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An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
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Countries Should Ratify ILO Violence and Harassment Convention, Make National Reforms

On June 25, the International Labour Organization (ILO) Violence and Harassment Convention goes into legal effect under international law. This is a critical step to ending gender-based violence at work, which has been powerfully exposed through the…
Marcelina Bautista, leader of Centro de Apoyo y Capacitación para Empleadas del Hogar, a domestic workers organization, celebrates the beginning of a pilot program extending access to social security and healthcare benefits for domestic workers, Mexico City, Mexico. 
News

Allegations Against NY Governor Cuomo Highlight Need for Real Protections

The sexual harassment accusations against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo are mounting as women turn to the media — on Twitter, in a personal essay, and in high-profile interviews with national news outlets — to detail their allegations against…
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development adviser for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaks in front of microphones and a crowd of people holding signs at a rally in New York City, March 20, 2021. 
News

Government Should Act to Redress Domestic Violence and Pay Gaps

I nearly choked on my coffee when I watched the misogynist propaganda video published this week featuring Hungary’s minister responsible for families, Katalin Novak, lecturing Hungarian women on how to be successful. It included “advice” on how women…
Hungarian minister with responsibility for families, Katalin Novak, in a December 2020 video lecturing Hungarian women about how they can achieve success.
News

Services, Education, and Broader Change Needed to Combat Deep Gender Inequity

On November 26, a horrifying episode in South Korea neared its end when a court in Seoul sentenced Cho Joo-bin to 40 years in prison. Cho ran a network of online chat rooms on Telegram, where he and several accomplices shared videos of sexual violence…
Women protest to demand stronger government action to fight the spread of intimate photos and footage taken by hidden cameras in Seoul, South Korea, July 7, 2018.
News

Webinar to Highlight Legal Advances and Campaigns From Around the World

Next year promises exciting progress in the fight against gender-based violence and harassment at work. On November 16, Human Rights Watch is hosting a virtual event on taking the #MeToo movement forward and taking action for dignity and safety at…
Marcelina Bautista, leader of Centro de Apoyo y Capacitación para Empleadas del Hogar, a domestic workers organization, celebrates the beginning of a pilot program extending access to social security and healthcare benefits for domestic workers, Mexico City, Mexico. 
News

Abortion Restrictions Defeated; Paid Family Leave, Mandatory Sex Education Adopted

With all eyes seemingly on the US presidential election, it’s easy to miss some of the exciting progress made on gender equality at the state level. Colorado voters had two big initiatives on their ballot, one to expand paid family and medical…
Boxes of vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are shown at the King County election headquarters in Renton, Washington, October 23, 2020. 
News

Male Guardianship, Sexual Harassment Amongst Major Concerns

Over the past two weeks, Saudi women have taken to Twitter, using pseudonyms, to share their experiences with sexual harassment, the reasons behind their hesitance to report these abuses to the authorities, and demands for the abolition of…
© 2016 Human Rights Watch
News

Emergency Measure Targets Muslim Women

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a ban on face coverings in public as one of a number of emergency measures imposed following the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people and injured hundreds. The ban…
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Often Denied Equal Rights to Property, Inheritance

Rural women and girls play vital roles in their families and communities. They produce food, gather water, provide care, and navigate myriad challenges from poverty to environmental disasters, due to climate change. Today marks the International…
Women prepare food in Hamdallaye village in the Boké region. Compensation payments for land lost to mining are often paid to male heads of household or linages, even where the land is utilized by entire families or households. January 2018.
News

New Nationality Law Fails to Recognize Equal Treatment for Women, Their Children and Spouses

The Emir of Qatar recently signed a flurry of laws, including one allowing children and spouses of Qatari women married to non-Qataris to acquire permanent residence status. While a step forward, the law falls short because…
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Tahira Safdar’s Confirmation Would Be an Important Step for Equal Participation

Pakistan’s chief justice has nominated Justice Tahira Safdar as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court. If confirmed, she will become the first woman in Pakistan ever to hold this office. Pakistan remains the only…
Judge Tahira Safdar sits in court in Quetta, Pakistan, November 23, 2015.
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Policy Bans Government Doctors from Conducting Abusive Tests

A new policy in Afghanistan promises to bar government health workers from engaging in the abusive practice of forcing women and girls to undergo invasive and medically meaningless vaginal and anal exams to determine whether they are “…
A demonstrator attends a rally outside the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Belgium, October 5, 2016.
News

Restrictions Discriminate Against and Isolate Muslim Women

On Thursday, Denmark became the latest in a string of European countries to ban the wearing of full-face coverings in public. Parliament voted overwhelmingly (75 to 30) to adopt legislation that will have a disproportionate impact on…
Women in niqab are pictured after the Danish Parliament banned the wearing of face veils in public, at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 31, 2018.
News

Supporting Land Rights an Important Step

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs committee approved a new bipartisan bill addressing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. It’s not comprehensive legislation on women’s economic empowerment – it doesn’t address…
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Authorities Should Promote Equal Participation in Elections

For the first time in more than 40 years, women turned out in significant numbers to vote in one of Pakistan’s districts. The vote for local government in Upper Dir district of Pakistan’s northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province…
A woman casts her ballot during elections for a new mayor in Karachi, Pakistan, December 5, 2015.
News

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

The Government Has Defined Harassment, But Abuse is Still Common

Any Afghan woman can tell you that sexual harassment is widespread in Afghanistan. A 2016 study found 90 percent of the 346 women and girls interviewed said they had experienced sexual harassment in public places, 91 percent in…
A demonstrator attends a rally outside the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Belgium, October 5, 2016.
News

South Korea Should Do More to Fight Sexual Harassment Assault

The allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein together with social media’s #metoo phenomenon, where hundreds of thousands of women and girls spoke out about their experiences of being sexually harassed or assaulted, have struck a real…
A woman takes part in a SlutWalk protest, in central Seoul July 16, 2011.
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.