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For Survivors of Abuse, Shelters Offered Lifeline

“My parents warned me they will kill me if I ever leave this shelter,” Najla, a woman of about 30, told me. “The worst thing is that I don’t have anyone to support me.” She has been in a shelter in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat for several years…
Afghan women sew in their bedroom at a women's shelter in Kabul, March 20, 2017. A non-descript building tucked away in a residential neighborhood is one of the few hidden sanctuaries where battered women can seek support. 
Report
Summary The international reconstruction effort in Afghanistan after 2001 created an opportunity to advance human rights, and women’s and girls’ rights in particular. Although its achievements have fallen short of what was envisioned, significant…
News

International Women’s Day Should Prompt Real Reforms

As 2020 drew to a close, protesters across South Asia took to the streets, calling on their governments to take widespread sexual violence against women and children seriously, and to implement real reforms. But rather than listening to experts and…
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News

Death Penalty Push Ignores Real Solutions to Regional Failings

(New York) – South Asian governments should disregard populist death penalty rhetoric and listen to their own experts to prevent and end sexual violence against women, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. Experts on sexual violence from…
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Report
Summary On April 7, 2016, soon after the end of evening prayers, Sadia, 27, heard her husband calling her to come down to the street. As she got to the door, however, he stood flanked by two men, blocking the exit. On her husband’s order, his…
Video
(নিউ ইয়র্ক) - বাংলাদেশের নারী ও মেয়েরা কোভিড -১৯ মহামারী চলাকালীন সময়ে বেশি মাত্রায় পারিবারিক সহিংসতার মুখোমুখি হচ্ছে, যা আইনী ব্যবস্থা গ্রহণ, সুরক্ষা এবং সামাজিক সেবার ক্ষেত্রে দীর্ঘমেয়াদী পদ্ধতিগত বাধাগুলিকে দৃষ্টিগোচর করছে, হিউম্যান রাইটস ওয়াচ আজ…
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(New York, October 29, 2020) – Women and girls in Bangladesh are facing increased domestic violence during the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting long-term systemic barriers to legal recourse, protection, and social services, Human Rights Watch said in a…
News

The Government Should Institute Real Reforms, Provide Services, Remove Barriers to Justice

The Bangladesh government has approved new measures to use the death penalty as punishment for rape, after widespread protests in response to several recent gang rape cases. It’s a bad decision, not only because capital punishment is inherently…
Students protest against an alleged gang-rape and brutal torture of a woman in the southern district of Noakhali, in Dhaka, Bangladesh on October 8, 2020. 
News

Government Should Respond with Overdue Reforms

(New York) – Protests in Bangladesh erupted this week after a video of a group of men attacking, stripping, and sexually assaulting a woman went viral, Human Rights Watch said today. Protesters called for the resignation of Home Minister Asaduzzaman…
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News

After Iranian women started sharing stories of sexual violence, the Iranian authorities have been forced to act.

Across the past three weeks, dozens of Iranian women of various backgrounds have taken to social media, in their own #MeToo moment, to report their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. The police have announced they have taken action against…
Iranian women wearing masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus walk at the Grand Bazaar in Tehran on February 20, 2020.
News

Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
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News

Young Woman Killed After Bringing Sexual Assault Complaint

(New York) – The Bangladesh government should thoroughly investigate the murder of a madrassa student and fairly prosecute all those responsible, Human Rights Watch said. The murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who was killed after she filed a…
Organizations hold a protest rally against the murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi in Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 12, 2019.
News

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

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
News

Abusive ‘Virginity Exams’ Re-Traumatize Victims

“I will never report such a case again,” said Farida, a midwife in rural Afghanistan, after a judge humiliated her in a public courtroom for her efforts to document a case of sexual assault involving two child victims. Farida…
An Afghan woman in Chaghchran capital of Ghor province June 2, 2014.
News

Soldiers Commit Gang Rape, Murder Children

(New York) – Burmese security forces have committed widespread rape against women and girls as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Rohingya Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. …
Rohingya women refugees who crossed the Naf River from Burma into Bangladesh continue inland toward refugee camps.
News
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh – In Bangladesh’s overflowing and squalid camps for the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fleeing the Burmese army’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, I met three remarkable women who told me their stories of horror and survival in the…
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News

Expulsions, Murder, Rape, Persecution of Rohingya

(New York) – Burmese security forces are committing crimes against humanity against the Rohingya population in Burma, Human Rights Watch said today. The military has committed forced deportation, murder, rape, and persecution against…
Rohingya refugees shortly after arrival in Bangladesh.