• Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented from making deeply personal choices in their private lives. Human Rights Watch is working toward the realization of women’s empowerment and gender equality—protecting the rights and improving the lives of women and girls on the ground.

  • Women in the sewing division of a factory in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Women constitute about 90 percent of the workforce in Cambodia’s garment industry.
    Cambodia’s government should improve enforcement of its labor law to remedy rights violations in the garment industry, said Human Rights Watch in a March 17, 2015 letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The government should improve coordination between different ministries to ensure that all garment factories are registered and regularly monitored by labor inspectors.


Women's Rights

  • May 22, 2015
  • May 18, 2015
    US military service members who report sexual assault frequently experience retaliation that goes unpunished. The report is the result of an 18-month investigation by Human Rights Watch with the support of Protect Our Defenders, a human rights organization that supports and advocates for survivors of military sexual assault. Despite extensive reforms by the Defense Department to address sexual assault, the military has done little to hold retaliators to account or provide effective remedies for retaliation.
  • May 18, 2015
    As a little girl, Ruth Riviera (not her real name) loved to step into her dad’s army boots and strut around the house with pride and self-importance. Her dad, a Non-Commission Officer in the US Army, was her childhood hero. She admired pretty much everything about him: his creativity, his courage and his attitude that one can accomplish anything one puts one’s mind to. It felt natural to Riviera to follow in his footsteps and sign up for the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), a military program for students, when enrolling in college at 18.
  • May 13, 2015
    International military physicians convening in Indonesia should urge President Joko Widodo to abolish discriminatory and invasive “virginity tests” for female recruits and fiancées of military officers in the Indonesian armed forces.
  • May 13, 2015
  • May 11, 2015
  • May 10, 2015
    An important bill is moving through the New York State Assembly and Senate to establish a paid family leave insurance program. This bill would provide workers in New York with up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year to bond with a new child, care for a seriously ill family member, or address certain issues arising from military service. Workers would receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage while on leave, up to a cap. The benefit would be financed solely through employee payroll deductions of up to 45 cents per week.
  • May 9, 2015
    Saudi authorities have conducted a concerted campaign since 2013 to detain and deport hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrant workers, resulting in abuses against many of them, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
  • May 8, 2015
  • May 6, 2015
    Police in Athens frequently harass and abuse homeless people, people who use drugs, and sex workers.