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Lawmakers Have Opportunity to Strengthen Flawed Law

Ainagul from Aktobe, Gulnara from Kostanai, Arailym from Almaty, and Madina from Karaganda: these women from cities across Kazakhstan share a painful connection. They are all survivors of domestic violence at the hands of their abusive partners or…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

Another Women’s Rights Group Could Be Labeled a “Foreign Agent”

In Russia, working to prevent and combat domestic violence can be considered a “political activity.” And that means risking state harassment and intimidation. The authorities are now targeting Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that…
The staff of Nasiliu.net center, an awareness-raising group that provides assistance to domestic violence survivors.  
News

Self-Defence Against Domestic Violence Should Count at Trial

Gulzhan Pasanova could spend 10 years in prison because in defending herself from her abusive husband, he died. On October 22, the Supreme Court of Kyrgyzstan will consider her case on appeal. In November 2019, Pasanova’s husband, accusing her of…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Government Should Implement Legislation, Address Gaps in Protection for Victims

This month, after years of activism, Kuwaiti women’s rights activists won a new law establishing protections against domestic violence. The need for this law was underscored on September 9 when Fatima al-Ajmi, aged 35 and pregnant, was shot repeatedly…
The Kuwait city skyline is seen through the haze of a sand storm in Shuwaikh, Kuwait City.
News

Ukraine Should Join The 34 Other European States That Have Ratified the Istanbul Convention

Violence against women and girls in Ukraine remains a serious problem. A 2019 study by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Ukraine found that two-thirds of women surveyed said they had “experienced psychological, physical or sexual…
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky looks on during a press conference in the garden of the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv, May 22, 2020.
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Man Who Abused Wife in Viral Video Sentenced to Probation Only

After years of monitoring violence against women in Kyrgyzstan, and seeing little done to punish abusers, we thought this time might finally be different. It wasn’t. It looked like an open and shut case. The horrific abuse was captured on video…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan. © Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Public Abuse of Dead Woman’s Mother Will Deter Others Seeking Help

Two weeks ago, Madina Umaeva, 23, died in Russia’s Chechen Republic under suspicious circumstances. She had previously complained to family members about her husband repeatedly beating her. On the day she died, neighbors heard screams from her house…
The head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, on December 13, 2011.
News

Calls to Strengthen Justice and Support for Abuse Survivors

A video depicting horrific domestic abuse, circulating recently on social media in Kyrgyzstan, shows a man slapping his wife and pouring water over her head. The woman’s hands are tied behind her back, and tires, weighted down with stones, hang over her…
An artistic representation of a domestic violence case in Kyrgyzstan.
News

Government Blocks Key Treaty as Covid-19 Exposes Scale of Domestic Abuse

Amidst a disturbing global uptick in reports of domestic violence during Covid-19 lockdowns, Hungary has taken a leap backwards in protecting women. On May 5, parliament, where ruling party Fidesz has a two-thirds majority, blocked…
Candles and silhouettes representing victims are placed during a rally to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women outside the Parliament in Budapest, Hungary, November 25, 2018.
News

Government Should Ensure Protection for Survivors During COVID-19 Lockdown

While Kazakhstan authorities fight the spread of coronavirus by putting much of the country under lockdown, they should ensure domestic violence victims can still access refuge and services despite quarantine measures. On…
A woman rides a bus wearing face protective mask amid concerns over the coronavirus, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, March 16, 2020.
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
News

Domestic Violence Services Need to Be Classified As “Essential”

Under Kyrgyzstan’s present state of emergency, which includes a curfew from 8pm to 7am, it has become a lot more difficult for women to escape domestic violence. Many are too afraid to call the police or help centres, says Tolkun…
Cartoon about Domestic Violence by Tatiana Zelenskaya
News

Government Response to European Court Defies Belief – and the Facts

According to Russian authorities, men in Russia are more likely to suffer from discrimination in domestic violence cases – an outrageous claim that flies in the face of the facts. The dubious statement is part of Russia’s…
A A protest performance staged by women’s rights activists in Saint Petersburg after Russia’s adoption of domestic violence legislation, January 2017.
News

UN Body Criticizes Domestic Violence Record, Urges Protection for Women with Disabilities

The United Nation’s top women rights body has criticized Kazakhstan’s government over its poor record on domestic violence and protecting women with disabilities. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has…
Participants protest against discrimination and gender-based violence during a rally held by members of feminist organizations and social activists in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
News

European Rights Body Issues Key Opinion

A human rights expert body has hopefully put to rest harmful myths circulating in Armenia about a European treaty on combatting violence against women. Domestic violence is a persistent problem in Armenia, where at least 10 women were…
Taguhi shows scars on her neck and shoulder.
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.
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Five Executed in 2018 for Crimes Committed Before Age 18

Last week, Iranian authorities executed Zeinab Sakaavand for allegedly murdering her husband when she was 17. During her trial the court discounted Sakaavand’s claims that her husband frequently beat and abused her. She was only 15 when…
Iran's national flags are seen on a square in Tehran February 10, 2012.
News

Iraq’s New Parliament Should Prioritize Passage of Domestic Violence Law

The horrific case of an Iraqi woman apparently murdered at home should prompt Iraq’s new parliament, once formed, to finally pass a draft domestic violence law which has been pending since 2015. According to Iraqi media and…
Demonstrators in Baghdad call International Women's Day a "day of mourning" in protest of Iraq's new draft Jaafari Personal Status Law.
News

Government Should Do More to End ‘Bride Kidnapping,’ Protect Victims

The 20-year-old woman from Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, was headed for a medical career and marriage to the man she loved. Instead, she was murdered by a jealous admirer who had “bride kidnapped” her to force her into marriage. It is…
Screenshot from a video showing a photograph of Burulai Turdaaly Kyzy.
News

Groundbreaking 2009 Law Hasn’t Brought Justice for Victims

It seemed like a breakthrough. In 2009, when then-President Hamid Karzai signed Afghanistan’s Law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW Law), women’s rights activists celebrated a hard-won victory. They looked to a future…
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