Search Results

Sort by
News

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.
News

For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
News

‘They Cannot Eliminate Us from Society’

“We decided to protest to demand our basic rights: the right to education, to work, and political participation. We want the Taliban to know that they cannot eliminate us from society.” Those were the words of Arezo, a young woman from Kabul who…
Women gather to demand their rights under Taliban rule during a protest in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 3, 2021.
News

Twenty Rights Groups Call for Justice and Accountability

Human Rights Watch today joined Afghan and international human rights organizations calling for a United Nations-mandated fact-finding mission to investigate escalating attacks on civilians in Afghanistan to promote justice and accountability.…
The mother of a schoolgirl who was among those killed in the brutal May 8, 2021 bombing of the Sayed ul-Shuhada girls' school stands inside a classroom with bouquets of flowers on empty desks as a tribute to the dead, in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 16, 2021. 
News

Donors Should Sustain Vital Services While Decrying Violations

Donor countries to Afghanistan say they want to keep protecting the human rights of women and girls, even as international troops prepare to depart the country. But a bill introduced in the United States Senate last week raises tricky issues about how…
Women walking Nadir Khan Overlooking Kabul womens rights us withdrawl
News

Attackers Target Girls Leaving Kabul High School

Scenes from Sayed ul-Shuhada High School in Kabul, Afghanistan, where as many as 85 people including many schoolgirls were killed in an attack this weekend, should break anyone’s heart. They certainly broke mine. In 2017 a filmmaker and I spent a week…
Books, notebooks, and other school supplies are left behind after May 8's deadly bombings near a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 9, 2021.
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

Government Proposal for Mosque-Based Primary Schools Raises Concerns

An Afghan government proposal that children study in mosques for the first three years of primary school raises concerns about its commitment to the right to education. “We are working to transfer the first, second, and third grades of the school…
Main image for Afghanistan Report
News

Rights Commission Finds Abusive Practice Continues

Imagine being arrested and taken by police to a doctor who examines your vagina and anus –without your consent. Now imagine you are sent for several of these exams, sometimes with other people watching. Now imagine that these “tests” are scientifically…
1
News

Right to Be Named on Identification Cards A Boost for Equality During Peace Talks

Afghanistan’s president has signed a new law that will, for the first time, include mothers’ names on their children’s birth certificates and identification cards. The law is a major victory for Afghan women’s rights activists, who for several years…
Delegates attend the last day of the Afghan Loya Jirga meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, May 3, 2019.
News

Pandemic Creates New Barriers for Women and Girls Already Facing Deep Inequality

On May 28, 2020, Human Rights Watch launched a survey to learn more about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on students, parents and caregivers. As of June 6, people in 54 countries had completed the survey; it’s still open here—please fill it…
2017wrd_Afghanistan_Education
News

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…
illustration
News

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
News

Potential Deal Should Encourage Donor Engagement on Human Rights in Intra-Afghan Talks

After 10 months of negotiations, the United States and the Taliban have reached an agreement to end their conflict in Afghanistan. That was the easy part. The discussions that come next, a proposed intra-Afghan dialogue…
Delegates attend the fourth day of the Afghan Loya Jirga meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 2, 2019.
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…
201904asia_pakistan_women
News

Afghan Justice System Fails Victims of Violence

I still feel sick when I think of Farkhunda Malikzada’s murder four years ago, on March 19, 2015, in central Kabul in broad daylight. I could not bear to watch the viral video of more than a dozen men beating and stoning the 27-year-old…
Members of civil society organizations chant slogans during a protest to condemn the killing of 27-year-old woman, Farkhunda, who was beaten with sticks and set on fire by a crowd of men in central Kabul in broad daylight on Thursday, in Kabul March 24, 2
News

Accelerated Talks Mean the Stakes for Women Have Never Been Higher

A peace deal in Afghanistan – for years seeming hopelessly elusive – may now be on the horizon. After 17 years of fighting in Afghanistan, the United States is bringing new urgency to negotiating with the Taliban and is proclaiming…
201901asia_afghanistan_peacetalks_ghani
News

Downplays Role for Women in Talks with Taliban

After former Afghan President Hamid Karzai finished his remarks at the 2019 Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, a voice from the back of the room asked the very question on my mind: “How will you ensure the role of females in this process is…
201901asia_afghanistan_karzai
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.