghanistan’s first all-women demining team — inaugurated in 2018 by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) — provides women with increased financial independence, opening doors for a range of careers, while simultaneously making the country a safer place one mine at a time. The $50,000 pilot program has two primary goals. The first is...

Pelosi and Bipartisan Congressional Delegation Make Unannounced Trip to Afghanistan After Trump’s Decision on Syria

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led an unannounced congressional visit to Afghanistan over the weekend, Pelosi’s office said Sunday evening. The secret trip was made as Pelosi led a congressional delegation to Jordan, where her office says they discussed Middle East peace and Syria with members of the country’s royal family. “This evening, our bipartisan delegation...

Congressional Representatives Emphasize the Importance of Preserving the Progress in Afghanistan

A bipartisan congressional dialogue by Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Rep. Martha Ruby (R-AL) at the United States Institute of Peace focused on the achievements accomplished in Afghanistan. Both members of Congress have been leading a group of congressional members to Afghanistan since 2007 and have seen the progress there after more than a decade...