• 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.

  • Tigisi (not her real name), now 12, was forced to marry at age 9, but now attends a boarding school with the support of NAFGEM, a local organization. Simanjiro, Tanzania. August 9, 2014.
    Child marriage in Tanzania limits girls’ access to education and exposes them to serious harms. Human Rights Watch documented cases in which girls as young as seven were married. The government should set 18 as the minimum marriage age for girls and boys as a first step toward eradicating child marriage and improving the lives of girls and women.

Reports

Women's Rights

  • Oct 30, 2014
    In Geneva over the next two weeks, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will play an influential role on the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Yet Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented how within the UAE migrant domestic workers are exploited by employers and recruiters, while government policies create conditions which foster abuse and forced labour.
  • Oct 29, 2014
    Child marriage in Tanzania limits girls’ access to education and exposes them to serious harms. Human Rights Watch documented cases in which girls as young as seven were married. The government should set 18 as the minimum marriage age for girls and boys as a first step toward eradicating child marriage and improving the lives of girls and women.
  • Oct 28, 2014
  • Oct 27, 2014
    The kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls from Chibok, Nigeria by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram last ApriAnchorl shocked the world. A social media campaign – #BringBackOurGirls – became the international rallying cry for their release. Sadly, these aren’t the first, or the last, girls to be kidnapped by Boko Haram – it has become a standard part of the group’s violent insurgency in northeastern Nigeria. The Human Rights Watch Nigeria researcher Mausi Segun spent months tracking down the few girls who escaped from Boko Haram and were courageous enough to share their experiences.
  • Oct 25, 2014
    Iran’s judiciary should vacate the death sentence of Reyhaneh Jabbari and ensure that she receives a fair trial. She was convicted of murdering an older man in what she says was self defense. On September 29, 2014, prison authorities transferred Jabbari to a prison west of Tehran without explanation, raising fears that her execution was imminent, but then returned her to her original prison cell overnight.
  • Oct 24, 2014
    In December 2012, Sadiyah A. (her real name is withheld for her security) migrated from the Philippines to the United Arab Emirates to work as a babysitter. One year later, she sat before me in Abu Dhabi telling me that the job turned out to be no golden opportunity.
  • Oct 23, 2014
    Almost 150,000 female domestic workers are employed in the UAE. Most are Asian, but increasing numbers are from East Africa. While some find employers who treat them well and pay them on time, major gaps in the UAE’s labour laws and restrictive immigration policies — coupled with unethical recruitment in home countries — foster an environment that is ripe for exploitation and abuse.
  • Oct 23, 2014
    “I decided to travel abroad for work to build a house,” Tahira told me. With few options for work in her village in Subang district, West Java, the 28-year-old migrated to the United Arab Emirates in 2012 to become a domestic worker. She had high hopes of making enough money there to support her husband and young son at home in Indonesia. But her dream quickly became a nightmare.
  • Oct 22, 2014
    Migrant domestic workers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are beaten, exploited, and trapped in forced labor situations, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The UAE government, about to take up an influential new role in the International Labour Organization (ILO), has failed to adequately protect female domestic workers – many of them from the Philippines – from abuse by employers and recruiters.
  • Oct 22, 2014