Women’s Rights

Ending Child Marriage in the United Kingdom

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Hypocrisy Undermines UK pledge to Fight Child Marriage Overseas Heather Barr HRW This week Pauline Latham, a Conservative MP, introduced a bill to ban marriage before the age of 18 in England and Wales. She has support from across the political spectrum for an effort that is long overdue. In England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, children aged 16 and 17 can marry with their parents’ permission. In Scotland, the minimum age of marriage is 16, with no parental permission required. ... Read More »

New program to tackle domestic violence during pregnancy in Western Australia

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Roia Atmar was no stranger to violence when her husband set her on fire while she was holding her baby daughter, but she believes things could have been very different if the medical professionals she… Sarah Collard ABC Ms Atmar was a child bride. She was 14 when she came to Australia from Afghanistan, and had her first child at 15, before having three other children to her abuser. She said the abuse started early in the marriage. “For a ... Read More »

To end abortion, don’t ban it. Support families instead.

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(RNS) — Anti-abortion leaders have been thrilled with President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Katelyn Beaty Many hope he can be pivotal in overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Priests for Life has called Kavanaugh “exactly what we need on the Supreme Court.” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, tweeted, “THIS IS NOT A DRILL: Kennedy is RETIRING. We can overturn Roe and Doe. ... Read More »

‘We are real’: Saudi feminists launch online radio

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Operating out of a small room in an unknown country, a new internet radio station broadcasts a programme aimed at campaigning for greater women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. Alma Hassoun BBC With melancholy music playing in the background, the presenter of Nsawya FM (Feminism FM) addresses the issue of domestic violence in the Gulf kingdom. The presenter’s voice shakes with emotion as she discusses the fate of Sara, a woman she says was killed by a male relative. She was ... Read More »

Bans on full-face Muslim veils spread across Europe

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Washington: Earlier this month, Denmark became the fifth country in Europe to introduce a ban on face coverings in public places. Rebecca Tan The Age Washington Post The policy is widely viewed as being targeted at Muslim women who wear veils such as the niqab. Despite protests in the capital, Copenhagen, police have started enforcing the law in earnest. On August 3, a 28-year-old wearing the niqab, which covers the entire body except the eyes, was attacked by another Danish woman ... Read More »

Cameroon’s Far North: A New Chapter in the Fight Against Boko Haram

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The Cameroonian government should aim at encouraging more Cameroonian Boko Haram members to surrender. ICG Community service, public confessions, symbolic ceremonies and vocational training can help reintegrate those who do not pose a threat. The government should also prepare for the demobilisation of some vigilantes. What’s new? As fighting between government forces and the Boko Haram insurgents in Cameroon’s Far North diminishes, a lasting peace depends on how the government deals with former members of the… Why does it matter? A well-designed policy toward ... Read More »

Argentina retains strict abortion laws by rejecting elective procedures

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Argentina’s decision to retain its stringent abortion laws has left Latin America and the Caribbean with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. ABC Argentine senators this week narrowly rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, overcoming support for a surging abortion rights movement in the homeland of Pope Francis. The Senate’s 38-31 vote against the proposed legislation could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the ... Read More »

Sorry, men, there’s no such thing as ‘dirt blindness’ – you just need to do more housework

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The problem with housework is that it is never-ending drudgery. As soon as the floor is cleaned, the dog throws up, the kids spill slime ingredients into the wood grain, and the tradie walks through the house with well-oiled work boots. And the cycle begins again. Authors: The Conversation The Danish use the word hygge to describe the feeling of cosiness, warmth, and comfort that a well-kept house is supposed to provide. Yet creating this pleasant environment requires work and, ... Read More »

Sacking a woman for her views on abortion? Cricket Australia should be ashamed

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But the real villain in the sacking of Angela Williamson is the Tasmanian government for its dastardly abortion policy Melanie Tait The Guardian Tasmania is already a tricky place to speak up. It’s a place where expressing your opinion is likely to aggrieve someone close to you – a sibling, an aunt, an uncle, a boss, a cousin of a boss, a… The news happens very close to people in Tasmania. The drama behind the sacking of Angela Williamson by Cricket Australia happened ... Read More »

How radio can help empower women in Niger

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Mariama is 23. At the age of 15, she was married to a local religious leader twice her age. She now has two babies, is a second wife, and stays at home doing “nothing”. Emma Heywood The Conversation Her childhood dream of becoming a doctor faded many years ago. She is not alone. Women in Niger suffer from widespread gender inequality, and child marriage is common. The latter is covered by the Civil Code, with a minimum age of 18 ... Read More »

‘A huge win’: New Zealand brings in paid domestic violence leave

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MPs cheer after legislation passes to tackle what one called ‘horrifying’ rates of family violence Eleanor Ainge Roy, in Dunedin The Guardian New Zealand has passed legislation granting victims of domestic violence 10 days paid leave to allow them to leave their partners, find new homes and protect themselves and their children. MPs clapped and cheered as bill passed on Wednesday night with 63 votes to 57. It is the result of seven years of work by Green MP Jan ... Read More »

How Australian media are changing the way they report violence against women

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Recently in Australia there has been a horrific wave of murders of women and children. But, in the aftermath of the #metoo movement, we have seen a change in the way the media are reporting violence against women. Annie Blatchford The Conversation Witness the reporting of the murder of Eurydice Dixon, followed by the abduction and rape of a woman in Carlton, murder-suicides in Western Australia and Sydney and the murders of two women in Melbourne in one weekend. Over ... Read More »

UN delivers strong rebuke to Australian government on women’s rights

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This week, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women handed down its recommendations from its review of Australia’s compliance with the women’s rights treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Authors: The Conversation The UN delivered a scathing critique of Australia’s failures to protect and promote the rights of women and girls. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women is a UN treaty body, made up of ... Read More »

Mexican anti-poverty program targeting poor women may help men most, study finds

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Economic empowerment programs that target women may have an unintended effect: They help men instead. Nora Haenn The Conversation A growing number of economic development programs worldwide provide cash specifically to women in poor communities. Giving women access to money empowers them, the theory goes. And empowered women – especially mothers – can lift entire families out of poverty. Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for launching a microloan program just for women. Nine Indian states ... Read More »

India scraps tax on sanitary pads in boost for girls’ education

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India has scrapped a controversial tax on sanitary pads, in a move hailed by campaigners who say it will help more girls to go to school during their periods and boost their job prospects. ABC Reuters Activists said removing the tax on pads tackled one of the biggest barriers to education for girls, who were often forced to stay at home due to a lack of access to clean hygiene products, while also facing stigma and a… Periods were among ... Read More »

What is Roe v Wade and why could abortion soon become illegal in many US states?

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Donald Trump has just named Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Alle McMahon ABC If confirmed by the Senate, he is likely to be a reliable conservative vote and may be less receptive to abortion than Justice Kennedy was. Now experts say it’s possible the Supreme Court could reverse the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in America more than 40 years ago. The ruling is known as “Roe v Wade”. ... Read More »