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Report by Human Rights Watch Associate Director for Women’s Rights, Heather Barr

The plight of Afghan women under the Taliban was used in many countries to convince voters to support the US-led military intervention in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks on the US. “Only the terrorists and the Taliban forbid education to women,”…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
News

The Taliban’s cruelties are horrendous, but withholding international support and maintaining blanket sanctions will only hurt the long-suffering Afghan people.

Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation is spiraling into catastrophe. Millions of Afghans are now facing severe economic stress and food insecurity in the wake of the Taliban’s August takeover, set off by widespread lost income, cash shortages,…
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Her job had been going well, the woman told me. But her married boss started making sexual advances, which she rebuffed. Then he gave her a gift — a clock. She put it in her bedroom, but the light bothered her, so she kept moving it. “But every…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
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On the campaign trail and during his first three months in office, President Biden promised a US return to a multilateral foreign policy that supports human rights. That is an important vision for the Middle East, a region often destabilized…
President Joe Biden speaks about foreign policy, at the State Department in Washington, February 4, 2021. 
News
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record. In its latest attempt, Saudi…
Since the brutal murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state agents two years ago, Saudi Arabia has significantly ramped up its efforts to divert public attention from its dismal human rights record.
News
The world’s public development banks, focused on alleviating poverty, will gather this week during the Paris Peace Forum to discuss their collective responses to global challenges like climate change and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. This…
Residents of Mindonga settlement on the banks of the stream of effluents released by the PHC palm oil mill, a company supported by European public development banks. February 2, 2019, Yaligimba, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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This is a moment of both fear and hope for Afghan women — and an urgent time for the world to support their hard-won rights. The Feb. 29 deal between the US and the Taliban could pave the way for a peace that Afghans desperately seek.…
Women walk along a street in the old part of Kabul February 29, 2020.
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On February 9, Ingrid Escamilla became one of the latest victims of Mexico’s ongoing wave of gender-based violence. The 25-year-old woman was brutally murdered, allegedly by her boyfriend, in their Mexico City apartment. The next day, a tabloid…
Thousands march in protest against rising femicide rates and kidnappings of women in Mexico City, Mexico on February 2, 2019.
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Concrete Measures Needed to Curb Corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) monitors the economic health of 189 member countries, and regularly publishes an analysis of each country’s economy, called an Article IV report, highlighting key economic risks. The IMF has long…
International Monetary Fund (IMF) headquarters building is seen during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2017.
News

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the World Bank can be sued, what’s next for the organization?

Until recently the World Bank enjoyed absolute immunity in the United States from lawsuits. But a US Supreme Court decision on February 27 opens the door for individuals and communities around the world to approach US courts about harm…
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Teachers Threatened After Taking a Photograph Supporting Equality Protests

Since that day, October 3, 2016, that one simple photograph which first appeared on Facebook, has been splashed over Polish newspapers, social media, and debated far and wide. Some of the women in it have been ostracized by colleagues, seen their careers…
Ewa Wnorowska and her colleagues pose for a photograph in support of women's rights in Poland
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The UK Should Urge Him to Keep Promises on Girls’ Education

Pakistan’s new government has promised to fix one of the country’s biggest conundrums—how to get more girls into school. The UK—which gives more aid to Pakistan than any other country, much of it for education—should both push and help Imran Khan’s…
Two students at a free non-government school for poor children in the Lyari neighborhood of Karachi, Pakistan.
News

22 Million Children Out of School

She opened the school around 2014 in a room in her grandmother’s home. At first, Shazia only had three students, but she went door-to-door recruiting more children, telling parents about the school and encouraging kids to attend. She makes a special…
Laiba, age eight, with Shazia, the founder of the lyari School.
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From October 7 until the end of the year, Brazilian women work for free. That’s one way of picturing the gender-based pay discrimination that haunts Brazilian businesses. Brazilian men earn in about nine months the same as…
Women protest Brasilia
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When Saudi Arabia announced in September that it would, at last, lift the ban on women driving on June 24, 2018, I thought I would be celebrating a milestone that took brave Saudi women’s rights activists nearly three decades to achieve. Instead, as…
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  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.