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Lee Bo-reum found school almost intolerable. As a young woman, she was outed to her peers as a lesbian, and was ostracized and bullied by her classmates for her sexual orientation. As the mistreatment persisted, she eventually became depressed and…
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The Pandemic has Brought to the Fore Systemic Deficiencies Affecting Children’s Education

Like millions of other children, Mia Sulastri has been putting in extra effort to keep up with her studies. When her school in Indonesia closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 17-year-old travelled 24 kilometres by motorbike, four times a week, to…
Children attending class on the first day of school, which was damaged by an airstrike during fighting between Saudi-led coalition-backed government forces and Houthi forces, Taizz, Yemen, September 3, 2019. © 2019 Ahmad al-Basha/AFP/Getty Images
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I’ve spent most of my career talking to parents who moved heaven and earth to get their children an education. There was the mother from Mogadishu, Somalia, who told me she gave thanks every afternoon when her children returned safely…
A young girl wearing a face mask holds up a cell phone
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In late February of this year, Russia’s criminal investigative agency announced that it had referred to a court an investigation into criminal negligence by two police officers that happened on January 14, 2020 in the Siberian city of…
In February 2017, parliament decriminalized first instances of battery among family members.
News

On Human Rights Day, Celebrating People Who Make the World Better

This Human Rights Day I’m celebrating my sister’s commitment to lifting up the lives of girls and giving them a chance at realizing their potential. I think of my sister Vicky as a warrior in the fight for human rights, and on December 10, I’m…
Vicky, a teacher in a girls’ school in Kenya, is dedicated to empowering girls. 
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As domestic violence rates soar in Europe under COVID-19 restrictions, women’s groups protest government inaction from Poland to Turkey.

As violence against women repeatedly grabs headlines during the COVID-19 pandemic, women across Europe are at the forefront of mass protests demanding government action to protect women from abuse. Some argue that women shouldn’t risk their lives…
Protesters with a banner reading "Women's Strike" take part in a rally against the Polish government’s plans to withdraw from the Istanbul Convention on prevention and combating of domestic violence, in Warsaw, Poland, July 24, 2020. © 2020 AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski
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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

Issue XV: The impact of COVID19- on women and girls’ education

UN Women, UNICEF and Human Rights Watch jointly issue this fifteenth alert to continue to highlight the gender specific impact of COVID-19 in Afghanistan. This alert focuses on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls’ education and the…
News

Harms Girls and Reduces Nation's Potential

"I didn't go back to school, because I didn't have anyone to give me advice," "Harriet" told me. "I wish someone would've come to talk to me about school and encourage me." We were sitting in   her brother's home in Migori county, western…
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Graduating into a global pandemic was never going to be easy. But for some in the high school class of COVID-19, their academic futures were further jeopardized by a predictive algorithm that assigned them final grades without explanation or means…
Students walk along a corridor at a school for girls in the U.K. that offers the International Baccalaureate program.
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"I loved school," said 11-year-old Radwan. "I liked to study math, and I miss going to school very much." Radwan could be any one of the more than 1.5 billion students whose schools closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he is not. Radwan is…
Rohingya refugee students demonstrate against being expelled from Bangladeshi secondary schools in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, February 6, 2019.
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And the steps African governments can and must take to mitigate it.

  Abigail*, a young woman who lives in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare became pregnant by a much older married man when she was 14. She had left school because her mother couldn’t afford to pay for her fees, books and other school supplies. Her…
School closed in Nairobi, Kenya
News
  UNESCO reports that 119 countries have closed schools nationwide since the COVID-19 outbreak, disrupting the learning and education of an estimated 897 million students. Millions more could be affected as more countries…
An empty classroom in Senegal
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Every year on March 8, Kazakhstan’s leaders commemorate International Women’s Day – a national holiday – in speeches praising women for their professional competitiveness and achievements, beauty, and “love for family values and…
Women, wearing traditional clothes, participate in Nowruz celebrations at the a Center in Astana, Kazakhstan on March 21, 2019.
News

It shouldn’t take a series of brutal murders to prompt government action.

For women in Kyrgyzstan, 2020 has already been deadly. At least three women were killed by their husbands or partners in the first 14 days of the year. Their deaths resulted from abuse including kicks to the head, burns, stabbing and…
Burulai Turdaaly kyzy’s portrait on a building at the medical college she attended in Bishkek, November 2018.
News

With Millions Out of School, the Countdown Begins to Get All Children into Quality, Accessible Education

  In 2018, about 260 million children and youth did not go to school, according to data collected by the United Nations. That’s one in every five worldwide. And 617 million youth worldwide lacked basic mathematics and literacy skills…
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“Azida” is a 12-year-old girl, born in Myanmar, but now growing up in neighboring Bangladesh. Forced out of her home at age 10 by a military campaign of ethnic cleansing, she now lives in the sprawling Cox’s Bazar refugee camps on the southern…
Posters inside a “learning center”
News
What does a woman do if she is being attacked or harassed by strangers outside her home? Her instinct is to seek refuge and protection in her own home, where she feels safe. But what if a woman is being abused by her husband or partner in the home?…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.