Gender Equality Around the Globe
Australian women still 75 years behind on pay equality, says Oxfam
Oliver Milman, The Guardian (July 13, 2014)
Australia, the new leader of the G20, must use its relatively small gender pay gap to lower the international pay inequalities. Not a single country has reached pay equality, and this injustice has had a negative impact on women a well as global economies. At this current rate of progress, Oxfam reports that it will take “75 years before women” reach pay equality; it is therefore in Australia’s hands to change this.
Gender equality bill long overdue
Zambia Daily Mail (July 14, 2014)
Inonge Wina, the Zambian minister of Gender and Child Development, says that the recent enactment of the Gender Equality Bill is “long overdue” in Zambia’s quest to get rid of gender based discrimination. Wina emphasizes the importance of laws such as these to ending discrimination against women, for it provides them with a voice; nevertheless, although Zambia is a leader in the region towards bringing gender equality, she still feels that the country in many ways is “lacking” in its efforts to bring about this justice.
Emma Watson Wants More Men To Speak Up About Global Gender Equality
Robbie Couch, The Huffington Post (July 8, 2014)
Actress Emma Watson, recently appointed the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, urges men to begin speaking up about global gender equality through the HeforSheCampaign. Watson discusses her excitement with her new role as UN Goodwill Ambassador and working towards women’s rights and describes them as “something so inextricably linked with who I am.”
Nigeria: Women Continue to be targeted by Boko Haram
FIDH (July 2, 2014)
FIDH reports on the fundamentalist jihadist terrorist Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram that abducted 223 schoolgirls this past April; unfortunately, the terrorist organization continues to target women across the country. Throughout June and July, they have been attacking small towns and abducting women, girls, and young boys. FIDH calls on the international community to act and stop Boko Haram from continuing to commit such atrocities.
Malala meets Nigerian president to talk about missing schoolgirls
Robyn Dixon, Los Angeles Times (July 14, 2014)
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani woman and campaigner for girls’ education and empowerment who survived a 2012 attack by militants opposing female education, recently met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan to discuss the kidnapping of the 219 schoolgirls held by Boko Haram. Malala reports that the president expressed sincere remorse over the girls’ abduction and “assured that these girls will come home safely.”
Women & the Law
Women Misusing India’s Anti-Dowry Law, Says Supreme Court
Vibhuti Agarwal, Wall Street Journal (July 18th, 2014)
India’s supreme court is accusing women of abusing India’s 1983 anti-dowry law, a law that enforces the immediate arrest of husbands and their families that women accuse of abuse as a result of an inadequate dowry. Hundreds of thousands of people are arrested in India annually as a result of dowry offenses, which the supreme court asserts is often a result of “disgruntled wives.” Women’s right’s activists and legal experts have “slammed” the ruling.
Activists Reflect on the Rights Implications of India
Saira Zuberi, AWID (July 4, 2014)
India’s recent elections resulted in a huge victory for the right-win Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, and led to the first majority government in over 30 years. This historic election had the greatest voter turnout and a surge in voting by women. The BJP victory has significant implications for minority and women’s rights. This article looks in greater detail at some of these implications, as well as delves into the history of India’s government.
Indigenous People Demand Substantive Participation in UN Spaces
Gabby De Cicco, AWID (June 27, 2014)
AWID’s Gabby De Cicco interviews Mirna Cunningham, President of the Center for the Autonomy and Development of Indigenous Peoples, following the recent UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Cunningham discusses the outcome of the forum (focusing specifically on issues that indigenous women face such as seuxal and reproductive health), as well as looking forward to the upcoming September World Conference on indigenous Peoples.
Health & Medicine
Stigmatization And The Role Of Associations In The Fight Against HIV In Middle East And North Africa
Mégane Ghobani (AWID) - July 11th, 2014
This article summarizes an interview between AWID and Dr. Jocelyn DeJong, a professor in the Faculty of Sciences at American University in Beirut and coordinator of the Reproductive Health Working Group. DeJong discusses her research focusing on “the role of associations in fighting HIV stigmatization.” She elaborates on many of the gaps women face in being HIV tested, as well as the effect that stigmatisation has for women wishing to receive care and treatment. The article concludes on a hopeful note by discussing concrete steps associations can take to get rid of this stigma and ultimately help improve women’s health and rights.
Peru: Protocol for Therapeutic Abortions Is Approved
Latin America Press (AWID) - July 7th, 2014
Peru recently released the Protocol for Therapeutic Abortions which standardizes the abortion procedure. The protocol describes the 10 cases when a therapeutic abortion should be performed, and will help thousands of women who had previously sought such abortions yet had been turned away by doctors and hospitals. Carmen Omonte, Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations, calls this guide “part of the comprehensive public policy of respect for sexual and reproductive rights of women.”
Senate Considers Rare Bill Supporting Abortion Rights
Laura Bassett, Huffington Post (July 15, 2014)
The US Senate Judiciary Committee is considering a new bill, The Women’s Health Protection Act, prohibiting restrictions on abortions. This bill would stop anti-abortion laws in the United States. However, there is not a large chance that this bill will be taken up by the house, which is currently a Republican majority.
Culture (Historical and Contemporary)
FGM and Child Marriage - Grandmothers are part of the problem and the solution
Fatimah Kelleher (The Guardian) - July 17th, 2014
Female genital mutilation (FGM) has affected hundreds of millions of women across the world. In order to stop this practice, the international community needs to look into understanding the role of mothers and grandmothers in this abuse rather than focusing on a “girl-centered” dialogue. In many cases, mothers and grandmothers play a central role in the FGM process - however, this also means that they have the ability to be disrupters of the practice. This article discusses in greater details the importance of empowering families and changing societies to abolish this abuse.
Restriction On Religious Freedom Of Muslim Women Legitimate, Says Strasbourg Court
The Equal Rights Trust, AWID (July 16, 2014)
Earlier this month, the European Court of Human Rights ruled in S.A.S vs France that prohibiting the full burqa or niqab on Muslim women was not a violation of Convention rights. In this case, a Muslim woman had accused the 2011 ban against concealment of one’s face in public a violation of her private rights, religious freedom, and freedom from discrimination; however, the court, in this controversial case, found no such violation. This article elaborates on The Equal Rights Trust’s disappointment with the decision.
The Mighty Women of WWI
Belinda Davis, CNN (July 2, 2014)
This article looks at the powerful role of millions of women in World War I, who served their nation both at home and on the battlefield in different countries across the world. It discusses the way that war changed women’s lives, roles, and granted them new freedoms.
10 Words Every Female Should Learn
Soraya Chemaly, Huffington Post (June 29, 2014)
Chemaly writes about the suppressing of women’s voices in various different aspects of society, from universities to the workspace to movies / television and in many other parts of everyday life. Chemaly argues that we are under the misconception that women talk more, while in reality, males dominate in conversations and females face extreme sexism. Chemlay elaborates more on this issue, and presents phrases every female should learn while confronting these challenges.
Caitlin Moran: 'There's no such thing as oversharing'
Sarah Jane Griffiths, BBC News (July 5, 2014)
Caitlin Moran, author of the best-selling manual How To Be a Woman has published a debut novel, How To Build A Girl. This article describes the basic plot and goals behind How to Build a Girl, a story about heroine Johanna’s pursuits to become a rock critic. Moran argues that there is no such thing as “oversharing” women’s experiences, and this novel aims to get rid of taboos and bring to light girls’ experiences.
A roundup of stories related to women's health, development, law, culture and human rights from around the world.