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Legalize Abortion for Rape Survivors and Others

Sri Lanka has among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world, so Justice Minister Ali Sabry’s recent call for parliament to consider legalizing abortion in cases of rape is a significant development. The government should move promptly to…
A protester holds a sign that reads "Our Silence, Our Strength"
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Summit Meeting Key Opportunity to Address Vaccine Inequities

Leaders from the “Quad” countries – the United States, Japan, India, and Australia – will hold their first in-person summit in Washington, DC, on September 24, amid a global Covid-19 vaccine shortage crisis and deeply inequitable access to vaccines.…
Activists stand outside Pfizer Headquarters demanding US President Joe Biden support the "TRIPS Waiver" in New York, NY on April 22, 2021.
News

Authorities Should Address Sexual Violence, Ensure Justice

Protests over sexual assault have renewed in India’s capital, Delhi, after a 9-year-old Dalit girl was killed on Sunday. Her family alleges that she was raped and murdered while fetching water from a crematorium in southwest Delhi. The crematorium’s…
Activists hold a candlelight march protesting the alleged rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in New Delhi, India on August 4, 2021. 
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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Authorities Blame Critics After Rape and Murder in Uttar Pradesh State

The rape, torture, and murder of a 19-year-old Dalit woman allegedly by a group of dominant-caste men in the village of Hathras, in India’s Uttar Pradesh state, has sparked widespread outrage. People across the country are protesting, demanding…
Chandrashekhar Azad, leader of the Bhim Army, a party advocating for the rights of Dalits, speaks during a protest against the gang rape and killing of a Dalit woman in Uttar Pradesh state, in New Delhi, India, October 2, 2020. 
News

Enforce Laws, Create Protection Systems for Children

Protests broke out in the Maldives recently after the rape of a 2-year-old girl. She had apparently been attacked by her father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all of whom were arrested. Her 82-year-old great grandfather had previously been…
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Enforce Laws to Protect Women’s Safety

The 27-year-old veterinarian had called her family to say she was stranded with a flat tire in India’s Hyderabad city, and that a truck driver and his friends had offered to help. Then she stopped answering her phone. Later…
People shout slogans condemning rising cases of rape and violence against women during a protest in Ahmedabad, India, December 2, 2019.
News

Proposed Reparations Bill Chance to Compensate Post-Election Rape Survivors

This weekend, I received the sad news that Chepkorir had died. Chepkorir, whose name I have changed to protect her privacy, was raped in December 2007. The men who raped her beat her badly and she had been struggling with poor health…
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Emergency Measure Targets Muslim Women

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered a ban on face coverings in public as one of a number of emergency measures imposed following the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people and injured hundreds. The ban…
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News

Some Survivors of Sexual Violence Spend Years Awaiting Compensation

Good things happen to those who wait – or so the saying goes. However, women and girls who are survivors of sexual violence in India can spend years waiting for justice. In 2014, 13-year-old “Razia,” who lives in a…
A young girl with long hair portraid from behind, in front of a field.
News

Concerns Over Vigilante Violence, Data Protection, and Privacy Rights

The Indian government’s plan to develop a national registry of sexual offenders is raising a slew of concerns, from data breaches to violations of privacy protections, including for individuals who were never convicted of a sexual offense. …
Schoolgirls participate in a protest rally against the rape of two teenage girls in Chatra and Pakur districts of Jharkhand state, in Ranchi, India May 8, 2018.
News

Need to Enforce Existing Laws to Protect Women and Children

Reeling from protests across the country demanding justice for victims in the recent  spate of sexual assaults, Indian authorities are under pressure to respond. One step the government has decided to adopt is a sex offenders’ database…
Women hold candles as they shout slogans during a protest against the rape of a ten-year-old girl, in the outskirts of Delhi, India April 25, 2018.
News

Lawyers Try to Block Police from Filing Charges Against Hindu Suspects

A heated scene outside a courthouse in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state unfolded yesterday, as lawyers physically attempted to stop police from filing charges against six men and a boy accused of raping and murdering Asifa Bano, an 8-…
Lawyers clash with police outside a courthouse in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, April 9, 2018.
News

More Protection, Support for Victims Needed

Human Rights Watch research confirms that, once again, there was sexual violence against women and girls during the most recent post-election violence in Kenya. I interviewed over 50 victims and witnesses in Mathare, Kisumu, Bungoma, and Dandora.…
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Protecting Children of Rape, the Invisible Victims of Conflict and Political Violence

Akinyi was only 11 years old when three men broke into her home in Kericho, Kenya, in December 2007, as post-election violence raged, and gang raped her and her mother. Akinyi became pregnant, but did not want anything to do with the baby girl she bore.…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News

Desperate Patients Trapped by Two-month Stand-off, Ensuing Life or Death Medical Crisis

“I am staring death in the face. We are dying one by one,” Rose Adhiambo told us. “My friend, a cancer patient like me, was buried today. I am stuck in this private hospital now with bills that I cannot pay.” Rose, a 46-year-old…
Kenyan doctors chant slogans to demand fulfilment of a 2013 agreement between their union and the government that would raise their pay and improve working conditions outside the employment and labour relations courts in Nairobi, Kenya, January 26, 2017.
News

Authorities Should Redouble Efforts to End Abuses Against Women, Girls

A 24/7 helpline for cows? No, this isn’t a joke. The Haryana state government in India has created a new helpline to report cow slaughter and smuggling. Last month, a group calling itself Gau Rakshaks (literally, “cow protectors”) beat up two…
Activists from All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA) shout slogans as they carry placards outside the Haryana Bhawan during a protest in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016 demanding a probe into what they said were rapes and sexual assaults in
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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