• In a recent report Human Rights Watch analyzed India's maternal health policies in Uttar Pradesh state, which has one of the highest maternal death rates in India. One of our most important findings was that the government was not tracking the problem closely enough - and understanding the scope and underlying causes of the problem is the first step toward solving it.

    After analyzing the data, we recommended that the government track all pregnancy outcomes, investigate the causes of deaths and monitor access to emergency obstetric care. We also urged the creation of a complaints system for women and their families to register grievances and access reparation for harm caused.

    A new study in the medical journal The Lancet says the number of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth is dropping worldwide. That's good news! But there is still much more to be done. The study estimates that only 23 countries are on track to meet international goals for reducing maternal death rates. It also notes that HIV/AIDS has slowed progress in reducing maternal deaths, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Like Human Rights Watch, the authors of the Lancet article call for reforming healthcare systems and "delivery of interventions to women when and where they need them." Over the last six years, countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia have managed to halve their maternal mortality numbers. By putting in place the right measures, we believe that other countries - including India -- should be able to do the same.

  • Apr 14, 2015
    The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.
  • Apr 14, 2015
    The United Nations Security Council should act to prevent and address sexual violence in armed conflict, including promoting greater participation of women in peacebuilding efforts, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 13, 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made public a report on conflict-related sexual violence in 19 countries during 2014 that described challenges due to poor monitoring, limited support services, and lack of accountability.


  • Abusive Policing and Failures in Protection of Indigenous Women and Girls in Northern British Columbia, Canada
  • Failure to Protect Women’s and Girls’ Right to Health and Security in Post-Earthquake Haiti
  • Human Rights in Iraq Eight Years after the US-Led Invasion

Women and Security