Women’s Rights

‘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 »

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. 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. Imogen Calderwood 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 »

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 »

I called Hugh Hefner a pimp, he threatened to sue. But that’s what he was

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Now that he’s dead, the old sleaze in the Playboy mansion is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Quite the opposite Suzanne Moore The Guardian Long ago, in another time, I got a call from a lawyer. Hugh Hefner was threatening a libel action against me and the paper I worked for at the time, for something I had written. Journalists live in dread of such calls. I had called Hefner a pimp. To me this ... Read More »

Austria burqa ban: Government warns Muslim women to show faces in public or be fined

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Breach of new integration law will be punished with €150 fine Chris Baynes  The Independent The Austrian government has issued posters and leaflets threatening Muslim women with fines for wearing face veils ahead of the introduction of a controversial ban. The authorities launched the publicity drive to raise awareness of the legislation outlawing niqabs and burqas, which will come into force on 1 October. Under the new “integration” policy, anyone wearing clothes that obscure their face in public can be fined €150 (£132) ... Read More »

Yemen: About 55,000 Documented Human Rights Violation Cases in Six Months

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Geneva- The Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations has called on the UN Human Rights Council UNHRC to oblige the Saleh-Houthi coup militias to implement its resolutions. The coalition specified resolutions 17/18 of 2011 and 27/29 of… Asharq Al-Awsat  The Coalition’s executive manager Mutahhar al-Budheiji made the appeal as he presented his organization’s report on the status of human rights in Yemen in the 36th session of the UNHRC in Geneva Wednesday. He urged the UNHRC “to call on ... Read More »

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

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Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. BBC Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a Tunisian Muslim woman had to convert to Islam and submit a certificate of his conversion as proof. Tunisia, which is 99% Muslim, is viewed as one of the most progressive Arab countries in terms of women’s… Tunisian ... Read More »

John Howard slams Turnbull government’s handling of same-sex marriage postal vote

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Former Prime Minister John Howard has slammed the Turnbull government’s handling of the same-sex marriage postal vote 9news Mr Howard has demanded the government release its planned legislation before the vote ends to show how it plans to handle “parental rights”, “freedom of speech” and show how “religious freedoms will be protected”. “The government’s response has been to wash its hands of any responsibility,” Mr Howard said. Malcolm Turnbull’s predecessor Tony Abbott agreed with Mr Howard. “People don’t know exactly ... Read More »

Map: Australian views on same-sex marriage

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Polling consistently shows most voters support same-sex marriage — but how do views vary across Australia? By Matt Liddy, Nathan Hoad and Ben Spraggon ABC How Australians think about same-sex marriage, mapped – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Last year, the ABC’s Vote Compass asked Australians whether they agreed or disagreed with this statement: Marriage should only be between a man and a woman. More than 1.2 million Australians responded, and a majority of people indicated support for allowing same-sex ... Read More »