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UK Parliament Needs to Act Fast to Save Lives

The United Kingdom government’s recently published data revealing that people with disabilities account for 59 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales between March and July 2020 should shock us all. But this devastating data is just…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
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Government Should Ensure Children’s Right to Food During Covid-19

As children across England return to school this week, the government should prove it has learned from its mistakes after school closures during Covid-19 left pupils going hungry. Department for Education (DfE) guidance published late last week, just…
Students wash their hands as they arrive on the first day back to school at Charles Dickens Primary School in London, England, September 1, 2020.
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UK Program Behind the Guide Needs Better Strategy to End Rape During Wartime

The UK government signaled this week that it wants to reignite its initiative designed to end rape during war. As such, members of the initiative and their partners are seeking input for a guide on interviewing victims of conflict-related sexual violence…
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Fighting Pandemic Should Not Mean Other Problems Are Ignored

More than 40,000 people dead. Hard decisions about how to relax a lockdown that has confined millions to their homes. Covid-19 understandably continues to dominate headlines and the focus of United Kingdom policymakers. That applies to human…
A man wheels his suitcase across Westminster Bridge looking towards the Houses of Parliament, at would normally be rush hour as the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus continues in London, March 30, 2020.
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Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland,…
Demonstrators take part in the Abortion Rights Campaign's annual March for Choice, September 29, 2018.
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Mitigate Impact of Coronavirus Containment Measures on Poor Families

Update March 19: On March 18, the UK government announced that schools would close on March 20 until further notice for the vast majority of pupils. Limited school places will remain open for children of parents working in essential employment…
From left, Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Witty, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance speak during a press conference about coronavirus in 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, March 9, 2020.
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Older People’s Right to Health Requires Full Access to a Robust Support System

COVID-19 is spreading around the globe and is especially deadly for older people. The virus has an estimated fatality rate of under two percent, but reaches eight to 15 percent among older people, new analysis shows. Older people can…
Young male community healthcare worker being welcomed by a senior man at his home.
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Legal Green Light for Abortion Services, Same-Sex Marriage Only a First Step

Clocks over Northern Ireland were counting down as the region prepared for a leap toward furthering equality. At midnight on Monday, legislation came into force that decriminalized abortion and legalized same-sex marriage in…
Equal marriage supporters at Maverick Bar, Belfast, celebrate the change to abortion and same sex marriage laws in Northern Ireland
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US, Others Should Follow Suit and Improve Health Protection

The UK is taking a step toward ending preventable forms of cervical cancers, and some other cancers, by offer free HPV vaccines to boys ages 11 and 12. HPV causes nearly all cervical cancers and most throat and mouth cancers,…
A child health nurse holds up a vial and box for the HPV vaccine, brand name Gardasil
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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
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
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Rugby Clubs Set Good Example, But Legal Reform Needed

An unlikely source took a stance on respect for women: professional rugby. Two Northern Ireland players had their contracts revoked following their widely publicized rape prosecution. Both players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart…
A rally held in support of the woman at the centre of the Belfast rape trial in which all four defendants including Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of all charges, Belfast, March 31, 2018.
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John Worboys Case Should Make Ministers Abandon Plans to Scrap the Act

This week’s landmark judgement by the UK Supreme Court against the London Metropolitan Police for failing adequately to investigate the John Worboys case may bring some belated relief to women he drugged and raped. The Court’…
A London black cab taxi drives past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament in late afternoon sunlight in London, Britain, November 10, 2016.
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Boots Pharmacy in the UK Reveals Sexism in Refusal to Lower Cost of Morning-after Pill

British-based pharmacy mega-chain Boots is refusing to follow in the footsteps of its competitors and lower prices for the morning-after pill, citing fear of a moralistic public backlash. Now they are facing a firestorm of controversy…
A sign outside a store of pharmacy and cosmetics chain Boots is seen in London, May 16, 2011.
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Funding Abortions for Women Who Travel to England is Only an Interim Solution

The UK government just took an important step in announcing – following a campaign and under pressure from parliament – that the National Health Service (NHS) will carry out abortions at no cost to pregnant women and girls from Northern…
Women gather in Parliament Square for a protest in support of legal abortion in Northern Ireland, Britain, June 24, 2017.
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Not Enough Focus on Women’s Rights in Election Manifestos

Domestic violence. Equal pay for equal work. Family leave. Child and forced marriage. People often dub these “women's issues,” and, in political debate, treat them as “softer” (read: less important) than, say, security or trade. That’s…
women's march London
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Ratify Convention and Protect Women from Violence

“I’m not a victim. I’m a survivor.” British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, when she told the House of Commons about her rape at age 14 and its long-term consequences. Decades had passed before Thomson made this public…
British MP Michelle Thomson made that courageous statement on December 8, 2016.
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The British government’s concern for the safety and well-being of the Yemeni people – already extremely feeble – reached a new low this week. In Geneva, Britain failed to actively promote a Dutch resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council that…
Damaged buildings in Yemen's southern port city of Aden, May 8, 2015.
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A much-anticipated government report officially acknowledges what Edward Snowden revealed to the world many months ago: the UK has been intercepting communications en masse. But rather than condemn the widespread snooping, the report endorses the so-…
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Today Julian Assange, the Wikileaks publisher, begins his third year confined in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. He fled there, receiving political asylum, when Sweden sought his extradition to answer sexual assault allegations. Although both Assange…