Womens Rights

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...

Taliban Resumes Killing Afghans Despite Agreement with the U.S.; Human Rights, Women’s Rights, Democracy Omitted

Shortly after the U.S. and the Taliban signed a so-called peace agreement, the Taliban resumed their attacks across Afghanistan in 24 of its 34 provinces. Between February 29th and March 4th, the Taliban conducted 76 attacks. More than 100 Afghan government officials and civilians have been killed in these attacks. In a major attack today...

UK Court Judges Dubai Sheikh on Abusive Treatment of Wife and Daughters

A family court in the United Kingdom has judged, on the civil standard, that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai orchestrated abductions of two of his daughters and subjected his wife to a campaign of intimidation after she advocated for her daughters’ freedom. In April 2019, the sheikh’s former wife, Princess Haya of Jordan,...

Draft of Spain’s New Sex Crimes Bill Makes Consent Key

On Tuesday March 3, the Spanish government approved a new draft bill, the “Only Yes is Yes” bill, that focuses on sex crimes and makes consent a key factor in determining if a crime was committed, rather than putting pressure on victims to prove the use of violence or intimidation. According to a release from...

US and Taliban Sign Agreement with No Women’s Rights Protections

This weekend, the United States signed an agreement with the Taliban to phase American troops out of Afghanistan after nearly two decades of war. Critics have expressed concerns about the deal’s implications for women’s rights, arguing that it could undermine the gradual progress made in Afghanistan since the US’s intervention in 2001. The agreement establishes...

Fiscal Policies Can Increase Female Workforce Participation

Equitable workforce opportunities for women are beneficial to everyone, but research from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that female workforce participation still lags greatly behind that of men. Due to the stubborn persistence of gender gaps in wages and educational opportunities, the average female workforce participation rate is 20 percentage points behind the male...

Women and Children Make Up Majority of 800,000 Syrians Forced to Flee

During a Syrian military campaign backed by the Russians aimed to clear opposition in northwest Syria, more than 800,000 Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. Most of these refugees are women and children. This mass removal of people will most likely continue to occur as entire towns and communities seek safety in areas...

Grassroots Activists Work to Find Solutions to End Female Genital Mutilation

Recent efforts in Gambia show the success of frontline activists fighting to end female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is a global human rights’ issue that has affected nearly 200 million women and girls worldwide. Although frontline activists receive little to no funding, their efforts have seen promising results in countries from Kenya to Gambia. Kenya...

Women and Children Make Up Majority of Deportees to Guatemala Under New Deal

The majority of the nearly 400 asylum seekers that are being deported back to Guatemala under the Trump administration’s controversial deal with the country are women and children. U.S. immigration officials have denied the opportunity to seek asylum of 378 migrants from Honduras and El Salvador as of Tuesday of this week, forcing them to...

Legal Abortion Upper Limit Raised to 24 Weeks in India

The Union Cabinet of India, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020 which will raise the upper limit for abortion to 24 weeks from 20. Union minister Prakash Javadekar said that this was passed as “here was the demand from section of women, doctors and...

Murder of Activist and Artist Sparks Protests Against Femicide in Ciudad Juárez

Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre, 26-year-old artist and active feminist, was slain on January 18 in the streets of Juárez, Mexico. A week later protesters gathered in the streets to demand justice for her death and bring new attention to Ciudad Juárez’s femicide epidemic that has been allowed to persist for nearly 30 years. Marching...

New State Department Regulations Could Restrict Pregnant Women’s Ability to Come to the U.S.

A department official from the State Department and a congressional aide reportedly said Wednesday that the U.S. State Department has a plan that could potentially make it more difficult for pregnant women to acquire visas to visit the United States. These impending regulations are presumably the most recent in a string of attempts by the...