Women’s Rights

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran

Lawyer sentenced to decades in prison and 148 lashes, husband writes on Facebook Reuters in Geneva The Guardian Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, has been handed a new sentence that her husband said was 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf, was arrested in Juneand charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said. She was jailed ... Read More »

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. Robert Malley ICG For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice. Last October, Ethiopia appointed its first woman president, the only female leader of an African state today. In many national parliaments, from Mexico to Rwanda, women now match or outnumber men. One of the ... Read More »

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

Who decides what matters in the lives of voters? In the run-up to the 2018 Victorian state election, media focused on a few potential big issues of concern or interest. Harriet Radermacher The Conversation Newspapers featured pieces on the consequences of uncapped population growth in Victoria, particularly suburban housing sprawl and unaffordability. Public transport and the growing economic divide between communities also attracted media attention. Against this background, and in light of concerns raised by previous research, we wanted to engage with older women ... Read More »

Protecting Women’s Space in Politics

Women human rights defenders around the globe are facing heightened threats of violence and repression. Isabelle Arradon ICG Sometimes they are targeted for being activists, and sometimes just for being women. World leaders should do much more to secure space for women’s safe participation in public life. In early January 2019, unknown gunmen shot dead Maritza Isabel Quiroz Leiva, a 60-year-old Colombian land rights activist on a small farm near the Caribbean city of Santa Marta. Her killing was a stark ... Read More »

Iranian who was arrested for Hijab protest absconds country, seeks asylum

The actions earned Jangravi a three-year prison sentence. One year ago, Azam Jangravi took off her hijab and waved it above her head while standing atop an electrical transformer in a busy Tehran square. By ZACHARY KEYSER JPost Reuters contributed to this report. It was an act of protest to denounce Iran’s strict Islamic laws that restrict women and general life in Iran, and limited her ability to live freely within her own country. The actions earned Jangravi a three-year prison ... Read More »

‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border

MCALLEN, Tex. — It was dark in the stash house where they kept her, the windows covered so no one could see inside. Manny Fernandez The New York Times At first, the smugglers had her cook for the other migrants who had recently crossed illegally into the United States. Then they took her to a room upstairs, locked the door and began taking turns with her. It was the summer of 2014, and Melvin, a 36-year-old mother of three, had ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

Argentine 11-year-old’s C-section sparks new abortion debate

The girl had been raped but doctors delayed her abortion request until they were forced to do a caesarean section at 23 weeks. SBS A caesarean section carried out on an 11-year-old girl raped by her grandmother’s husband has reopened the debate about abortion in Argentina, where rules on pregnancy terminations are strict. “I want you to take out of my tummy what the old man put there,” the girl had said in a complaint lodged with authorities in the ... Read More »

‘Centuries of entitlement’: Emma Thompson on why she quit Lasseter film

In her resignation letter from the film Luck, the actor questions whether any company should work with disgraced film executive John Lasseter Emma Thompson The Guardian When the actor Emma Thompson left the forthcoming animated film Luck last month while it was still in production, it was done without public fanfare, and was only confirmed when film-industry publications such as Variety magazine picked up on it. Now Thompson has put herself firmly above the MeToo parapet with the publication publishing her ... Read More »

Why Understanding The UK Anti-Feminist Movement Is Vital To Countering The Far Right

Manosphere ideas have snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life of its own, and for some it has served as a route into wider far-right politics. Simon Murdoch HuffPost “Feminists attack liberty, justice, equality and meritocracy. They attack men, women, and children, and relations between the sexes,” so declared British anti-feminist activists in a 2018 online statement. Its signatories included key UK far-right vlogger Paul Joseph Watson, Breitbart London writer James Delingpole and Valerie Price, National Director of ACT! For ... Read More »

A peace agreement in Afghanistan won’t last if there are no women at the table

Over the past weeks, the US government has been in peace negotiations with the Taliban. Susan Hutchinson The Conversation It has been 17 years since US and allied troops first deployed to Afghanistan to overthrow the Taliban and support a democratically elected government. The current peace negotiations have progressed further than any other attempted during the conflict. But they have two serious problems. Firstly, they have have not included the democratically elected government of Afghanistan, led by President Ashraf Ghani. ... Read More »

Why so many young women don’t call themselves feminist

In recent years, feminist movements have attracted significant attention in Europe and North America. So why do so many young women still say they do not identify with the term? By Dr Christina Scharff, King’s College London BBC Fewer than one in five young women would call themselves a feminist, polling in the UK and US suggests. That might come as a surprise as feminism – the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes – has been in the ... Read More »

The Saudi women activists still being ‘tortured’ months after driving ban ended

In June last year, Saudi Arabia finally gave women the right to drive, but the most well-known figure behind the campaign to end the ban wasn’t there to celebrate. Maani Truu SBS Loujain al-Hathloul’s Twitter has been inactive since 12 March 2018. The Saudi women’s rights activist was once a prolific tweeter with 307,000 followers and is reportedly a friend of the Duchess of Sussex. Her feed is a record of causes she was passionate about, most notably, her efforts ... Read More »

Trump Asks for Unity, but Presses Hard Line on Immigration

WASHINGTON — President Trump delivered a message of bipartisan unity on Tuesday night in his first address to Congress in the new era of divided government, but signaled that he will continue to wage war for the… Peter Baker The New York Times In a nationally televised speech that toggled between conciliation and confrontation, Mr. Trump presented himself as a leader who can work across party lines even as he pressed lawmakers to build a… “We must reject the politics ... Read More »