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An Important Step Toward Ending Widespread Abuses Against Women

This week the Judicial Commission of Pakistan, the highest body recommending judicial appointments, will consider the nomination of Justice Ayesha Malik to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, she would become the first woman appointed to the court.…
Justice Ayesha Malik Supreme Court Pakistan
News

UK Parliament Needs to Act Fast to Save Lives

The United Kingdom government’s recently published data revealing that people with disabilities account for 59 percent of all Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales between March and July 2020 should shock us all. But this devastating data is just…
A man wears a protective face mask as he drives a mobility scooter in central Leeds on the morning of March 21, 2020.
News

Government Should Ensure Children’s Right to Food During Covid-19

As children across England return to school this week, the government should prove it has learned from its mistakes after school closures during Covid-19 left pupils going hungry. Department for Education (DfE) guidance published late last week, just…
Students wash their hands as they arrive on the first day back to school at Charles Dickens Primary School in London, England, September 1, 2020.
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Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
News

Response to Pandemic Is Endangering People’s Health

  Pakistan’s Supreme Court this week justified reopening shopping malls by claiming that Pakistan “is not … seriously affected” by Covid-19 and that there is no pandemic in the country. In fact, Pakistan has had at…
People rush to shop for the Eid holiday that marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan after the government relaxed a weeks-long lockdown that was enforced to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Quetta, Pakistan, May 18, 2020
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Fighting Pandemic Should Not Mean Other Problems Are Ignored

More than 40,000 people dead. Hard decisions about how to relax a lockdown that has confined millions to their homes. Covid-19 understandably continues to dominate headlines and the focus of United Kingdom policymakers. That applies to human…
A man wheels his suitcase across Westminster Bridge looking towards the Houses of Parliament, at would normally be rush hour as the lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus continues in London, March 30, 2020.
News

Protect Health Workers, Ensure Essential Medical Care During Pandemic

With one of the highest maternal mortality rates in South Asia, Pakistan was already in crisis before the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, the reported closing of maternity wards in Islamabad, the capital, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa…
Pakistani women wearing face masks leave the Aga Khan hospital where a patient suspected of having contracted coronavirus was admitted, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020.
News

Journalists Assaulted, Threatened, Harassed

Kenyan media didn’t have much to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day. Kenyan police and senior state officials have continued to intimidate, threaten, and physically attack journalists reporting on sensitive issues, and authorities have done…
Ferry passengers flee from police firing tear gas, after new measures aimed at halting the spread of the new coronavirus instead caused a crowd to form outside the ferry in Mombasa, Kenya Friday, March 27, 2020.
News

Lockdown Measures Increase Risks for Women and Girls

For 4 days, Juliet M., a 16-year-old Kenyan, was held captive by a man and sexually assaulted. She was rescued by neighbors and is now being cared for in a safe house in Nairobi. The attacker reportedly said he kidnapped her because he needed…
Kenyans make their way home before the daily dusk-to-dawn curfew in Nairobi, Kenya, April 6, 2020.
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Authorities Should Investigate Claims of Excessive Force, Abuse

Kenyan authorities have started enforcing a dusk to dawn curfew, just days after the country recorded its first corona-related death. The curfew was announced on March 25 for an unspecified period. Kenya has 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19 but…
Kenyan police carrying batons and teargas patrol looking for people out after curfew in the Kibera slum, or informal settlement, of Nairobi, Kenya, March 29, 2020.
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Rest of UK, Europe Should Follow

The UK’s Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed it will allow women in England temporarily to manage medical abortions at home in light of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Health authorities in Northern Ireland,…
Demonstrators take part in the Abortion Rights Campaign's annual March for Choice, September 29, 2018.
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Societal Discrimination Compounds Health Risks

A high-ranking official in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, reassured the transgender community there that the government would support them during a province-wide lockdown due to COVID-19. Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Shalwani told…
Transgender people wearing face masks as a precaution against COVID-19 take selfies at a park in Peshawar, Pakistan, March 20, 2020.
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Mitigate Impact of Coronavirus Containment Measures on Poor Families

Update March 19: On March 18, the UK government announced that schools would close on March 20 until further notice for the vast majority of pupils. Limited school places will remain open for children of parents working in essential employment…
From left, Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Witty, Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance speak during a press conference about coronavirus in 10 Downing Street in London, Monday, March 9, 2020.
News

Older People’s Right to Health Requires Full Access to a Robust Support System

COVID-19 is spreading around the globe and is especially deadly for older people. The virus has an estimated fatality rate of under two percent, but reaches eight to 15 percent among older people, new analysis shows. Older people can…
Young male community healthcare worker being welcomed by a senior man at his home.
News

US, Others Should Follow Suit and Improve Health Protection

The UK is taking a step toward ending preventable forms of cervical cancers, and some other cancers, by offer free HPV vaccines to boys ages 11 and 12. HPV causes nearly all cervical cancers and most throat and mouth cancers,…
A child health nurse holds up a vial and box for the HPV vaccine, brand name Gardasil
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Other Governments Should Address Girls Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products

Every girl around the world has feared it, or worse, felt it: the snickers of peers who see bloodstains on her clothes, the sneers of classmates as she slips a pad into her pocket. But what of the girls who can’t afford sanitary…
201808us_womensrights_health
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Tahira Safdar’s Confirmation Would Be an Important Step for Equal Participation

Pakistan’s chief justice has nominated Justice Tahira Safdar as chief justice of the Balochistan High Court. If confirmed, she will become the first woman in Pakistan ever to hold this office. Pakistan remains the only…
Judge Tahira Safdar sits in court in Quetta, Pakistan, November 23, 2015.
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Authorities Should Promote Equal Participation in Elections

For the first time in more than 40 years, women turned out in significant numbers to vote in one of Pakistan’s districts. The vote for local government in Upper Dir district of Pakistan’s northern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province…
A woman casts her ballot during elections for a new mayor in Karachi, Pakistan, December 5, 2015.
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
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Lack of Female Voices as UK Negotiations With EU Begin

When I opened today’s newspaper, I recognized the photograph: another crucial negotiation, determining key questions of security and regional stability. Eleven negotiators sat at the table: five men on one side, five men and one woman…
Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis and his delegation sit across from European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michael Barnier and his delegation at the start of their first day of talks at the European Commission in B