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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
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

Taken From Philippines in Transit; Faces Harm, Criminal Charges

(Manila) – A fleeing Saudi woman faces grave risks after being returned to Saudi Arabia against her will while in transit in the Philippines, Human Rights Watch said today. Saudi authorities should ensure that Dina Ali Lasloom, 24, is…
A photo of Dina Ali Lasloom’s boarding pass from Kuwait to the Philippines.
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Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade. Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel abroad, marry, or be released…
Report
Summary We all have to live in the borders of the boxes our dads or husbands draw for us. —Zahra, 25-year-old Saudi woman, April 7, 2016 It can mess with your head and the way you look at yourself. How do you respect yourself or how [can…
News
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.
News

Gulf Countries Should Improve Laws, Ratify Treaty

(Beirut) – Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) should bring their national laws on domestic workers up to the standards set by the International Labour Organization (ILO) Domestic Workers Convention. All six countries should ratify the…
News

Absence of Enforcement Mechanism Will Inhibit Effectiveness

(Beirut) – Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers broke new ground on August 26, 2013, by passing a draft law criminalizing domestic abuse. The law, however, does not detail specific enforcement mechanisms to ensure prompt investigations of abuse allegations…
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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…
News

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…
News
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…
News
In Norway on Saturday, three women stepped up to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011. The awarding of the Nobel to Leymah Gbowee, Tawakkul Karman and Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is a long-awaited and, some may think, overdue testament to women's courage.…
News

Fathers Imprison Adult Daughters, Prevent Marriage, Obtain Grandchildren's Custody

(New York) - Saudi judges have repeatedly granted fathers the right to interfere arbitrarily in their adult children's private lives, in serious violation of their right to privacy and to establish families freely, Human Rights Watch said today. Fathers…
News

Evidence Shows Male Permission Still Being Required for Surgery, Travel

(New York) - Saudi officials continue to require women to obtain permission from male guardians to conduct their most basic affairs, like traveling or receiving medical care, despite government assertions that no such requirements exist, Human Rights…
Report
Glossary of Key Terms Ahliyya Legal capacity to act in legal or financial transactions. Madhhab School of Islamic law or jurisprudence. Mu'arif A male relative able to verify the identity of a …
News
President Yoweri Museveni recently said the Domestic Relations Bill, which would bolster women's rights in the family and criminalize marital rape, is "not urgently needed." But what could be more urgent than stopping the brutal violence that puts women…
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Contested Bill Would Criminalize Marital Rape, Help Combat HIV/AIDS

Legislation on marital rape and equality in the family could save the lives of countless women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the speaker of Uganda's Parliament.   The letter urged the Ugandan parliament to debate the long-pending…
News

Letter to the Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda

Hon. Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda P.O.Box 7178, Kampala Uganda Via Post and e-mail (speaker@parliament.go.ug) Re: Domestic Relations Bill and Marital Rape Your Excellency: We write to urge you to ensure that the Domestic…