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Few Toilets, No Menstrual Hygiene Supplies

When “Mi Mi” (a pseudonym) prepared for anti-coup demonstrations in Yangon in late February, she carefully chose to wear a pair of jeans and sneakers so she could run from the abusive security forces. The last thing on her mind was to carry menstrual…
An official with a megaphone during the release of prisoners from Insein prison after a presidential pardon in Yangon
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Workers Fear Increase in Union Busting at Factories During Covid-19 Lockdown

In previous years on May 1, workers across Myanmar would rally and march in solidarity for workers’ rights and justice. But this May Day the streets will be quiet, as no marches are allowed with Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews in place. Most…
Workers shout slogans during a May Day march in Yangon, Myanmar, May 1, 2019.
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Amendment to Discriminatory Citizenship Law a Victory For Women’s Activism

After more than a decade of women’s rights activism, Iran’s Guardian Council has finally approved an amendment that would grant Iranian citizenship to the children of Iranian women married to foreign men. The Guardian Council was the…
Girl and women ride on a bus in Tehran © Reuters
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Sahar Faced Return to Jail for ‘Wearing Improper Hijab’ at Stadium

  Update: Sahar—also known as the “blue girl" for the color of her favorite team, Esteqlal of Tehran—died September 9 as a result of her injuries, Iran media reported In March, Sahar was arrested by…
Iran women FIVB
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Court Sentences Three Activists for Protesting Compulsory Hijab

Iran’s latest crackdown on women has taken place in the quiet of a courtroom. On July 31, a court in Tehran sentenced three women – including a mother and daughter – to prison for protesting laws that make wearing a hijab compulsory.…
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Allegations of Sale of Women to China Echo Abuses Elsewhere

Pakistan’s government should be alarmed by recent reports of trafficking of women and girls to China. These allegations are disturbingly similar to the pattern of trafficking of “brides” to China from at least five other Asian countries…
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Overwhelming Evidence of Military Role in Hundreds of Sexual Assaults

Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary, the government of Myanmar denies their armed forces raped Rohingya women and girls in a campaign of ethnic cleansing that forced more than 740,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee the country…
A Rohingya woman walks through Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, March 22, 2018.
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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.
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Montreal Summit Provides Important Platform to Support Global Justice

In a first-of-its-kind summit, the world’s female foreign ministers will meet in Montreal today and tomorrow to discuss a range of global challenges, from advancing peace and security to eliminating violence against women and girls in…
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Ban Marriage for Anyone under 18

When the news broke last week that a 41-year-old man from Kelantan had married an 11-year-old girl, alarm bells went off in Malaysia’s newly elected government as well as among nongovernmental groups. The Kelantan state police started …
Jina, a 22-year-old transgender woman, sports a tattoo of a butterfly—a transgender symbol signifying transformation.
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How Unions Help Workers Worldwide

How can a mango craving spiral into a labor dispute? I was talking with garment workers in Cambodia when I heard the mango story. A pregnant garment worker had been caught sneaking mangoes into the factory despite a rule forbidding food…
Garment workers take part in a May Day demonstration in Phnom Penh, Cambodia May 1, 2017.
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Secretary-General Report Details Sexual Violence as Weapon of War

The United Nations secretary-general for the first time has included Myanmar’s military, or Tatmadaw, in his annual list of parties that have committed sexual violence in armed conflict. Presented today to the UN Security Council, the…
Rohingya refugees walk across a bamboo bridge in the Kutupalong camp in Bangladesh, February 11, 2018.
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Refugees from Burma Lack Access to Crucial Services

“Sanctuary.” What does that mean to you? Probably not a massive camp made of bamboo and tarps with muddy paths, exposed to torrential rains and disease. But for more than 650,000 Rohingya refugees who fled the Burmese…
Rohingya refugees walk inside Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh January 8, 2018.
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President Rouhani Having ‘Reservations’ Despite Campaign Promises

President Hassan Rouhani is expected to introduce nominees for his second-term cabinet in the coming weeks, and the question on many minds is whether a woman will be appointed minister. During the election campaign, Rouhani…
Supporters of Iran's President Hassan Rouhani carry pictures of him as they celebrate his victory in the presidential elections, in the streets of Tehran, Iran, May 20, 2017.
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Men Try to Avoid Rape Charges Through Forced Child Marriage

Survivors of rape often say they are left with devastating, sometimes lifelong, trauma. One woman who was sexually assaulted in Iraq described her feelings this way: “I have no past and no future at the moment. I am stuck in my anger and…
A woman walks past birdcages after she crossed the border from Malaysia into Thailand in Sungai Kolok in southern Narathiwat province March 8, 2013.
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On September 30, a young woman delivered a stillborn child in Euromieh central prison, in northern Iran. That would be tragic for any mother, but in Zeinab Sekaanvand’s case, the tragedy is runs even deeper: the delivery brings her one step closer to the…
Zeinab Sokian
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Last week in Burma’s commercial capital, Rangoon, the Ta-ang Women’s Organization had to cancel the launch of a report because the authorities deemed its subject matter too sensitive. The report, “Trained to Torture,” documents Burmese military abuses…
A woman is silhouetted as she stands outside her hut near the bank of Yangon River March 18, 2012.
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This week, Sepp Blatter, the chief of FIFA, the international governing body for football, appealed to Iran to end its longstanding stadium ban for women. Since the 1980s, Iran, like Saudi Arabia, has barred women and girls from attending men’s football…
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An enduring feature of Burma is the authorities’ willingness to arrest people for protesting a crime that the authorities would rather keep to themselves. The latest example is four women in remote Chin State who were arrested in late June for arranging…
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Buddhist women in Burma should not be stripped of their right to freedom of choice in life-changing matters like marriage. Yet that is precisely what U Wirathu, a nationalist Buddhist monk, is pushing Burma’s parliament to do. Wirathu is mobilizing about…