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My dad’s hearty laugh and sparkling eyes faded—and his care needs grew—as dementia set in. For his last few years, my dad lived in a care facility. The memory care unit staff treated him well. But he needed more than the staff. He needed…
Dementia
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On December 10, the world marks 70 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Regrettably, instead of the anniversary signalling the enduring impact of human rights, some are fearing the “end of human rights.” Here we…
201806asia_bangladesh_refugees
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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…
201709asia_burma_Rashida
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In late December, two young women fled Burma's Rakhine State for Bangladesh, making a gruelling journey by foot, a smuggler's rickety boat, and rickshaw into an uncertain future. The women, from Burma's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, had fled…
A Rohingya Muslim woman walks at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, on February 4, 2017.
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Proposals Threaten Women’s Health, Safety, and Rights

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody.” So said Donald Trump during his presidential campaign. But Trump's other words and actions during and before the campaign made a mockery of that statement. We all know his record: the public…
Women take part in a protest against then Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outside the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. October 18, 2016
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Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch received a letter from a woman who explained she had been brutally gang raped by strangers in an abandoned lot in Tulsa in 1971, when she was 12 years old. Though she had been literally torn open by the assault, she…
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Each week seems to bring news of sexual assaults being handled badly by college campuses across the country. I just received an email from my own alma mater, Brown University, reassuring its alumni that the attacker in a recent case will not, in fact, be…
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One of the first things I learned in my training as a volunteer for a New York City hospital's rape crisis center was that sexual assaults are often shrouded in silence. For some survivors, women and men alike, the silence is partial. They can't bring…
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In the 50 years since Betty Friedan’s "Feminine Mystique" opened a discussion of the oppression behind the American ideal of domesticity, we have seen significant progress in how society views violence against women, particularly violence in the home. The…
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In spring 2011, a federal government employee in her 30s was sexually assaulted in the District by a man she met on an Internet dating site. At Washington Hospital Center, where she went for a forensic exam so medical personnel could collect evidence from…
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Voices from across the political spectrum condemned the Missouri Senate candidate for Senate, Todd Akin, for his recent offensive and scientifically inaccurate reasoning to deny rape survivors’ access to abortion. Akin said women’s bodies “shut down” and…
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"He moves things around in the diaper bag," Elsa M. says and her eyes anxiously shift from the child on her lap to the bag by the door. "Even this scares me. I get scared about little things like that because I don't know what his intentions are, after…
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Four years ago, "Patricia M." was working in an almond orchard in California. She was 23 years old, had come from Mexico only two years earlier and had no family in the United States. She says the foreman "bothered" her at first, offering her food and…
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The bill to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) faces a likely vote in the Senate next week, but its provisions that would assist immigrant women who are victims of violence have drawn some inexplicable opposition. The country’s single most…