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The Government Should Listen to Protesters and Reform the Law

Hundreds of protestors have gathered outside the prime minister’s office and elsewhere around the country demanding reform after the latest horrifying allegations of rape in Nepal. In a series of devastating social media posts last week, a 24-year-old…
eople chant slogans and display placards during a protest
News

Parliament Should Repeal Law Now

On February 16, the Kuwaiti Constitutional Court ruled article 198 of the penal code, which arbitrarily criminalizes “imitating the opposite sex,” unconstitutional, finding it inconsistent with article 30 of Kuwait’s Constitution that enshrines…
General view of Kuwait's National Assembly
News

New Global Numbers Show Backsliding Even Before Covid-19 Pandemic

Ahead of the World Day Against Child Labor this weekend, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have just released shocking new figures. They estimate that 160 million children were engaged in child…
A boy sits atop a wheel barrow
News

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
News

Policies Supposed to Protect Against Trafficking Only Put Women at Greater Risk

For decades, Nepal’s government has responded to incidents of abuse and exploitation of Nepali women working abroad by imposing one misguided rule after another, restricting their right to travel and earn a living. The latest proposals will make a bad…
A Nepalese woman holds a placard against a proposed rule which restricts foreign travel for women under 40 years during a protest outside the Department of Immigration in Kathmandu, Nepal, February 11, 2021.
News

Positive Legal Move from Government Is a Win for Campaigners, But More Can Be Done

Throwing acid on a person is a particularly horrific crime. It causes lifelong harm to the survivors, most of whom are women who were targeted by a man. Following a successful campaign by survivors, the government of Nepal has now introduced new laws…
A woman holds a placard during a demonstration on International Women's Day to protest against inequality and sexual violence, March 8, 2020.
News

Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
News

Global Pandemic Exposes Gaps in Health Care and Safe Birth

Covid-19 has stretched threadbare health facilities in many parts of the world, often forcing the most difficult of choices – refusing medical care to one person to make room for another. In Nepal, decades of progress in maternal and newborn health…
A health worker wraps a baby born minutes before as the mother looks on at the government maternity hospital in Katmandu, Nepal, September 10, 2010.
News

A Man Was Allegedly Killed, And Houses Burnt and Destroyed

Park rangers and soldiers guarding Nepal’s famous Chitwan National Park have been accused of killing a man, setting fire to houses, and using their trained elephants to destroy homes in two separate incidents this month. The incidents are only the…
Tourists on an elephant safari in Chitwan National Park in southern Nepal watch an Indian one-horned rhino, July 2016.
News

Maha al-Mutairi’s Allegations of Police Abuse Go Viral in Kuwait

As Maha al-Mutairi, a 39-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman, made her way to a police station last Friday night, she decided to post a video. Maha had been summoned by authorities for “imitating women” – the fourth time she has faced this charge…
The transgender pride flag.
News

Government Should Reform the Law and Police Response to Address Rising Tide of Abuse

Imagine discovering private – and perhaps intimate – photos of yourself online. Strangers are posting humiliating comments, with personal details, making you identifiable to the world. This is increasingly a reality for women and girls in…
Women hold placards during a protest against sexual violence in Kathmandu, Nepal
News

Government and Donors Should Avoid Failures of 2015 Earthquake Response

As the Nepali government and international donors respond to the coronavirus crisis, they should not repeat the failings made after the 2015 earthquake. Five years ago, donors committed over $4 billion to the humanitarian response…
Rickshaw driver with mask on in Nepal
News

Workers Stranded Without Income are Denied the Right to Return Home

In a welcome decision, hundreds of Nepalis who work in India and were crowded at the border trying to go back home will now be supported by Indian authorities. Nepal will support Indians stranded there. But others scattered across the Gulf states…
A member of medical staff wearing a facemask amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, checks the body temperature of travellers arriving from India at the eastern border with Nepal in Kakarvitta, March 14, 2020.
News

Victim Groups Accuse Political Parties of Duplicity

The horrors of Nepal’s ten-year insurgency weigh greatly on the country, with a heavy toll of killings, rapes, disappearances, and torture. The conflict ended in 2006 with a peace agreement and since then, Nepal’s leaders…
Former Nepalese Prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal
News

Agreement Could Threaten Tibetan Refugees, Activists, Journalists in Nepal

  As Nepal gets ready to welcome President Xi Jinping of China on October 12, 2019, it appears that the two countries are preparing to sign an extradition treaty. Details of the agreement are not yet known, but it should be…
Chinese Honour Guard stand with Nepalese and Chinese flags ahead of a welcoming ceremony for the Nepalese President Bidhya Devi Bhandari
News

Accusation Against Senior Political Figure

A senior political figure in Nepal, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, was recently arrested on suspicion of rape. Activists and lawyers had initially feared the case would be buried because of the police’s dismal record of responding to rape…
The mother of 13-year-old Nirmala Panta, who was raped and murdered in Kanchanpur district, speaks at a mass rally calling for justice, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 15, 2018.
News

Online Fraud Laws Used to Crack Down on Free Speech

The recent crackdown on journalists in Nepal is bad enough, but now the authorities have gone one step further and jailed a comedian for critiquing a film. Pranesh Gautam, 24, an architect and part-time comedian who posts on…
A journalist protests a set of laws that threaten to curb free speech, Kathmandu, Nepal, September 19, 2018.
News

Police Still Not Doing Enough to Tackle Sexual Violence

One person was killed and several were injured in late August as police used force to curb recent protests over the rape and killing of a child in western Nepal. The schoolgirl’s body was found in a sugarcane field a day after she went missing in…
News

A New Government Offers Some Hope but Will Need International Assistance

Confronted with global crises in Myanmar, Syria, and elsewhere, many world leaders have forgotten Nepal’s decade-long civil war, which ended in 2006. The need for justice in Nepal remains. But the international community…
Activists observe a minute of silence in memory of the people who disappeared during the decade-long armed Maoist insurgency against the now-toppled monarchy to observe the International Day of the Disappeared in Kathmandu, Nepal August 30, 2017.
News

Netherlands Court Cites India, Nepal Cases

A Netherlands district court cited supreme court judgments from India and Nepal when it ruled the Dutch legislature should provide a way for citizens to legally identify as neither male nor female if they prefer. The Supreme…
Bhumika Shrestha, a transgender woman in Nepal, holds her citizenship certificate, which listed her as male in 2011. Nepal legally recognized a third gender category beginning in 2007, but it took Shrestha and other activists and transgender citizens unti
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