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Russia Should End Discrimination Against Women in Custody Cases and Beyond

This week, the European Court on Human Rights ruled that Luisa Tapayeva, a Chechen woman, should be reunited with her four daughters who were taken from her after their father died. Under local customs, children are “owned” by the father and his…
A picture from an animation by Justice Initiative Project on the custom of taking children away from mothers in Chechnya and Ingushetia.
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

Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
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

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
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

One Year Since Legislative Changes Weakened Protections

A jealous husband from a small town near Moscow took his 25-year-old wife and mother of their two small boys, Margarita Gracheva, to the woods, put a knife to her throat, and threatened to kill her. The woman called the police, but when a police…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 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
On September 4, Belarus police officials stopped a 22-year-old Russian woman of Chechen origin waiting for a flight at Minsk airport. They forced Luisa to go with them to a small room where her father was waiting to take her back to the…
The national coat of arms is seen at the terminal of Minsk International Airport near the village of Sloboda, Belarus May 19, 2016.
News

Police and Cossacks Harass Local Activists

Add another category to the long list of people deemed a security threat to the Russian state: feminists. Early this morning, a group of men broke into a tiny cottage near Dzhubga, a village in Russia’s southern Black Sea region of Krasnodar.…
Activists hoping to attend a gathering on feminism, instead harassed and brought to the Dzhubga police station in Krasnodar region, Russia.
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

New Domestic Violence Law in Russia Hurts Victims

Only after a year of abuse, when Marina fell out a second-storey window as her husband tried to strangle her, did she go to police in Russia. Even then – wheelchair-bound, with metal plates holding her smashed feet together – Marina said she had to beg…
Russian activist protesting decriminalization of domestic violence in front of Russia’s state parliament building.
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

Muslim Leader Says FGM Necessary to Curb Girls’ Sexuality

Sexually depraved behavior among girls is rampant, if you listen to a Muslim authority of Russia’s North Caucasus, Ismail Berdiev. The good news is that, according to him, there is a simple fix: just subject them all to female genital mutilation (FGM) and…
Two girls play ball in a mountain village of Dagestan in Russia's North Caucasus region, August 20, 2007.
News

Ad Campaign Peddles Gender Stereotypes

Gap’s latest ad campaign is being raked over the coals for reinforcing gender stereotypes. The ads feature “The Little Scholar,” an aspiring scientist boy and “The Social Butterfly,” a girl. Many are outraged that a company like Gap, which prides itself…
The sign for a Gap store is seen on 5th avenue in midtown Manhattan in New York June 16, 2015.