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International Olympic Committee Should Help Secure Peng Shuai’s Safety

“We have taken a very human and person-centred approach to her situation,” the International Olympics Committee (IOC) said in a December 2 statement, revealing it had held a second closed call with Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai. Meanwhile, Peng has…
Two men speak to each other while seated
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New Guidelines Raise Alarms for Reproductive Rights

The State Council, China’s cabinet, in its “Chinese Women’s Development Guidelines” for 2021-2030, announced today, identified “reducing non-medically necessary abortions” as a step toward women’s development. It’s unclear what specific policies…
A promotion for China's defunct one-child policy remains on the outer wall of a government office in Bobai, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, August 26, 2021.
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Government Should Prioritize Prevention, Eradication, and Services for Survivors

On August 14, Ecuador commemorated the country’s first national day against sexual violence in schools. A year ago, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights found Ecuador responsible for the violations of Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s rights. Paola, who…
Judges at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights hear the case Paola Guzmán Albarracín’s mother brought against Ecuador in San José, Costa Rica on January 28, 2020.
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Proposed Health Code Would Improve Protection for Women, Girls, LGBTI People

Ecuador’s National Assembly has approved a new health code that would help all in Ecuador enjoy better access to health care. The bill, nearly 8 years in the making, was approved on August 25 by a vote of 79 to 58, and now requires the signature of…
The flag of Ecuador. 
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Adopt Real Solutions for ‘One Child Policy’ Problems

This week an economics professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University offered up a novel proposal to solve China’s very serious gender imbalance: polyandry – women having multiple husbands. It’s an interesting idea, but we don’t think polyandry would…
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China’s Gender Imbalance Having Devastating Regional Consequences

What do Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, and Vietnam have in common? The answer is tragic. There’s compelling evidence that all have become source countries for a brutal business –…
A young woman who was trafficked at age 17 by a friend’s mother who promised her a well-paid child care job and then sold her to a family in China as a “bride.” Once purchased, she was confined and subjected to sexual slavery, but managed to escape after
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Survivors and Advocates Seek Help from UN Human Rights Committee

Norma* (*indicates a pseudonym) was 12 when her father began raping her. She became pregnant shortly thereafter. Though abortion is legal in Ecuador when a woman or girl’s life or health is in danger, no one told her this. She gave birth despite…
#NiñasNoMadres
News

Allegations of Sale of Women to China Echo Abuses Elsewhere

Pakistan’s government should be alarmed by recent reports of trafficking of women and girls to China. These allegations are disturbingly similar to the pattern of trafficking of “brides” to China from at least five other Asian countries…
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News

Judge Denies Abused Woman Divorce, Citing ‘Traditional Values’

“In principle, in divorce cases, the first time one sues for divorce, it won’t be granted. [Marriage is] a traditional value,” said Judge Zhang Yanbin in the Chinese city of Chengdu, ruling against a woman’s petition for divorce. “We made the ruling to…
A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, December 26, 2015.
News

#MeToo Gains Momentum, But Little Public Confidence in Legal Remedies

Among the over 50 million court verdicts from 2010 to 2017 available publicly, only 34 focused on sexual harassment, according to a June study by the Beijing Yuanzhong Gender Development Center. Among those 34 cases, only two were…
A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California U.S. November 12, 2017.
News

Firms Pledge Stricter Reviews of Ads in Wake of Human Rights Watch Report

The response to the release this week of a major Human Rights Watch report on gender discrimination and sexual objectification in Chinese advertising has been surprisingly quick. Alibaba, Baidu, Huawei, and Tencent appear to have deleted many of…
China ads
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Beijing Professor Suspended After Accusations of Sexual Harassment

On January 1, Luo Xixi, a Chinese scientist living in the United States, along with four other women, accused Chen Xiaowu, a professor at Beijing’s prestigious Beihang University, of sexually harassing them when they were his students. The…
A vendor sells #MeToo badges a protest march for survivors of sexual assault and their supporters in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California U.S. November 12, 2017.
News

Ineffective Anti-Discrimination Mechanisms Hinder Women’s Progress

“History has proved that women don’t belong in academia,” wrote Feng Gang, a prominent sociologist and professor at Zhejiang University, on his  Weibo social media account in October.“If a woman in her life time has fewer than two…
A woman reads a company flyer at an open air job fair for college graduates and the general public in the centre of Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China, February 6, 2017.
News

Beijing Urging Women to Quit Their Jobs, Focus on Family

On August 21, Chinese women’s rights activist Wu Rongrong went to a police station in Shanxi province to check on her application for a travel permit to Hong Kong, where she has been accepted to graduate school. Police denied her application because Wu—…
Poster hung in the Beijing marriage registration office.
News

Government Boasts of Equality Ring Hollow

On International Women’s Day two years ago, the Chinese government demonstrated contempt for women’s rights by arbitrarily detaining for over a month a group of avowed feminists who had tried to raise awareness about sexual harassment on public…
A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on a heavily polluted day in Beijing, December 26, 2015.
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The extremely high rate of family violence in Papua New Guinea (PNG) needs to be addressed, said a long list of countries during PNG’s United Nations Periodic Review, a process in which countries’ human rights records are scrutinized by their peers at the…
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Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a dangerous place to be pregnant. It has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world, second only to Afghanistan in the Asia Pacific region. Only slightly more than 50 percent of women give birth in a facility or with…
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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In 2011 an unknown attacker raped “Monica,” a human rights defender supporting victims displaced by the country’s protracted armed conflict. She immediately reported the rape to authorities, but they didn’t help her get access to health care. More than a…
A home in the rural area of Municipality San Carlos Antioquia abandoned by persons displaced by violence, with graffiti of a woman’s body left by armed groups.