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Summary In 2017, Sara, at age 38 with two children, thought she was too old to get pregnant again. When she started to bleed heavily, she went to a public hospital in Quito. A doctor diagnosed a urinary-tract infection and recorded…
News

Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
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Protect Women Targeted; Hold Attackers to Account

(Melbourne) – The Papua New Guinea government should protect women accused of practicing “sorcery” from violence and hold the attackers to account, Human Rights Watch said today. At least five women have been attacked since March 2021, one of whom was…
Screenshot from the testimony of Dr. Fiona Hukula at the Special Parliamentary Inquiry into Gender-Based Violence in Port Moresby on May 24, 2021.  
News

Assembly Should Ease Abortion Laws

(Washington, DC) – Ecuador’s National Assembly should decriminalize abortion for survivors of rape, Human Rights Watch said today ahead of a planned presentation to the Assembly’s Justice Commission via Skype. José Miguel Vivanco,…
A green handkerchief with the hashtags #DéjameDecidir (let me decide) and #AbortoPorViolación (abortion in cases of rape) has become emblematic of the campaign for the decriminalization of abortion in Ecuador.
News
  “Evelina” (not her real name), 17, looks immaculate in her pressed white-and-blue school uniform and her neatly divided cornrows, as she futilely tries to escape the sweltering heat of western Kenya beneath a shady tree. Her black leather shoes…
“Evelina,” 17, with her 3-year-old daughter “Hope,” in Migori county, western Kenya. Evelina is in Form 2, the second year of lower secondary school.
News
On May 14, the Kenyan justice system failed women miserably. The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Kenya, petitioned the High Court, challenging the provisions of section 7 of the Matrimonial Property Act, 2013. The section makes ownership of…
Two widows in eastern Zimbabwe, facing harassment from in-laws who are trying to force them to vacate their homes and fields. Rural Eastern Zimbabwe, October 2016.
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State-run clinics are exempt from the ban on U.S. funding going to groups that provide abortion services. But many government clinics rely on essential support from NGOs, who can no longer afford to offer it, says Skye Wheeler of Human Rights Watch.

“We will just have to forget about the women who will suffer – money is just not enough, we won’t be able to reach the community at all.” This is what a senior staff member at a large health organization in Kenya told me in July this year. Her…
News

Expanded ‘Mexico City’ Policy Causing Cuts in HIV, Reproductive Care

(Washington, DC) – Early effects of United States restrictions to global health aid include cuts to essential health services in Kenya and Uganda, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that was released today.…
A woman walks past a mural on a Family Health Options clinic in the Kibera slums in Nairobi, Kenya, May 16, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
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James lives in a Nairobi slum and takes care of his niece. Her mother died almost 10 years ago following complications from a botched abortion. She had become pregnant in a horrific gang rape. “She told us that she saw three men rape her and…
Women look on as residents talk to police officers after an attack in Panda Nguo, Lamu County on the northern coast of Kenya July 11, 2014.
News
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a dangerous place to be pregnant. It has one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world, second only to Afghanistan in the Asia Pacific region. Only slightly more than 50 percent of women give birth in a facility or with…
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.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
Report
Rape Victims as Criminals Illegal Abortion after Rape in Ecuador Summary Ecuador’s Laws on Violence against Women  and Reproductive Health Criminal Code Reform …
Report
“I Am Not Dead, But I Am Not Living” Barriers to Fistula Prevention and Treatment in Kenya Summary Key Recommendations to the Kenyan Government Methodology I. Background Maternal Mortality and Morbidity…