Women’s Rights

Kon Karapanagiotidis: What the Morrison Government means for refugees

Our doors [at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre] have just opened for the first time since a Morrison Government was elected. Kon Karapanagiotidis Independent Australia I’m hurting just like I imagine you all are right now and I have shed more tears than I could have thought possible over this last weekend. But I feel most devastated for people seeking asylum, who were desperately holding onto the hope that a more compassionate government would be ushered in on Saturday. Still, ... Read More »

Returning from the Land of Jihad: The Fate of Women Associated with Boko Haram

Women are streaming home from Boko Haram’s domain in north-eastern Nigeria, some having escaped captivity and others having left jihadist husbands behind. ICG The state should safeguard these women from abuse, so that they stay in government-held areas and encourage men to come back as well. What’s new? The Nigerian military’s battle with Boko Haram has led tens of thousands of women formerly associated with the group to return to government-held towns across the north east. While prejudice against them ... Read More »

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. BBC Supporters say they expect the law to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court. They want the court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion. Sixteen other states are seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion. Earlier this year ... Read More »

Mena Mangal: Journalist and women’s rights campaigner shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers’ Abby Young-Powell The Independent An Afghan journalist and political advisor, who was vocal about women’s rights in the country, has been gunned down in broad daylight, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mena Mangal was shot dead on Saturday morning in a public place while she was on her way to work in the capital city of Kabul. ... Read More »

Friday essay: separating the art from the badly behaved artist – a philosopher’s view

When actor Kevin Spacey was accused of attempted sexual assault of a teenage boy, his role in the Ridley Scott film, All the Money in the World, was erased and reshot with Christopher Plummer. Janna Thompson The Conversation When the celebrated Torres Strait Island painter Dennis Nona went to jail for raping a 12-year-old girl, Australian art galleries responded by taking his works off their walls and putting them into storage. R Kelly’s concerts were cancelled and his RCA contract ... Read More »

Debbie Kilroy honoured with the Liberty Victoria Voltaire Award 2019

This year Liberty Victoria honours Debbie Kilroy, the founder of Sisters Inside, with the Voltaire Human Rights Award. The Voltaire Award honours a person or group for an outstanding contribution to or action on free speech, human rights or civil liberties, with particular emphasis on progressing freedom, respect, equality and dignity. It celebrates those who speak out, write, campaign, whistle-blow, take action or  stand against authoritarianism. Previous winners include Magda Szubanski, Gillian Triggs, Waleed Aly, David Marr, Peter Greste, Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy. ... Read More »

Majority of voters want action on women’s issues, new polling shows

A majority of voters believe childcare should be a tax deductible expense, that many of our politicians are sexist, that women should comprise at least half of parliamentarians, and that the… Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times The survey of 1065 voters, split almost evenly between men and women, commissioned by independent lobby group WomenVote and conducted by YouGov Galaxy, shows large… Seventy-one per cent believe the government should be doing more to address the gender pay gap, and 75 per cent ... Read More »

Second Class Citizens: The Parallel Lives of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

Your maid wants a day off? Your maid wants a room of her own? Your maid wants her own clothes? Your maid has Body Odour. Your maid has sex? The problems of maid ownership are laid bare in Rebecca Sampson’s wonderful Apples for Sale. Colin Pantall Photographic Museum of Humanity Apples for Sale tells the story of Indonesian Maids working in Hong Kong. It’s a book about migration, labour, and regional relationships. It’s about Indonesian maids working in Hong Kong, ... Read More »

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: Burned to death for reporting sexual harassment

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her school in Bangladesh. Less than two weeks earlier, she had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her headmaster. By Mir Sabbir BBC Bengali, Dhaka Her courage in speaking out against sexual assault, her death five days after being set alight and everything that happened in-between has gripped Bangladesh and brought attention to the… Nusrat, who was 19, was from Feni, a small town 100 miles (160km) south ... Read More »

New study finds family violence is often poorly understood in faith communities

We learned this month that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged A$10 million in the federal budget for couples counselling and mediation for families impacted by domestic violence. Authors: The Conversation But the proposed policy runs counter to expert advice and evidence, which indicates that encouraging women to stay in relationships with an abuser exposes them to higher risk of harm. The announcement was swiftly condemned by family and domestic violence (FDV) advocates. Commentators have noted that an emphasis on ... Read More »

Big win for women’s reproductive freedom, but still a long way to go

This week saw a big win for women’s rights in Australia in the High Court. It is an historic step forward in the long journey for reproductive freedom for women in Australia. It’s also a timely reminder of how far we have to go. Adrianne Walters The Age In the 1970s, my nan, as a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, pushed for the decriminalisation of abortion. She knew what it felt like to discover a pregnancy and be powerless ... Read More »

South Korea abortion ban ‘unconstitutional’

South Korea’s ban on abortion has been ruled unconstitutional in a historic court decision. BBC The country’s constitutional court ordered that the law must be revised by the end of 2020. Under the 1953 ban, women who procured abortions could be fined and imprisoned, except in cases of rape or risk to their health. South Korea is one of the few developed countries to criminalise abortion. The abortion law was reviewed after a challenge from a female doctor who said ... Read More »

Sharia in Brunei: Gay sex, abortion, extramarital sex, stealing now punishable by stoning, amputation, death

Today, the Brunei Government ushers in a harsh new penal code that requires death by stoning for extramarital sex, anal sex, and abortion; amputation of limbs for stealing; and 100 lashes with a whip for lesbian sex. dateline SBS “Brunei’s new penal code is barbaric to the core, imposing archaic punishments for acts that shouldn’t even be crimes,” said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director. The controversial changes to Brunei’s penal code were first published in 2013, and ... Read More »

English judge says man having sex with wife is ‘fundamental human right’

Court of protection in London considering case involving woman with learning difficulties Owen Bowcott The Guardian A row has erupted after a judge spoke in court about the “fundamental human right” of a man to have sex with his wife. The remark was made by Mr Justice Hayden, who had been asked to consider imposing a court order preventing a man from having sex with his wife of 20 years because she may no longer be able to give her ... Read More »

Germany to prioritize women during UN Security Council presidency

During its month at the helm of the UN Security Council, Germany will focus on the needs of women in conflicts and arms control. “We are aware of the responsibility this presidency entails,” Germany’s Heiko Maas said. Deutsche Welle Germany plans on putting its own issues on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council during its month-long presidency, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday. Germany, currently a non-permanent Security Council member, is taking over the chair in April as part ... Read More »

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons was full of optimism when she and her family moved from an apartment in a troubled area of Detroit to a new development in Inkster, Michigan in 1955. Valerie Hill-Jackson The Conversation With three children in tow, Jessie and her husband settled into a home on Colgate Street in a neighborhood known as “Brick City” – an idyllic enclave of single, working-class families with a shared community garden. The plan was simple. Like many African Americans ... Read More »