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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…
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News

The Government Should Institute Real Reforms, Provide Services, Remove Barriers to Justice

The Bangladesh government has approved new measures to use the death penalty as punishment for rape, after widespread protests in response to several recent gang rape cases. It’s a bad decision, not only because capital punishment is inherently…
Students protest against an alleged gang-rape and brutal torture of a woman in the southern district of Noakhali, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 8, 2020. 
News

Adopt and Enforce Laws on Violence Against Women

On May 28, Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, a 22- year old microbiology student at the University of Benin, Edo State was raped and brutally assaulted after she went to study in a church, according to reports received by the National Human Rights Commission.…
Nigerians gather to protest sexual assault and violence against women and girls on June 1, 2020.
News

Federal Government, Other States Should Follow Ekiti State

Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria has adopted a policy to ban the expulsion of girls from schools during and after pregnancy, an important step in ending the longstanding discriminatory practice. Although Nigeria’s Child…
Jacinta, 15, was excluded from school after authorities found out that she was pregnant.
News

Sexual Exploitation and Harassment Also Widespread in Secondary Schools

A hard-hitting BBC television documentary, Sex for Grades, has uncovered rampant sexual abuse, harassment, and bullying of students at two prestigious universities in Nigeria and Ghana, and launched what will hopefully be a new movement.   …
Cartoon for Tanzania Education Report
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Home Office Memo Ignores Suffering of Trafficking Survivors

This week, the United Kingdom Home Office, the country’s interior ministry, came under heavy criticism from the Nigerian anti-trafficking agency and UK politicians, human rights lawyers, and nongovernmental groups for claiming Nigerian women and girls…
Nigerian teenagers and young women selling sex in Italy
News
  Sexual Harassment in Garment Factories Eleven women garment workers from a factory in southern India sent a hand-written letter to a local union in late 2016.[1] They wrote: “The plight of women workers … we don’t have anyone who would…
Women Garment Industry
News

How Unions Help Workers Worldwide

How can a mango craving spiral into a labor dispute? I was talking with garment workers in Cambodia when I heard the mango story. A pregnant garment worker had been caught sneaking mangoes into the factory despite a rule forbidding food…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
News

Bangladesh’s Garment Workers Still Need Better Protection

Five years ago, the world watched in horror when an eight-story building collapsed in Bangladesh, trapping and killing over 1,100 people employed by garment factories. Rescue workers struggled valiantly for days to save lives, but for most, it was…
Relatives of victims killed in Rana Plaza building collapse in 2013, mourn at the site during the fourth anniversary of the collapse in Savar, on the outskirt of Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain
News

Countries Should do More to Protect Schools from Attack

Only the slight buzz of translation through diplomats’ headphones could be heard as Joy Bishara, now 21, described the night in April 2014 when armed men from Boko Haram burned her school in Chibok, Nigeria, forcing Joy and her…
Joy Bishara is seated next to Inigo Lambertini, Ambassador Deputy PR of Italy to the United Nations, during a special “Arria formula briefing” about attacks on schools and education at the United Nations, October 13, 2017.
News

Government Should Publish Reports on Factories it Inspects

A fire in Ideal Textile Mills in Bangladesh killed at least six workers this week, reportedly after sparks from welding set ablaze inflammable chemicals stored close by. Soon, the blame game will begin. Perhaps there’ll be a…
In September 2016, another factory burned in the same district. Here, firefighters stand at the site of a fire at a packaging factory outside Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 10, 2016.
News

Maladministration in Nigerian’s July 2016 Execution

The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of “maladministration” in denying a Nigerian citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights. …
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News

Committee Should Address Access to Education, Troops in Schools

This week, a United Nations expert committee will review Nigeria’s record concerning women and girls. It will be an opportunity both to endorse Nigeria’s efforts to protect its schoolgirls from abduction and attack, and to urge more…
A picture of a teacher writing on a black board while students pay attention.
News

Authorities Should Ensure Families’ Access to Their Daughters

Last weekend’s release of 82 missing Chibok schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria three years ago is wonderful news for their families and provides some hope for the loved ones of those still held. But the celebration was marred…
A man carrying a Boko Haram flag walks past a group of 82 Chibok girls, who were held captive for three years by Islamist militants, as the girls wait to be released in exchange for several militant commanders, near Kumshe, Nigeria May 6, 2017.
News

Companies Pressed to Provide More Information About Suppliers

“Sometimes I just can’t sleep without pills. I keep remembering how many people died that day.” Shabana, her name changed to protect her privacy, survived three days buried in the rubble of Rana Plaza, an eight-story building with…
News

International Brands Reject ‘Climate of Repression’ For Garment Workers

It’s been a torrid few years for Bangladesh’s lucrative garment-making industry. There was the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, when more than 1,100 workers died when an eight-story factory collapsed on top of them. In the years since the disaster, global…
An employee works in a factory of Babylon Garments in Dhaka January 3, 2014.
News

Prime Minister Moving Ahead With Harmful Plan to Legalize Child Marriage

“Girls have no ground to stand on.” Those were the words of the leader of a local women’s nongovernmental organization (NGO), describing the gender discrimination that affects every aspect of girls’ lives in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh…
Bangladesh: Child Marriage
News

Parliament is the last hope for preventing legalized child marriage

Bangladesh’s parliamentarians have a crucial responsibility ahead of them: kill a proposed law putting girls at greater risk of child marriage, or buckle under political pressure.  On November 24, the Bangladesh cabinet approved draft…
Bangladesh: Child Marriage
News

Nigeria’s President Pledged to Investigate Sexual Assault of Women Displaced by Militant Group

6 Dec 2016 Update:  Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police Ibrahim Idris said ten men have been arrested for sexually abusing and exploiting women and girls who fled Boko Haram and who now live in camps. Those arrested include policemen,…
Women cook in pots heated up with firewood at an Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at Dikwa in Borno State, north-eastern Nigeria, on February 2, 2016.
News

Sexist Remarks Are No Joke

As the issue of sexual harassment takes center stage in the US presidential election, many Africans were deeply shocked over sexist and offensive remarks today by one of Africa’s few democratically elected presidents. …
Kenya's Lands Minister and principal secretary in the Lands and Physical Planning Ministry welcome a group of women on October 13, 2016 who will climb Mount Kilimanjaro on October 14 as part of a campaign for land rights in Nairobi, Kenya.