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Anniversary Marks Ongoing Assault on Women’s Rights, Rule of Law

(Brussels) – Women, girls, and all pregnant people have faced extreme barriers to accessing legal abortions in the year since a Constitutional Tribunal ruling virtually banned legal abortion in Poland, 14 human rights organizations said today. Since…
Women take part in a demonstration against the Polish abortion law, in Wroclaw, Poland, on March 17, 2021.
News

Revoke Decree; Allow Pregnant Girls, Young Mothers to Attend School

(Nairobi) – Tanzania’s ban on pregnant students and adolescent mothers attending school has denied tens of thousands of girls their right to education, Human Rights Watch said today. Public schools across mainland Tanzania conduct compulsory pregnancy…
The flag of the United Republic of Tanzania.
News

Legislators Need to Ensure Access to Safe, Legal Abortion Care for All

I had an abortion in the US state of Illinois as a young woman. I had support from friends and family, and I was able to access timely, compassionate care from a clinic 20 minutes from my home. I was treated with dignity and respect. It was the kind…
 People rally downtown for the Second Annual Women's March on January 20, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.
News

Five More Sub-Saharan Countries Act to Protect Girls’ Education; Barriers Remain

(Nairobi) – African countries have taken important steps in recent years to protect the right to education of pregnant students and adolescent mothers, Human Rights Watch said today. Since 2019, at least five sub-Saharan African countries –…
Young mothers at secondary school in Kenya
News

New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
News

Sport & Rights Alliance Calls for Protection, Remedy, Governance Reform

(Nyon, Switzerland) – The International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) report on systemic sexual harassment and abuse within the Mali Basketball Federation (FMBB) vindicates the victims of abuse, survivors, whistleblowers, and activists who took…
Former President of the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Hamane Niang attends the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 official mascot launch ceremony on April 18, 2018 in Beijing, China.
News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

Effective Law Enforcement, Access to Shelter, Financial Support Are Critical

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’: Violence against Women…
The back of a girl staring out a window
News

Government Should Protect Sex Workers, Enhance HIV/AIDs Education

A video, posted to Facebook by the Office of the Mayor of Juba City Council, shows a group of male officials and armed police officers harassing and taunting a female sex worker. “Are you a sex seller, don’t you know you are spoiling this country……
Three sex workers sit at their workplace in Juba, South Sudan on March 5, 2018.
News

Lack of Protections Puts Women, Children at Risk

(Athens) – A law scheduled to take effect on September 16, 2021, that amends child custody provisions in Greece’s civil code places women and children survivors of domestic violence at risk, Human Rights Watch said today. The Greek government should…
Protesters in Athens, Greece on March 27, 2021 stand outside the Greek Parliament displaying a banner that reads “your sexism is harming both mother and child” against a new law that introduces presumptive co-custody of children, even in cases of domestic violence.
News

Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
News

New Law Prohibits Nearly All Abortion Essentially After Six Weeks of Pregnancy

The US state of Texas and the United States Supreme Court dealt a severe blow to women’s (and pregnant people’s) human rights last week. Dozens of US states have been passing destructive laws limiting abortion access for years, but courts usually…
Protesters march from City Hall to the federal courthouse in protest of the new state abortion law in Houston, Texas on September 5th, 2021.
News

‘They Cannot Eliminate Us from Society’

“We decided to protest to demand our basic rights: the right to education, to work, and political participation. We want the Taliban to know that they cannot eliminate us from society.” Those were the words of Arezo, a young woman from Kabul who…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
News

An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
News

Investigate Abuses, Hold Violators to Account

Allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse of women in exchange for humanitarian aid have reemerged in Mozambique, this time among people displaced by armed Islamist groups in the northern Cabo Delgado province. Last month, while interviewing…
A woman walks through the Internally Displaced Person camp "25 de junho," in Metuge, Mozambique on May 20, 2021. 
News

“Here's to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them”

Women’s Month in South Africa is celebrated in August. It commemorates the significant role held by women in South African society and celebrates the accomplishments of the 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in August of 1956. The march…
A memorial sign surrounded with ribbons and flowers
News

Policing Sportswomen’s Bodies Undermines Rights of Women and Girls

This week, at a ceremony hosting the Tanzania men’s football team, President Samia Suluhu made remarks that cast aspersions on the “femininity” and gender of Tanzanian women footballers. Her comments have received widespread condemnation from women…
Tanzania's President Samia Suluhu Hassan speaks during a tour of the Tanga region of Tanzania on March 16, 2021. 
News

Learn from 2010 Experience; Meet Needs of At-Risk Groups

(Washington DC) – The Haitian government and donors need to heed lessons learned from failures in previous disasters in responding to the August 14, 2021 earthquake, to ensure that women, girls, and other marginalized groups can get the care they need…
Residents help Team Rubicon's disaster response team unload aid at the airport from a US Army helicopter to take to the hospital where the team is treating residents injured in the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Les Cayes, Haiti, Thursday, August 19, 2021. 
News

Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
News

Investigate Girl’s Murder, Protect Children from Abuse

The heart-wrenching case of a 14-year-old girl who died during childbirth at an Apostolic church in Marange, in Zimbabwe’s Manicaland province, has sent shockwaves across the country. According to reports, the girl, Memory Machaya, who had been forced out…
A group of child brides at Annandale farm, Shamva, Mashonaland Central Province after participating in a community meeting on ending child marriage.