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Allegations Against NY Governor Cuomo Highlight Need for Real Protections

The sexual harassment accusations against New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo are mounting as women turn to the media — on Twitter, in a personal essay, and in high-profile interviews with national news outlets — to detail their allegations against…
Lindsey Boylan, a former state economic development adviser for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, speaks in front of microphones and a crowd of people holding signs at a rally in New York City, March 20, 2021. 
News

Abortion Restrictions Defeated; Paid Family Leave, Mandatory Sex Education Adopted

With all eyes seemingly on the US presidential election, it’s easy to miss some of the exciting progress made on gender equality at the state level. Colorado voters had two big initiatives on their ballot, one to expand paid family and medical…
Boxes of vote-by-mail ballot envelopes are shown at the King County election headquarters in Renton, Washington, October 23, 2020. 
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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.
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Supporting Land Rights an Important Step

Earlier this week, the House Foreign Affairs committee approved a new bipartisan bill addressing women’s entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. It’s not comprehensive legislation on women’s economic empowerment – it doesn’t address…
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The Government Has Defined Harassment, But Abuse is Still Common

Any Afghan woman can tell you that sexual harassment is widespread in Afghanistan. A 2016 study found 90 percent of the 346 women and girls interviewed said they had experienced sexual harassment in public places, 91 percent in…
A demonstrator attends a rally outside the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Belgium, October 5, 2016.
News

Holds Hearings on State’s Role in CIA Secret Renditions Program

There’s been no justice for victims of the US Central Intelligence Agency’s rendition, torture, and secret detention program created after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. But a unique citizen-led initiative in North…
The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in Langley, Virginia, U.S. on August 14, 2008.
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Bradbury Confirmation Disregards Key Role in Detainee Abuse

The United States Senate’s reluctance to address past US use of torture was on shocking display during the confirmation of an official who had provided legal cover for so-called, “enhanced interrogation techniques,” in the years after…
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Robot Visits US, Afghan Girls Stuck at Home

We want to make a difference and most breakthroughs in science, technology, and other industries normally start with the dream of a child to do something great.  – Team Afghanistan’s statement on the competition website They…
Members of Afghan robotics girls team which was denied entry into the United States for a competition, work on their robots in Herat province, Afghanistan July 4, 2017.
News

US Should Stop Supporting Kandahar Strongman

When it comes to cosying up to alleged torturers in Afghanistan, the United States military has been a slow learner. The US-led NATO Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan just published a photo of Gen. John Nicholson, commander…
A photo depicting General John Nicholson, Commander of United States forces in Afghanistan (C) with Kandahar's General Abdul Raziq (R).
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Evidence of US Complicity in Abuses by UAE and Yemeni Forces

The Associated Press reported today that US forces were involved in the interrogation of detainees held in secret prisons in Yemen where torture is widespread. The centers are run by United Arab Emirati (UAE) and UAE-backed Yemeni…
An Emirati and South Yemen flag painted in Yemen’s port city of Aden. By 2017, Emirati and South Yemen flags flew in many parts of Aden, which President Hadi declared the temporary capital of Yemen after Houthi-Saleh forces took over Sanaa in 2014.
News

UN Committee Calls for Action against Gen. Abdul Raziq

When the United Nations Committee against Torture grilled Afghanistan’s delegation last month about government efforts to curb torture, members asked about one person in particular: Gen. Abdul Raziq. That was no accident. Raziq, the…
General Abdul Raziq, Afghan National Police chief for the southern city of Kandahare, addresses officers during their graduation ceremony at the Kandahar Regional Training Center in southern Afghanistan, Jun. 7, 2012.
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Gorsuch’s Record, Views Raise Concerns About His Opposition to ‘Enhanced Interrogation’

US Senator Dianne Feinstein and others have expressed important reservations over Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s record and views on torture during the confirmation process. I cannot support the nomination of Judge Gorsuch for the…
U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Neil Gorsuch speaks at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2017.
News

The Paycheck Fairness Act Would Help Protect Working Women’s Rights

Today is “Equal Pay Day,” symbolizing how far past 2016 and into 2017 women in the United States, on average, have to work to earn as much as men did in 2016. In other words, to bring home what men earn in 12 months, women have to work for more than 15…
A mother and her daughter participate in the International Women's Day "A Day Without a Woman" protest in Los Angeles, California, U.S., March 8, 2017.
News

Sexist Remarks Are No Joke

As the issue of sexual harassment takes center stage in the US presidential election, many Africans were deeply shocked over sexist and offensive remarks today by one of Africa’s few democratically elected presidents. …
Kenya's Lands Minister and principal secretary in the Lands and Physical Planning Ministry welcome a group of women on October 13, 2016 who will climb Mount Kilimanjaro on October 14 as part of a campaign for land rights in Nairobi, Kenya.
News

Hekmatyar Deal an Affront to Victims of Grave Abuses

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of Afghanistan’s most notorious war crimes suspects, who as prime minister in 1992 shelled his own capital, is coming home after decades in exile, thanks to a peace deal with the national unity government. His return will compound…
Former Afghan Prime Minister Gulbuddin Hekmatyar speaks to a Reuters correspondent in Tehran Febuary 5, 2002.
News
The United States government just opened the door a crack to justice for the torture of scores of men in CIA custody under its infamous detention and interrogation program. For the first time, the Justice Department didn’t effectively block a lawsuit by…
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The Afghan government has struggled to explain an incident of police torture documented in a video  circulated this week on social media. The two-minute video, filmed on a smart phone, shows police dragging a suspect…
Screenshot of a video apparently showing Afghan police in Kandahar abusing a detainee.
News
Emily, a widow from rural western Kenya, lived and farmed on her husband’s land for more than 30 years. While her husband was alive, they lived comfortably, and her four children were happy in school. This ended abruptly when her husband died, and her in-…
Female farmers resettled to Mwaladzi received land with poor access to water and limited productivity. The compensation package also included a new house.
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New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged yesterday to prioritize passing a paid family leave law this year. In his State of the State address, he reflected on his own father’s death last year. He lamented that many New Yorkers cannot take time off…
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Back in 2009 when Italy convicted a number of CIA officials in absentia for abducting a cleric and sending him off to Egypt where he was severely tortured, no one thought that the CIA officials would ever face the music. That may change with the arrest in…