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International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
202010asia_bangladesh_rape_student_protest
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The Government Should Institute Real Reforms, Provide Services, Remove Barriers to Justice

The Bangladesh government has approved new measures to use the death penalty as punishment for rape, after widespread protests in response to several recent gang rape cases. It’s a bad decision, not only because capital punishment is inherently…
Students protest against an alleged gang-rape and brutal torture of a woman in the southern district of Noakhali, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 8, 2020. 
News
  Sexual Harassment in Garment Factories Eleven women garment workers from a factory in southern India sent a hand-written letter to a local union in late 2016.[1] They wrote: “The plight of women workers … we don’t have anyone who would…
Women Garment Industry
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How Unions Help Workers Worldwide

How can a mango craving spiral into a labor dispute? I was talking with garment workers in Cambodia when I heard the mango story. A pregnant garment worker had been caught sneaking mangoes into the factory despite a rule forbidding food…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
News

Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Still Need Better Protection

Five years ago, the world watched in horror when an eight-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, trapping and killing over 1,100 people employed by garment factories. Rescue workers struggled valiantly for days to save lives, but for most, it was…
Relatives of victims killed in Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, mourn at the site during the fourth anniversary of the collapse in Savar, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
News

Government Should Publish Reports on Factories it Inspects

A fire in Ideal Textile Mills in Bangladesh killed at least six workers this week, reportedly after sparks from welding set ablaze inflammable chemicals stored close by. Soon, the blame game will begin. Perhaps there’ll be a…
In September 2016, another factory burned in the same district. Here, firefighters stand at the site of a fire at a packaging factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 10, 2016.
News

Companies Pressed to Provide More Information About Suppliers

“Sometimes I just can’t sleep without pills. I keep remembering how many people died that day.” Shabana, her name changed to protect her privacy, survived three days buried in the rubble of Rana Plaza, an eight-story building with…
News

International Brands Reject ‘Climate of Repression’ For Garment Workers

It’s been a torrid few years for Bangladesh’s lucrative garment-making industry. There was the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, when more than 1,100 workers died when an eight-story factory collapsed on top of them. In the years since the disaster, global…
An employee works in a factory of Babylon Garments in Dhaka January 3, 2014.
News

Prime Minister Moving Ahead With Harmful Plan to Legalize Child Marriage

“Girls have no ground to stand on.” Those were the words of the leader of a local women’s nongovernmental organization (NGO), describing the gender discrimination that affects every aspect of girls’ lives in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh…
Bangladesh: Child Marriage
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Parliament is the last hope for preventing legalized child marriage

Bangladesh’s parliamentarians have a crucial responsibility ahead of them: kill a proposed law putting girls at greater risk of child marriage, or buckle under political pressure.  On November 24, the Bangladesh cabinet approved draft…
Bangladesh: Child Marriage
News

Ad Campaign Peddles Gender Stereotypes

Gap’s latest ad campaign is being raked over the coals for reinforcing gender stereotypes. The ads feature “The Little Scholar,” an aspiring scientist boy and “The Social Butterfly,” a girl. Many are outraged that a company like Gap, which prides itself…
The sign for a Gap store is seen on 5th avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York June 16, 2015.
News
Fifteen months after pledging to end child marriage in her country, Bangladesh’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, seems determined to lower the age of marriage in Bangladesh. In July 2015, at the Girl Summit in London, United…
Shiekh Hasina
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Just yesterday, we sat down with activists from Haiti concerned about the impact that badly regulated mining could have on their communities’ already poor access to safe drinking water. Communities around the world face similar problems, and with more…