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Bill Aims to Increase Access to Life-saving Cancer Screenings for Women

Today, California Congressman Jimmy Gomez and Washington Senator Patty Murray will introduce the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019. Named after Jeannette Acosta, a former congressional employee who passed away after…
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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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Women and Girls Still Suffer From Lack of Support in Managing Menstruation

The biological fact of menstruation shouldn’t be a barrier to gender equality or stymie women’s and girls’ realization of their human rights. Yet many studies have documented how girls and women are able – or not – to manage their…
A woman fetches water from a partially submerged hand pump in a flood-affected village in Sonitpur district in the northeastern state of Assam, India, September 11, 2017.
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Baseless Claims Made That Fund Supports Coercive Abortion, Sterilization

While attention has been focused on the tumult around US President Donald Trump’s firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US officials quietly renewed a decision made last year to block funding for the UN Population Fund – known as…
Syrian women sit in the waiting area to see a female doctor at a maternity clinic run by United Nations Population Fund inside Jordan's Al Zaatari refugee camp, which houses nearly 80,000 Syrian refugees, in Mafraq, Jordan November 22, 2016.
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African Governments Should Do More to End Female Genital Mutilation

Bahati was 10 years old when she was told she should “get prepared to become a real Maasai woman.” She knew what this meant. Her sister had been told the same thing when she had turned 10. “They cut her and forced her to marry a month later,” Bahati…
Pion H., 12, was 10-years-old when her father tried to force her to undergo female genital mutilation (FG M) and marry a much older man.
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Future Whistleblowers Are Watching

Update: On Friday, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to President Obama urging that he commute the sentence of Chelsea Manning. On January 17, President Obama ordered Manning be freed, having served nearly 7 years of her sentence, on May 17, 2017, rather…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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Woman’s death in a ‘menstruation hut’ in Nepal shines light on dangerous taboo

Dambara Upadhyay died alone aged 26 in a tiny mud hut she was banished to, just meters from her in-laws as her family slept. Her death has forced Nepal’s government to examine a practice that isolates and stigmatizes women and girls, pushes them out of…
A chaupadi hut, in a family's yard, where female members of the family are obliged to sleep during their menstrual periods. Kailali district, western Nepal.
News

Real Oversight and Reform on Surveillance Needed in the US

What a coincidence – just as we launch a Campaign to Pardon Edward Snowden, and as the new Oliver Stone movie opens, the House Intelligence Committee issues a report arguing against clemency for Snowden, alleging overwhelming damage he supposedly caused…
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Sign Petition to Bring Whistleblower Home

Today, Human Rights Watch joins the American Civil Liberties Union, and Amnesty International in launching a public campaign urging President Obama to pardon whistleblower Edward Snowden. It’s been more than three years since…
A supporter of Edward Snowden holds a combination photo featuring U.S. President Barack Obama and Edward Snowden, during a news conference in Hong Kong on June 14, 2013.
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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.
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When Pion was 10 years old, her grandmother said it was time for her to get married and become a “real” woman. Pion was terrified; she knew what that meant – having her genitalia cut, a practice called female genital mutilation (FGM). In the Kilimanjaro…
Pion H., 12, was 10-years-old when her father tried to force her to undergo female genital mutilation (FG M) and marry a much older man.
News
Today marks two years since the first of Edward Snowden’s revelations about United States government surveillance shocked the world. Yet despite the international debate on privacy and the proper role of government surveillance that his disclosures set in…
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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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Back in 2008, just minutes after President George W. Bush signed amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law, Human Rights Watch and other human rights, media, and legal groups brought a constitutional challenge to the sweeping powers…
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Today an Egyptian court convicted two people of carrying out female genital mutilation (FGM). These are the first convictions for FGM since Egypt criminalized the practice in 2008 but two convictions in seven years aren’t enough in a country with an…
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“What’s so scary about smart girls?” The question was posed by a donor representative speaking at the Girl Summit 2014 this week in London. The speaker’s answer to his own question – that smart girls can change the world – matched the mood of…
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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…
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Edward Snowden’s revelations changed the world, awakening us to a profound but insidious peril. Since last June when his first accounts of National Security Agency mass surveillance became public, we have learned how vulnerable our everyday digital…
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While not present in person, Edward Snowden’s figurative presence permeated this year’s annual Stockholm Internet Forum. Unlike past years, where optimism about Internet-driven opportunities for economic development and social innovation were…
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Momentum is building for the US to offer some kind of amnesty or clemency to former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden. Both the New York Times and the Guardian came out in support of the idea last week. And even Rick Ledgett, head…