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Public discussions about abortion are always difficult. They are inevitably affected by stigma, religious beliefs, and profound ethical convictions. The current debate in Argentina about legalizing abortion is no exception. But a serious and…
A crowd of women hold up green protest signs
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A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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Their Countries of Origin Must Bring Them Home

“They won’t shoot us, my darling. Mummy is right here with you, don’t worry.” The German mother’s words, spoken in almost a whisper, did not stop her young son’s whimpers. Desperate text and voice messages have…
A girl stands in the annex of al-Hol camp in northeast Syria, where more than 11,000 women and children from nearly 50 nationalities are confined as family members of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) suspects. The Kurdish-led coalition controlling north
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As the G20 Summit approaches and world leaders get ready to meet in Buenos Aires on Friday, a cloud of suspicion looms over Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. His visit to Argentina was supposed to help him rebuild his shattered…
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Despite setbacks for women’s rights around the globe in 2017, some of the most exciting reforms and positive momentum emerged from the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisian women have new protections against violence. Migrant domestic workers in…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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I met “Salma” in May at the only maternity clinic in Jordan’s Zaatari Refugee Camp. Having already miscarried twice by age 20, she was then five months pregnant and anxious to finally give birth to her first child. Salma was among dozens…
Bara’a, 10, teaching younger children in her informal refugee camp in Mount Lebanon what she remembered from her first grade class in Syria.
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Rape-marriage exoneration laws are relics of the colonial past. It's time to leave them there.

In recent weeks, the Tunisian, Jordanian, and Lebanese parliaments have repealed provisions in their penal codes that allowed rapists to escape punishment by marrying their victims. Provisions like these, largely colonial-era relics, remain on the books…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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For all his promises — and a Nobel Peace Prize — the Obama presidency delivered more hope than change

As Donald Trump prepares to take office, many fear a new hostility to human rights on the part of the United States. From his divisive rhetoric about minorities to his embrace of autocrats abroad, there is plenty to worry about.  Trump…
U.S. President Barack Obama waves at the conclusion of his final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in Washington January 12, 2016.
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“Unimaginable Horrors”

The “unimaginable horrors” that the Islamic State (ISIS) is committing against the minority Yezidis, documented in a report released on June 16 by the UN-mandated Independent International Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the Syrian Arab Republic, shows the…
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Safia, 35, taught school in Syria. She fled the conflict for northern Lebanon, where she picks eggplants, strawberries, and “bad, rotten things” as an agricultural day laborer. She earns about $11 for eight hours of back-breaking work. “The…
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When I met them in early June, Abu Nizar, his wife and their three daughters — aged 22, 18 and 14 — were perched on threadbare mattresses in a rundown house in Ramtha, Jordan, where they survive on charity from the local community. Blankets covered the…
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  “If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Why Reproductive Rights Matter at Rio +20

"I realized I had become pregnant. I was worried -- how would I continue to work? How would my children eat? Go to school?" Beatriz told me last month when I sat down with her in Medellin, Colombia. Beatriz is a widow and the mother of five children. She…
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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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The Argentine Supreme Court's ruling earlier this month in the case of A.G., a 15-year-old girl who became pregnant after her stepfather raped her, does not decriminalize abortion. But it does humanize the judicial process for rape victims seeking timely…
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Joseph Kony, Thomas Lubanga and Charles Taylor are just the tip of the iceberg. The use of children as soldiers extends far beyond Africa. Last week in The Hague, the International Criminal Court, or ICC, found the Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty…
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In five days I will be addressing Argentina's House of Representatives about abortion. The occasion is as deliberately momentous as it is intentionally inconsequential. On the one hand, this is the first time Argentina's national congress has debated the…