"Campaigners march against female genital mutilation in Kenya. Antony Njuguna/Reuters"
(Source: The Guardian)
Timeline: Gender equality, 2014 year in review
UN Women (December 23, 2014)
UN Women posts a fascinating Gender Equality "Year In Review" Timeline including summaries of many of the highlights for women’s rights and gender equality around the world. It covers global conferences, new legislation promoting gender equality, sports, advocacy campaigns, the arts and more.
Afghanistan: Women’s rights make big gains
Anne Steele, Christian Science Monitor (January 6, 2015)
In recent years, women have made tremendous gains in Afghanistan. A record number of girls are in school, women's access to healthcare has increased, maternal mortality has dropped, and laws have been implemented to ensure gender equality. With Western withdrawal from the country, Afghanistan runs the risk of the government sacrificing women’s rights to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban. To "safeguard" women's rights, the international community must continue to pressure the country to keep moving in the right direction toward achieve gender equality.
‘Gender Equality Isn’t Just A Women’s Issue’: Interview with Elizabeth Nyamayaro, UN HeForShe Founder
The Huffington Post (January 6, 2015)
The Huffington Post interviews Elizabeth Nyamayaro, senior advisor to the Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, who recently launched the HeForShe Campaign. The campaign encourages men and women to work together to promote women’s rights and achieve gender equality. The interview covers the history of the campaign and Nyamayaro's life, impacts to date, and inspiring success stories. Nyamayaro also discusses some of the specific steps taken by the campaign to encourage men to take action, such as implementing the campaign at universities and providing action kits online. For more information about the campaign, visit www.heforshe.org.
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
It’s time to fight traditions that harm women’s health: WHO
Magadelinai Mis, Thomas Reuters Foundation (December 19, 2014)
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), many of the most violent practices inflicted upon women are completely integrated into societies and are viewed as “traditions.” These traditions include human rights violations such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. Education is key to empowering women and ending such atrocities—and education and the fight for women’s rights must be strongly supported by the international community.
I don’t like being the face of FGM, says Australian survivor, but I must break the silence
Bridie Jabour, The Guardian (January 1, 2015)
Khadija Gbla experienced a horrific female genital mutilation (FGM) as a young girl. Now a pregnant adult, Gbla is at increased risk of pregnancy and birth complications. Gbla discusses the tremendous silence and ignorance surrounding FGM among survivors, doctors, and society as a whole. She emphasizes the importance of raising awareness about FGM and the impact it has on women throughout their lives.
Women seized in Boko Haram raid on Nigerian village
Monica Mark, The Guardian (December 18, 2014)
Boko Haram militants continue to terrorize Nigeria months after the April abduction of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls. This December, at least 100 women and children were kidnapped, and dozens killed, by Boko Haram in the north-eastern Nigerian village Gumsuri. Many Nigerian soldiers have refused to fight against Boko Haram and have faced allegations of rights abuses including rape, pillage, and executing villagers. The attacks have also spread into Cameroon.
The campaigners who won’t forget the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram
Bin Adewunmi, The Guardian (December 17, 2014)
Former Nigerian Federal Minister of Education Oby Ezekwesili leads protesters in daily marches in the Nigerian Capital Abuja to remind the government to "Bring Back Our Girls." The purpose of these protests is to ensure that the government does not forget the kidnapped girls, but instead concretely identifies plans to rescue the girls and end terrorism in the north-east part of the country. Their voices are particularly important as it is election year in Nigeria, and Ezekwesili emphasizes how the ending of these atrocities should be an important part of the election conversation.
Indian Officials Seek 2 Police Officers Accused of Raping Girl, 14
Hari Kumar and Nida Najar, The New York Times (January 2, 2015)
Indian officials are on the hunt for two police office accused of raping a 14 year-old girl in the Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh. This district became notorious last May when two girls were found hanging from a mango tree. Senior officials from across the country are demanding acting against these police officers and are collaborating with local police in Budaun for justice.
India Police Arrest Sixth Suspect in Alleged Rape Case
Suryatapa Bhattacharya, The Wall Street Journal (January 6, 2015)
A sixth suspect has been arrested in the alleged rape case of a Japanese woman visiting India.The young woman alleges that she was kidnapped for two weeks by men who held her captive and raped her. This case brings the issue of violence against women in India back to the international spotlight and may have severe repercussions on the Indian tourism industry.
Palestinian TV to raise awareness of violence against women and girls
Liz Ford, The Guardian (January 1, 2015)
Violence against women is a large problem in Palestine. To combat this violence, the Ma'an Network, a non-profit media organization broadcasting shows in the West Bank and Gaza, is using a grant from the UK government to produce shows that address this violence. The shows will focus on issues such as domestic violence, rape, and discrimination and will be accompanied by workshops in remote and more conservative areas. Productions will include a court room program and a comedy show.
Economic/Social Empowerment and Challenges
Where Working Women Are Most Common
Grego Aish, Josh Katz, David Leonhardt, The New York Times (January 6, 2015)
This interactive map of the United States shows the levels of female unemployment in counties across the country. The accompanying article discusses why female employment rates varies with the affluence of communities, as well as looks at reasoning behind rising female unemployment in the nation.
UN Women signs agreement to foster economic and social empowerment in Turkey
UN Women (December 19, 2014)
UN Women recently signed an agreement with Koc Holding, a Turkish organization that manages finance, energy, tourism, and technology companies, and that promotes women’s empowerment and women’s rights in Turkey. The signing of this agreement is emblematic of many years of hard work by Koc Holding in promoting women’s rights. The organization is excited to begin this new partnership with UN Women and to continue focusing on women’s empowerment to benefit both Turkey and the world.
China Needs Millions of Brides ASAP
Adam Minter, Bloomberg View (December 25, 2014)
Gender imbalance is having a tremendous impact on communities throughout China and in neighboring countries. Because of a long-standing cultural preference for boys, males in China greatly outnumbers female. Consequently, males lack wives, leading to the formation of "bachelor villages" and high incidence of bride trafficking from neighboring countries.
A roundup of stories related to women's health, development, law, culture and human rights from around the world.