Women’s Rights

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of year

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A leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches BBC Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women’s marches, new TV shows and films on women’s issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of ... Read More »

Bangladesh arrests cleric over fatwa against women farming

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A Muslim cleric accused of issuing a fatwa banning women from working on farms has been arrested in Bangladesh, police said on Dec. 13. DHAKA Hurriyet The imam and five mosque officials face charges after their announcement prompted locals in the western town of Kumarkhali to try and prevent women from going to work in the fields. “They took the decision after prayers on Dec. 8, banning women from going out of their homes,” local police chief Abdul Khaleque told ... Read More »

The Warlock Hunt

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Moral Panics The #MeToo moment has now morphed into a moral panic that poses as much danger to women as it does to men #Metoo, of course. CLAIRE BERLINSKI  Women are not going nuts for no reason. The American Interest We’re fed up with feeling prickles down our spine as we walk alone on dimly lit streets. Fed up with thinking, “If he feels entitled to send me that message, what might he feel entitled to do to if he knew where ... Read More »

Alarm over teaching nursery children in Scotland about consent

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The Scottish Government is to investigate how the concept of “consent” is taught to nursery-aged children, according to a document outlining its strategy to prevent violence against women and girls. TOM PETERKIN The Scotsman Academics and family groups last night expressed alarm at the proposal arguing that it was “ridiculous” to teach children as young as two or three about consent. The row erupted after the Scottish Government published it document “Equally Safe: A deliver plan for Scotland’s strategy to ... Read More »

Kim Kardashian, Rihanna throw support behind jailed teen Cyntoia Brown

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The story of a 16-year-old girl who in 2004 killed a man who picked her up for sex is spreading around the world, after a number of high-profile celebrities joined a campaign to free her. ABC Cyntoia Brown was sentenced to life in prison over the killing of 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen. Allen picked her up off the street after she was forced into sex work by her boyfriend, a pimp who went by the name “Kutthroat” ... Read More »

Let’s re-examine men like Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas over sexual harassment

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The rogue’s gallery of famous men accused of sexual misconduct keeps getting bigger and bigger. But as contemporary names are added to the list, some people are demanding a re-examination of recent historical figures, too. Micheline Maynard ABC Two names coming up frequently are Bill Clinton and Clarence Thomas. With Justice Thomas, who has been a US Supreme Court justice since 1991, some voices are saying he ought to resign from the court for his long-ago harassment of law professor ... Read More »

‘Slow, painful death’ of Yazidi woman’s body and soul while enslaved by the Islamic State

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The Islamic State’s attempt to exterminate the Yazidi people of Iraq did not involve only murder Alia Malek When the militants swept through the north of the country after taking Mosul in the summer of 2014, they executed the religious minority group’s men and elderly women. The Washington Post The children and the other women they took captive. They brainwashed and conscripted the young boys and turned the women and girls into sexual slaves. This enslavement was justified by edicts ... Read More »

‘ISIS Opens Sex-Slave Market in Turkey’s Capital’

Haifa, a 36-year-old woman from Iraq's Yazidi community who was taken as a sex slave by Islamic State group fighters, stands on a street during an interview with AFP journalists in the northern Iraqi city of Dohuk on November 17, 2016.
Haifa and her family were among thousands of members of the Yazidi minority shown no mercy by IS when it swept through areas north and west of the Iraqi capital in 2014. As the extremists advanced, they was singled out for especially cruel persecution in a campaign of violence and kidnapping which the United Nations has branded a genocide. Men were gunned down and thousands of women -- including Haifa and her younger sister -- were taken as sex slaves. / AFP / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP/Getty Images)

You may think ISIS’ demise in Iraq and Syria would mean an end to its sex-slave trading, but a new report says Islamic State has merely transferred its slave business into Turkey – including a market in Turkey’s capital Ankara. RAN MEIR  Clarion project This means ISIS is involved in the slavery industry in a European country. During its years of power in parts of Iraq and Syria, ISIS held slave markets both in private and public. With its loss ... Read More »

Should sexual harassment be a criminal offence?

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It started with Harvey Weinstein, one of the biggest names in cinema, then went global with the #metoo Twitter hashtag before engulfing the UK’s members of Parliament. Marie Jackson Flipboard The sex scandal spanning Hollywood, Parliament and beyond has exposed a possible gap in UK legislation – sexual harassment is not actually a criminal offence in its own right. The Equality Act currently covers sexual harassment in the workplace – but outside work, prosecutors must use different pieces of legislation, ... Read More »

India Rules Sex With a Child Bride Is Always Rape in a Massive Win for Girls’ Rights

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It’s a landmark change to India’s marital rape laws Imogen Calderwood India’s top court has ruled that sex with a child is always rape, quashing a clause that allowed men to have sex with underage girls if they were married to them. Global Citizen The Supreme Court’s landmark decision on Wednesday closed a legal loophole that has historically allowed perpetrators of rape to escape punishment. While the age of consent in India is 18, there was a clause in India’s ... Read More »

UN slams Australia’s human rights record

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Last night, the United Nations Human Rights Committee released its recommendationsfrom its review of Australia’s compliance with a key human rights treaty, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Anna Cody  Maria Nawaz The committee harshly criticised Australia for failures in key areas. The Conversation These included the treatment of refugees, Indigenous rights and inadequate protection of human rights, including the lack of a national human rights act. What is the UN Human Rights Committee? This is the treaty body for the… UN slams Australia’s… Read More »

Sexual violence and harassment going up, according to ABS survey

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Sexual violence against women is on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant and Catherine Hanrahan  ABC The latest Personal Safety Survey shows the proportion of women experiencing sexual violence in the past year increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent since the last survey conducted in 2012. But very few sexual assaults are being reported to police. In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of women reported their ... Read More »

Bridging Pakistan’s Gender Divide

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Embarking on field research into Pakistan’s chronic crises sixteen years ago, our South Asia Project Director Samina Ahmed was a woman in a man’s world. Samina Ahmed ICG But her experiences persuade her that understanding conflict requires rigorously incorporating the perspectives of women and girls whose opportunities are frequently inhibited by violence. “Our people won’t let a girl study beyond the third grade (eight or nine years old). But this girl here cries and says: ‘I want to learn’. And ... Read More »

Study calls for less shame and secrecy around menstruation in global conflict areas

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A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) found that girls and women in emergency contexts have inadequate access to safe and private facilities and supplies for menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and are provided with insufficient guidance by response teams on the… EurekAlert! Moreover, many staff have a limited understanding of what an improved response should entail, and… The study, published in the journal Conflict and Health, is one ... Read More »

Why didn’t I blow the whistle on harassment? Because I knew I’d never work again

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There seems to be one resounding question surrounding the controversial dismissal of Channel Seven Adelaide cadet reporter Amy Taeuber​, who was allegedly sacked after she made a complaint of sexual harassment, and that is: “How can this still be happening?” Wendy Squires The Canberra Times Well, I have an answer that comes in the form of another question, and that is: “How aren’t we hearing about instances like this more?” Because, in my near-on 30 years in the media, not only have ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia Must Prepare for the Post-Petroleum Order

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The jury is out on how far Mohammed bin Salman will go in steering reforms to liberate the innovation and productivity of younger Saudis Precisely because women and human-rights activists in Saudi Arabia have highlighted its past proscription as a symbol, the royal decree granting Saudi women the right to drive is no small matter. Mark P. Lagon  The National Interest And it surprisingly comes as the Saudi government has been enthusiastically embraced by a U.S. president who said—on Saudi territory—“We are not here to lecture” ... Read More »