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The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
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  “If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She…
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“If I looked nice, he hit me,” Ana L., a mother of five in Colombia, told me. Ana (not her real name) detailed years of abuse by her partner. He beat her when she was pregnant, and hit her head so hard that she suffered permanent vision damage. She sought…
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Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
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Like many white South Africans of the time, I grew up in a home with a domestic worker who washed the dishes, made our beds, ironed our clothes and cleaned up after us. Emily, whose surname I never knew, lived in the small servant’s quarters behind our…
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Liesl Gerntholtz says even though there are huge violations against some domestic workers, there has been progress. (SABC interview) Liesl Gerntholtz, the Director of the Women's Rights Division of Human Rights Watch, says one of the major problems…
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It’s the Americas’ largest reunion. Happening every three years, the Summit of the Americas brings together the heads-of-state of the region to talk about pressing concerns. Over the weekend in Cartagena, Colombia, the theme will be “Connecting the…
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For years now, women’s groups in Southern Africa have campaigned tirelessly to ensure that the Southern African Development Community adopt the Protocol on Gender and Development. Yesterday, the SADC finally took that historic step. Member states will be…
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Summit Leaders Should Act on Equality for Women

(Johannesburg) - Southern African leaders should adopt the proposed Gender and Development Protocol at their upcoming summit after amending it to include crucial provisions deleted in 2007, Human Rights Watch said today. One of the most important…
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A middle-aged black woman living on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal described how the new owner of the farm assaulted her in 1999: The farmer was on the riverbank. When I got to him I crossed the river to the fence separating us. The farmer was standing on the…
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The South African government is failing to adequately protect residents of commercial farming areas from violent crime, Human Rights Watch charged in a report released today. Black farm residents are most severely affected by this failure, and black women…
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Women victims of rape or assault in South Africa face a criminal justice system that is too often unable or unwilling to assist them in their efforts to seek redress. In Violence against Women and the Medico-Legal System in South Africa, released to…
Report
This report focuses mainly on one aspect of the criminal justice system and its handling of violence against women: the performance of those involved in the provision of medical expertise to the courts when it is alleged that women have been abused.…